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Montana tops states in new UTV accessory sales

Dave McMahon, Senior Editor
July 9, 2012
Filed under Features

ADP Lightspeed data shows UTV add-ons double that of ATV

Accessories added to the sale of a new side-by-side in the state of Montana will average just more than 11 percent of the total purchase price. Those same vehicles sold in the states of Arizona, California and Hawaii will carry less than 2 percent of value in added merchandise. In Canada, the province of Alberta sees more than 8 percent of vehicle sales dollars coming from added accessories, while the provinces of Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan realized only minimal sales of accessories, as low as just half of 1 percent.

These are some of the findings of a study just completed by ADP Lightspeed covering UTV sales of new vehicles since January of 2011. ADP Lightspeed presented the data exclusively to Powersports Business. The study covered 68,000 U.S. vehicles, and another 2,600 in Canada.

“The sample size for the Canadian units was less than required for an accurate evaluation of the market, but it was felt that the results would nonetheless be of interest,” said ADP Lightspeed data analyst Hal Ethington, who managed the study.

A similar study presented in the April 30 edition of Powersports Business found that Montana ranked seventh in ATV accessory add-ons at 5.4 percent of total sales dollars. That state jumps to first for UTV add-ons, where it now realizes 11.5 percent of sales dollars for accessories.

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“Note the rate for UTVs is more than double the rate in the same state for ATVs,” Ethington said. “UTV rates run from 11.5 percent down to the last relevant rate of 2.4 percent. That range for ATVs runs from a high of 5.4 percent down to 1.2 percent — almost exactly half the UTV rate in each case. From this we see that UTVs are consistently dressed about double that of ATV units.”

States with low rates of accessory additions are also interesting. Florida, New Mexico, Hawaii, California and Arizona rank last for both ATV and UTV accessory sales.

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“Looking carefully at the specific pieces of equipment added to these units in high-rate states, we see that much of this equipment is related to cold weather — cabs, heaters, doors and windshields,” Ethington said. “These are all high-value accessories which quickly build the price of either an ATV or a UTV, and are missing in the Southern sun states.”

States ranking the highest in UTV accessory adds are Montana, Texas, North Dakota and Alaska. Tennessee, ranked first in the ATV study, falls to 14th for UTVs. Texas, a midrange ATV accessory state at 2.2 percent, jumps to second in UTV dressing, with 9.8 percent of sales dollars derived from UTV accessories.

The ADP Lightspeed study also shows that of the 18 top-selling UTV accessories (other than consumables, etc.), 16 of them are supplied by Polaris. The other two come from American Honda. The above chart shows the top 10 U.S. sellers, ranked by total dollar sales for each in the sample group.

“If these numbers had been grouped by class, rather than by individual part numbers, we would see that winches and cabs are almost equal, within 5 percent of each other,” Ethington said.

Like the U.S. accessory data, the Canadian data is unveiled here for the first time.

“While the sample size is not statistically valid for a high level of accuracy, it does fall into a uniform pattern that we find interesting,” Ethington said.

The western provinces of British Columbia and Alberta lead with levels of UTV accessory sales close to 8 percent. The Northwest Territories are a surprise, coming in almost equal to Ontario at 7.4 percent and 7.3 percent, respectively, while Manitoba and New Brunswick are again close at 6.4 percent and 6.3 percent.

The data doesn’t lie. Accessory sales to UTVs are twice as important as in the ATV market.

“Dealers in cold weather states especially should be prepared with personal field experience, in-stock inventory, proper installation tools and a shop that can get it all together,” Ethington said. “Canadian dealers especially appear to have an unfulfilled market of an additional 50 percent (8 percent up to 12 percent). With their combination of agricultural and industrial use of UTVs, cold weather, available product and a low accessory rate of 8 percent at best, the U.S. rate of 11.5 percent should certainly be attainable.”

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Keeping UTV accessories front-and-center is paramount to successful sales.

“Spend the money — dress these machines out, and get them on the floor,” Ethington said. “This is all academic until you see it in front of you. The winch, the plow, the cab, the heater, the track kit, the spare rack, the trailer — all of it. And put it on one hellacious incline. Make it move. Put a grinning mannequin inside watching a mad-as-hell grizzly with a cub just outside his door grabbing at the string of fish hanging from the rear rack. Do this, stand back, and watch what happens.”

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