New-model powersports sales increased 18.4 percent in 2020, with motorcycle and scooter sales rising 11.4 percent, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council Retail Sales Report.
“Overall, the industry had a good year under difficult circumstances,” said Erik Pritchard, president and CEO of the MIC. “The COVID-19 pandemic forced all of us to be nimble and to make the changes we needed to survive. In the end, many in the industry saw strong growth, and now our opportunity is to keep all of these new riders riding and to inspire even more people to join us on two, three, and four wheels.”
The MIC Retail Sales Reporting System gathers new motorcycle, scooter, and ATV retail sales data from 14 leading manufacturers and distributors in the U.S., providing a strong indicator of sales trends.
Sales of on-highway motorcycles, which include scooters and dual-purpose bikes, were steady compared with 2019, while interest in off-highway motorcycles spiked, with sales up 46.5 percent year-over-year. Off-highway motorcycles include dirt bikes, trail bikes, competition motorcycles, and other motorized two-wheelers that cannot be used on public roads. Sales of ATVs also jumped, rising 33.8 percent over 2019.
“We are happy to see that more people are getting the chance to enjoy the outdoors and find new adventures with motorcycles,” Pritchard said. “As many riders know, motorcycles and scooters are not only fun, efficient ways to commute, they open up many recreational opportunities.”
“We encourage all new riders to continue with training and education whenever possible,” Pritchard said. “The Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic RiderCourse and the MSF DirtBike School are great places to start if you are new to motorcycling. For more experienced riders, advanced courses are available. The ATV Safety Institute also offers safety training for adults and kids ages 6 and up.”
The Motorcycle Industry Council exists to preserve, protect, and promote motorcycling through government relations, communications, media relations, statistics and research, aftermarket programs, data communications standards, and involvement in technical and regulatory issues. As a not-for-profit national industry association, the MIC seeks to support motorcyclists by representing manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and retailers of motorcycles, scooters, ATVs, ROVs, motorcycle/ATV/ROV parts, accessories, and related services, and members of allied trades such as insurance, finance and investment companies, media companies, and consultants.
The MIC is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with a government relations office in metropolitan Washington, D.C. First called the MIC in 1970, the organization has been in operation since 1914. Keep up with the industry association on Twitter @followMIC and at MIC.org.
If you’re into listening to Podcasts, consider subscribing to Dale’s Dirt Buzz Podcast.
Boise, ID – January 21, 2020 – Buzz Media, a content marketing services provider for the powersports industry, has launchedthe Dirt Buzz Podcast, hosted by Buzz Media Founder Dale Spangler. The Dirt Buzz Podcast was created to share Spangler’s stories about working in the powersports industry for 28 years, racing and travel memories, what it’s like to start a content marketing business, and other motorcycle-related musings.
With years of experience in the powersports industry, Spangler has a long list of racers, brand representatives, marketers, and other powersports industry personnel to draw from for show guests that should make for some fascinating listening. On the Dirt Buzz Podcast, Spangler will share the unique stories that make powersports engaging in an informal, easygoing format that’s like listening to a conversation between two old friends.
To listen to the Dirt Buzz Podcast, follow one of these links:
With over 27 years of powersports industry experience, Buzz Media offers writing, editing, and content creation services that include company bios, historical articles, blog posts, technical writing, product reviews, athlete interviews, and more. Specializing in content marketing, Buzz Media creates original, authentic content that cuts through the noise of today’s dynamic digital landscape to resonate with each customer’s core audience.
Covid causes another delay in the powersports industry. I imagine for sometime moving dates for events will be the norm. Eventually we’ll get back to the good old days but until them we need to remain flexible. I’m happy Tucker just didn’t scrap the plan entirely. Hopefully I’ll see everyone this fall.
PR from Tucker about the change in dates.
Tucker Powersports announced today that the Tucker Road Show, a dealer training program that culminates in four celebratory events for powersports dealers, has rescheduled the events for the Fall of 2021.
The online training portion of the Tucker Road Show, the Virtual Road Show, is extended through the end of February, with many of the participating dealers already exceeding Tucker’s expectations for completion of the product-focused online courses.
In addition, Tucker is adding several additional rewards for dealers who have aggressively engaged in online training and is also allowing dealers to earn credits toward lodging and on-track racing experiences at the Road Show events.
“This change to the Road Show schedule is disappointing, as we are planning the events to be a huge ‘thank you’ to Tucker dealers,” said Brad Turner, Tucker’s VP of Sales. “Our hope is that by moving the events to Fall of this year, we’ll avoid local limitations on gatherings and encourage even more dealers to attend.”
“Our dealers and our suppliers have had a tremendous response to Tucker University and our online training programs,” he continued. “We’re confident that hundreds of dealer employees completing thousands of hours of training will improve the experience of every customer who shops at a Tucker dealer this year. In that way, the Tucker Road Show has already had an impact.”
The locations of the four events, Texas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Kentucky Speedway remain the same. The exact dates are expected to be announced in the next few weeks.
Late last week Suzuki put out the following press release announcing the split of the motorcycle and marine division in their United States operations. The move to separate the divisions will allow each to operate independently where they can control their own destiny and success. The move is effective on April 1, 2021.
The full press release is below.
Executing a comprehensive plan to build a strong foundation for the future, Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. has announced it will restructure its operations in the United States. This new direction will reorganize the Suzuki Motorcycle/ATV and Marine Divisions into two separate companies set to begin operations on April 1, 2021. This new organization is designed to give both new companies the best opportunity to optimize their success in their respective industries.
Suzuki Motor USA, LLC. will be headquartered in Brea, California, Suzuki’s corporate home in the United States since 1981. Suzuki Marine USA, LLC. will be based in Tampa, Florida in the heart of the marine business in North America. Suzuki first entered the United States in 1963 and was originally based in Santa Ana, California before moving to its landmark, Pagoda-inspired building in Santa Fe Springs, California.
Satoshi Uchida will serve as Chairman and Masami Haga will serve as President of the new motorcycle/ATV company. Masahiro Yamamoto will serve as President of the new marine company. “Both the Motorcycle/ATV and Marine Divisions are enjoying solid success in their respective businesses,” said Uchida. “As we proceed in reorganizing into two separate companies, we look forward to the Suzuki brand continuing to thrive in the United States.”
The primary goal of this reorganization is to strengthen each business. Key objectives are to achieve greater efficiencies, speed up decision-making, and position each company for increased sales and growth in the United States.
The location of Suzuki Marine USA, LLC. in Tampa was strategically chosen to expand Suzuki’s business, improve collaboration within the marine industry, and strengthen its relationship with boat builders, dealers, and vendors. The Gulf Coast location also provides convenient access to Suzuki’s new Marine Technical Center opened in Panama City, Florida in June, 2020.
Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. (SMAI) distributes Motorcycles, ATVs, Scooters, Outboard Motors, and Automotive Parts, Accessories, and ECSTAR Oils & Chemicals via an extensive dealer network throughout 49 states. Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC), based in Hamamatsu, Japan, is a diversified worldwide manufacturer of Motorcycles, ATVs, Scooters, Automobiles, Outboard Motors, and related products. Founded in 1909 and incorporated in 1920, SMC has business relations with 201 countries/regions. For more information, visit www.suzuki.com.
Each year, the IMS shows take place in convention centers across the country. With the limit on indoor activity, it was only a matter of time before the pandemic caused the cancellation of the 2021 shows. However, the team behind the shows came up with a great alternative. IMS Outdoors.
The details are not yet complete but if the early press is any indication it looks like it will be quite a series of events.
Here is the press release from the show organizers.
The Progressive® International Motorcycle Shows® (IMS), the industry leader for connecting Powersports’ top brands with enthusiasts and buyers, today announces progressive IMS Outdoors, the only program available for manufacturers and brands to reach both new and existing riders in exciting, interactive, central locations. Backed by IMS’ title sponsor of ten years Progressive Insurance, Progressive IMS Outdoors represents the revamp of the tour’s nearly 40-year stint that will not only transition IMS from the traditional convention center setup to a new open outdoor experience but will also create a festival-like atmosphere that promotes enthusiasts of all ages and levels to come together to better engage with products, each other, and the industry. While continuing its presence as the nation’s largest consumer motorcycle tour, Progressive IMS Outdoors will support the growth of the Powersports community by offering a unique experience the industry has yet to see.
Commencing during the summer of 2021, Progressive IMS Outdoors will stop in a number of cities across the U.S. bringing Powersports enthusiasts multiple days of entertainment, learning, and interactive activities. In addition to showcasing the latest street bikes, dirt bikes, cruisers, scooters, and ATVs as well as the latest gear and aftermarket accessories, the new outdoor format will feature market adjacent products from micro-mobility to electric bicycles, overland and RV products, and more, thus welcoming potential and qualified riders into the industry. Attendees can also expect the remodeled tour to be more interactive than ever with an array of on-road and off-road demo opportunities for all ages and riding abilities, including the continuation of the successful Discover the Ride program. The reimagined tour, which has been five years in the making, comes at a perfect time as 2020 has seen off-road product sales soar.
“At IMS, we have always placed an emphasis on evolving our shows to better support the community and enthusiasts,” says Tracy Harris, SVP, IMS. “Progressive IMS Outdoors will be the greatest evolution in the brand’s 38-year history. Taking IMS Outdoors not only changes our venues but opens up an array of opportunities for our team to deliver a truly first-of-a-kind experience for the community as the only event in the nation taking the proactive step to actively serve both the new rider and core audience.”
Progressive IMS Outdoors is made possible with the support of IMS’ title sponsor, Progressive. “As the #1 motorcycle insurer in the U.S. and IMS title sponsor since 2010, we look forward to working alongside IMS to deliver an innovative, new type of event to the industry,” says Eric Doubler, Recreational Vehicle Business Leader at Progressive. “With this fresh and reimagined approach, IMS Outdoors is an exciting opportunity to transform the tour and grow the powersports community.”
Dates and locations for Progressive IMS Outdoors will be announced in December. As Progressive IMS Outdoors is an evolution of IMS’ traditional tour, the shows traditionally held in various cities from November through February will not take place this year. To stay connected with the world of motorcycling, powersports, and all things two-wheeled conveyance, check out ContinueTheRide.com, IMS’ platform that hosts a slate of digital content all designed to reach and support the industry.
I am completely disappointed in the news that came down this week from my friends at the AIMExpo. The 2021 show has to be postponed to 2022. Originally scheduled for this weekend, it was moved to Q1 2021 and with the current state of the world they have decided to pull the plug on a 2021 version and work instead on making 2022 even better.
Here is the full press release from the AIMExpo team.
Following the third-quarter meeting of the MIC Board of Directors, AIMExpo issued the following statement from Cinnamon Kernes, vice president and general manager, MIC Events:
“We have made the difficult decision to postpone the 2021 AIMExpo, the industry’s annual trade show, and while this wasn’t an easy choice it is certainly the right one.
“With local directives limiting gathering size, travel restrictions, and a myriad of other obstacles created by the pandemic, there are too many unknown factors limiting our ability to create a safe environment that will also deliver the experience and ROI our exhibitors and attendees expect. We do not want to deliver a show that doesn’t live up to their high standards. Also impacting our decision to postpone are the dealers working to rebuild their businesses after suffering devastating damage from fires, hurricanes, and floods that have hit both the East and West Coasts.
“There is tremendous value in face-to-face meetings and in-person events and we believe in their ability to create irreplaceable opportunities to connect with people and businesses to drive commerce. The AIMExpo team will continue to work with key industry partners, including Tucker Powersports, to explore options that deliver relevant and important educational content for dealer attendees in 2021. Likewise, the team will be looking for opportunities to connect the powersports brands through quality networking events later this year. We look forward to bringing AIMExpo back in 2022 and will celebrate the industry of powersports and everyone that makes it great.”
Earlier this year AIMExpo and Tucker Powersports announced co-locating shows. Tucker supports the decision to postpone and has made a separate announcement regarding their plans for 2021. In it, Marc McAllister, CEO of Tucker Powersports stated: “While we at Tucker were very excited for the opportunity to be a part of the AIME show this year, the health and safety of our dealers and supplier partners has to be our first priority. We want to respect public health restrictions and we don’t want to put anyone at risk. We are now looking forward to reconnecting with the MIC and AIMExpo in 2022.”
I’ll miss seeing all of my industry friends in Columbus. Stay safe.