No matter how you slice or look at the numbers, new snowmobile sales for the 2010 model year were dismal.
The snowmobile sales numbers reflect a struggling economy as well as skimpy snowfall in certain parts of North America.
When officially presenting the 2010 model year sales figures to snowmobile leaders from across North America at the annual International Snowmobile Congress in Iowa earlier this summer, International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association president Ed Klim didn't sugarcoat anything.
He said, "People want to snowmobile right now, but there is a lack of confidence to buy right now."
It doesn't matter where you look at snowmobile sales across the globe, sales in 2010 dropped anywhere from 20 to nearly 30 percent, depending on location. Sled sales in the western United States dropped 30 percent, the largest decline since we here at SnoWest have been tracking sales.
The "lowest" drop in new snowmobile sales was in the United States, where 2010 sales were 21 percent lower than a season ago. And it's not much consolation to anyone to say that U.S. sales weren't as bad as say, Europe and Russia, especially in light of the fact that the U.S. market makes up the largest percentage of sales in the world.
Speaking of worldwide sales, those were down 24 percent compared to the 2009 model year.
If we were to search far and wide for some sort of silver lining, we might suggest that perhaps the snowmobile sales numbers aren't as bad as they seem. Certainly new snowmobile sales figures aren't rosy, but those numbers don't take into account used sleds sales, which we've heard weren't too bad. It's just that no one tracks those numbers so we don't know what they really are.
ISMA's Klim said he wishes they could figure out a way to track used sled sales, just to give a better barometer of the industry.
For now, however, we focus just on new sled sales.
So here are the latest snowmobile sales figures for 2010 in the exclusive SnoWest Magazine annual snowmobile sales report.