Many respondents expressed frustration with low margins. “There continues to be pressure on margin in all departments,” said one multiline dealership. “There is an opportunity to once again make a fair margin… but these ‘chicken little’ dealers keep giving away the hottest product,” another dealer said.
|“There is an opportunity to once again make a fair margin… but these ‘chicken little’ dealers keep giving away the hottest product,” said one dealer.|
“Can-Am continues to be the most profitable in our store, but they also keep pushing too much product on us, like Polaris did five years ago,” said one multiline. “$2,500 rebates on Spyder should never have been necessary, but Can-Am overbuilt. It is a shame to devalue that product in the market. They have no competition but themselves, so they have to have integrity in the pricing. If they lose confidence at MSRP, with no comps to support the value, sales and margins will fall fast.”
Harley-Davidson and Polaris dealers reported the highest traffic trends, as Motor Co. enthusiasts flocked to dealerships to see the 2013 new models -- which were introduced later in the season, researchers noted.
Polaris’s new product debuted in late July, and dealers reported improved consumer traffic afterward. The annual clearance sale also had an impact. “Retail sales of new Polaris were slow in July in anticipation of the Polaris factory clearance,” noted one dealer. “The Factory sale drew more attention this year than in the past, which resulted in clearing out more of our 2012 stock,” said another Polaris dealer.
Parts and service sales improved during the period, according to the survey. “Parts sales are up by 5 percent with the DIY crowd,” noted one dealer. “Service is up higher than any previous year, but making a living on service is extremely difficult,” said another.
INVENTORY - DEPENDS ON BRAND.
Survey respondents indicated satisfaction with inventory levels except when it comes to SxS vehicles and Harley-Davidsons.
“Dealers want more Polaris and Arctic Cat SxSs overall, though they aren’t as anxious to build in the Arctic Cat Prowler,” researchers noted. Respondents said Can-Am inventory was too high, despite solid retail sales trends. (continued)