Polaris takes top 10 spots in accessory study
ADP Lightspeed data shows popularity of OEM’s accessories
With Polaris taking by most accounts more than 40 percent of the side-by-side market share in the U.S., it’s not surprising that Polaris-branded accessories are being sold at similarly impressive rates at retail.
Data provided exclusively to Powersports Business from ADP Lightspeed shows that Polaris had the 10 top-selling accessories in terms of dollar sales when sold with the purchase of a new side-by-side.
The largest revenue producing part number was the Polaris Integrated Winch 4.5, which sold 1,689 units among more than 800 ADP Lightspeed dealers who sold them. The winch also yielded $1.1 million in sales. That’s almost twice the next most prolific part number, the Sport Roof 3 Piece, which produced $780,000 in sales in 2012 when it was sold as part of new side-by-side purchase in 2012.
Ron Inman, ORV accessories manager for Polaris, has guided the Pure Polaris brand through its launch in 2005 to the more recent Lock & Ride lineup, which has earned high regard from dealers and consumers alike.
The Lock & Ride racks aboard the 2005 Polaris Sportsman ATVs and cargo boxes and gun scabbards on the Ranger that model year were only the start. Inman, now in his 15th year with the company, has witnessed the growth of the side-by-side market from various positions. After a stint in inventory planning for service parts, he moved to Ranger accessory development.
In his current position, Inman has seen UTV accessories continue to play a role in the segment’s growth.
“What it really took was not looking at it as an accessory, but looking at it as a vehicle,” Inman said. “Once we got to the point where we wanted to look at the vehicle as a complete solution, that’s where it started to click in terms of the integration. What can we do together? It’s a full team effort here. The same people that are engineering the vehicles are engineering the accessories, for the most part. It’s about a seamlessness and passion from an engineering standpoint to get out there and solve and understand consumer issues.”
The Polaris accessory dealer also plays a role into bringing products to market.
“How do you change configurations or easily accessorize on the salesroom floor?” Inman said. “How can you merchandise it and not have a huge amount of time and resources invested in accessorizing the unit on the showroom floor?”
Answers to those questions have apparently been met thanks to Lock & Ride. Clamp kits for accessories like polycarbonate windshields and roofs for model-year 2012 have evolved into full cab integration for the 2013 model year, starting with the Ranger XP 900.
“It’s really building the products into the chassis and frame to make it easy for the consumer and dealer to accessorize,” he said. “The customer’s expectations from a fit and finish and quality standpoint are always rising. And it gives our dealers another revenue stream to capitalize on. If it’s easy for them to include on the vehicle, and they don’t have a big time or financial commitment to accessorizing it on the floor, it really helps the consumer visualize what the vehicle could be. They might come in with the idea that they want this particular vehicle, but then they see ‘I can do this’ or ‘I can do that,’ and have it configured to their application. Seeing it firsthand helps close the sale on the accessory and sometime the vehicle purchase.”
Thanks to its ease of use, the Lock & Ride system has plenty of fans at both the consumer and dealer level.
“For a lot our accessories, it takes longer to get it out of the box than it does to install it,” Inman laughed. “The new laminate glass windshield fully assembled out of the box takes about 15 seconds to install and about five minutes to cut the box open!”
Even so, Inman and his troops will continue to attempt to remain a step ahead.
“We want to lead in the areas of fit and finish, quality and ease of installation,” he said. “Those are the areas that we see we can win.”