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Dec. 28, 2009 – A vastly changing ATV import scene

December 28, 2009
Filed under Features

One of the profitability challenges of the ATV market in recent years has been the amount of product flowing into the United States and whether that total has outpaced consumer demand.
That argument, however, appears to be losing steam in 2009 as the rapid decline in the amount of ATVs being imported to the United States from China and Japan continues, according to Census Bureau data.
Through September, less than 48,000 ATVs were shipped from China to the United States in 2009, a nearly 69 percent decrease from the year-ago period. At this point last year, more than 154,000 ATVs from China had been imported.
Those total numbers may not reflect only ATVs, however. U.S. customs and border patrol count imported ATVs as part of a larger category of motor vehicles. That category is labeled as “motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons.” To be placed in this category, imported vehicles must have spark-ignition combustion reciprocating piston engines not exceeding 1000cc.
The category does not include UTVs, golf carts, PWC or snowmobiles. It does, however, include dune buggies.
ATVs appear to make up the dominant, if not overwhelming vehicle in the category, according to discussions Powersports Business had with officials familiar with the U.S. auto industry. psb

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