Wendell Anderson, National Sales Director - Powersports and Marine

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

Protective Asset Protection offers a number of F&I products for powersports dealers. Protective offers XtraRide powersports service contracts for on-road/off-road motorcycles, mopeds, ATVs, UTVs/sport UTVs, sport boats, jet skis and custom v-twins. In addition to service contracts, we offer GAP, tire and wheel and trailer coverage for the trailer being towed behind the on-road motorcycle. We also have F&I training specifically for the powersports industry.

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

The service contract often serves as a cornerstone for powersports dealers’ F&I operations. These contracts are designed to help provide customers with peace of mind when it comes to the cost of a mechanical breakdown of their powersports units. As I mentioned earlier, we provide a range of products for on-road/off-road motorcycles, mopeds, ATVs, UTVs/sport UTVs, sport boat, jet skis and custom v-twins.

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

Overall, the past 6-12 months have been positive for powersports sales. The attitude of both dealers and consumers is more positive than what we have seen over the past few years. Dealers now realize there is a need to focus on F&I again.

The economic downturn forced powersports dealers to work with very lean staffing. Dealers needed to streamline their staff to remain profitable or even just to stay in business. The challenging economy meant dealers were so focused on selling the unit that F&I often became secondary. Now, these same dealers are re-examining their business processes and realizing that F&I can, and should be, the leading factor in profitability and customer satisfaction.

Dealers are also requesting help with implementing a more formal F&I sales process in their dealerships. The brighter economic outlook, coupled with buyers returning to powersports dealerships and increasing focus on F&I, are really just a few of the positive signs for the future of powersports sales.

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

I am looking for 2014 to be a year of growth for manufacturers and dealers, which will provide a tailwind for F&I departments. I also expect more dealers to focus on building their F&I operations with expanded product offerings and increased trainings.

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

There was a recent study that analyzed all powersports deliveries from mid-2012 to mid-2013. In this study, traditional F&I products - service contracts - were the top product with over 22% penetration. GAP, pre-paid maintenance and road hazard also had relatively high penetration rates. I expect service contracts to remain the top F&I product, however, I expect increases in all penetrations overall, with renewed focus on F&I in the powersports industry.

Is there anything you would like to add?

I believe it’s a great time to be in the powersports business. Powersports sales declined dramatically from the financial downturn, and while things have still not returned to pre-2008 numbers, year-over-year sales increases continue. Consumers are returning to dealerships because they want the new products that powersports manufacturers are producing. At the same time, consumers are thinking more about how they protect their new purchases. This benefits the finance office and F&I product sales.