Jeff Kenny, Vice President of Dealer Channel Development

Do you currently offer any powersports products? If so, which products do you offer?

We currently offer service contracts including street motorcycles, dirt bikes, ATVs and UTVs, personal watercraft/jet boats, and snowmobiles. We also offer a 90-day certified used program, which help dealers push their used inventory by giving consumers a measure of quality assurance on used units. Other products include a tire and wheel program, GPS, appearance protection, theft deterrent, priority maintenance and GAP. Finally, we provide a suite of administration solutions for dealers that cover administrative needs like payroll, bookkeeping, tax preparation and human resources compliance. The idea is to give the dealer more control, improve compliance and increase employee retention. We are both a provider and an agent of products and offer training on everything we sell.

How do you define powersports products – which kind of vehicles do you include?

Powersports products include motorcycles, scooters, dirt bikes, ATVs, UTVs, watercraft, boats and snowmobiles. There is also a market for golf carts, trailers, generators and riding mowers. Some, like street motorcycles and scooters, can be modes of necessary transportation and a good foundation for the industry; others like models designed for off-road, water and snow are usually tied to a consumer’s location, discretionary income and credit worthiness. No matter the definition, powersports products are designed for and driven by a very passionate base. This is an all-in lifestyle rooted in passion, family, fun and safety.

How has the powersports market changed in the last 6-12 months?

It has changed in a couple of ways. The biggest is that the industry is emerging from a game-changing recession that resulted in dealer consolidation. The needs and expectations that remaining dealers have for those servicing their stores will lead to consolidation with providers and agents. Today, providers and agents need to be offering a host of products and services to a dealership and in a skilled manner. In the past, you could get away with offering service contracts and GAP and that won’t cut it anymore.

Not surprisingly, we are also seeing the market come back gradually. During the recession, many of the new units sold were to those who had a track record of affording them – cruiser riders, Euro enthusiasts and outdoorsmen. The used market stepped up and served everyone else. Today, new 4-Wheel, off-road side-by-sides are extremely popular and new street bikes are rebounding – both from an improved economy and necessarily from a depleted used inventory in high-demand segments.

Where do you see the powersports category as a whole going in 2014?

I think the UTV/ATV market will continue to be strong in the next 12 months, since those are very popular with outdoorsmen and those who enjoy them for recreation. Street bikes will gradually come back as well with economic growth and more qualifying for lending. The PWC industry is excited to see an entry-level, family-friendly model with the Sea-Doo Spark (priced around $5,000) – sales on this unit will be closely watched. Finally, the evolution of the electric powersports vehicle market is worth watching.

What are the top products for powersports today? How will that change in the next 12 months, if at all? Why?

Off-road and street units are pretty evenly split with off-road OEMs doing a phenomenal job marketing their products. Everyone is waiting for this to plateau, but it is still going strong. As the economic recovery continues, I expect street units to improve allowing more F&I opportunities for service contracts, tire/wheel, GAP, GPS and priority maintenance.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Our company dates back to 1985, and all of our products are backed by an A-rated insurance carrier. We do have some regional sales managers, but also use agents in territories where we are not represented. We’re always looking to do business with excellent and committed people.