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UTV accessory sales still outpace ATV on per unit basis

August 12, 2009
Filed under Features

Side-by-sides still provide a much higher parts and accessory sale at the new unit purchase time, although that total receipt has declined over the year-ago period.
Dealers on average are selling nearly $700 in parts, garments and accessories at the time of purchase for a UTV, according to a national dealership survey conducted annually for Powersports Business.
That $700 total is nearly twice the amount dealers routinely sell in accessories with an ATV sale ($362 is the average), according to the survey, which sampled 150 dealers across the nation.
Dealers said their PG&A sales at the time of sale reduced 14 percent compared to the year-ago period for UTVs and 17 percent for ATVs.
Dealers also were asked what their top-selling UTV accessories have been. Their top five responses were: 1) windshields; 2) roof kits; 3) winches; 4) plow kits; 5) door kits/side panels.
Those top five are largely unchanged from a year ago, although roof kits have been named more often this year as a top-selling item and the same goes for door kits/side panels.
The latter two represent items that aftermarket officials familiar with the UTV market say have continued to sell well even in the difficult retail market: core products that have a perceived value.
“What we’ve seen recently is a little bit of decline in some of the cosmetic stuff that doesn’t serve a purpose other than just looking pretty,” said Todd Froelich, national sales manager of Koronis Parts, a privately held company that acquired UTV brands Speed Industries and Beard Seats earlier this year.
Froelich says such functional accessories, like seating, have continued to move well in the UTV aftermarket.
“If a guy sits in a standard seat for a UTV and then gets in one of our UTV seats, there is a value there since it’s personally affecting them,” Froelich said. “It’s the same thing with safety items. Harnesses have continued to do really well because safety is important and UTVs are typically family oriented.”
Consumer spending on safety items has included lighting products as well, including the company’s HID-conversion kits, Froelich says.
What hasn’t done so well is some of the bling items, like billet-aluminum accessories.
Wayne Cole, sales manager for UTV aftermarket brand Seizmik, also has seen a customer shift.
“What we’ve seen the most turnover in is basic accessories like mirrors and windshields,” he said of the company’s retail sales. “We have three different kinds of hood racks but the one we’re moving the most has the base price. People are still trying to accessorize their vehicles, they’re just not necessarily going for the high-ticket items.”
Cole has seen that price-conscious shopper extend to other accessory areas, including Seizmik’s console business. Those sales have picked up for Seizmik after the company worked to ensure the product fit more models, including Polaris’ Ranger, Honda’s Big Red and Yamaha’s Rhino, and reduced its price.
“It’s a good staple accessory without being a lot of money,” he said.
The survey’s finding that UTV accessory sales are down on a percentage basis from a year ago correlates with what Arctic Cat Marketing Director John Tranby has seen. Tranby, however, notes that the company continues to see higher-end accessory sales at the time of purchase, which is why Arctic Cat allows dealers to finance UTV accessories up to $1,000 at the time of purchase of the new unit.
— Neil Pascale

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