By Ed Klim
President, International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association
Haslett, MI - The snowmobile manufacturers are completing production of the 2011 model snowmobiles as snowmobilers eagerly await the upcoming snowmobiling season. 2011 brings renewed optimism and a positive outlook for the manufacturers and related suppliers.
The 2011 models were introduced to the public at the sneak peek shows held across North America this past spring. We are happy to report that record attendance at shows across the country preceded strong advanced orders. The enthusiasm for new snowmobiles is based on a pent up demand to enjoy the winter on a snowmobile and the knowledge that the manufacturers are building quality, clean, quiet, responsive machines for all of us to enjoy.
New engine technologies and ride performance technologies have been introduced with the 2011 models as well as improved efficiencies and handling characteristics.
The fall show circuit is shaping up to be a record breaker and many of the snowmobile shows are already sold out and are forecasting strong attendance and new product offerings.
The manufacturers are not only encouraged by the strong attendance at spring sneak peek shows, but are also encouraged by the dramatic increase in visitation to the Go Snowmobiling website, which is designed for new snowmobilers and non-snowmobilers. This past year, 29 percent of the visitors to the Go Snowmobiling website were non-snowmobilers and a high percentage of those visiting the site stated they were in the market to purchase a snowmobile and planned to do so within a year. Not only are non-snowmobilers visiting the site for the first time but they are doing so in record numbers.
During the 2009-2010 snowmobiling season, more than 2,519,000 visitors came to the www.GoSnowmobiling.org website, many of whom filled out our questionnaire. This data compares to 1,512,000 who visited the site in 2008-09. The interest level is high, the fall shows look like they are going to be sold out and full of excitement. The spring shows were great and sales of used snowmobiles and parts, garments and accessories last year were very strong. This places the dealers in a good position for the upcoming season.
Used inventory is minimal and we are looking for a great snowy year in the snowmobile community. Plan on visiting your local snowmobile dealer and your local snowmobile show this fall and bring a friend to go snowmobiling.