San Jose, CA - The snowmobile industry is highly prone to cycles, with bursts of rapid growth, followed by long periods of recession. Snowfall conditions and general economic situation exercise phenomenal impact on the already mature global market. Some of the factors that contribute towards growth in the industry include production redesign cycles, replacement buying by consumers, launch of four-stroke engines, snowfall in key riding places, consumer confidence, discretionary spending by consumers and easy availability and affordability of credit.
Current areas of interest include developing means to reduce emissions, providing quieter and cleaner 2-stroke and 4-stroke engines, and enhancing safety measures. The channels of distribution in the industry are particularly dependent on dealer networks and a highly compact network of about 3,000 dealers restricts the entry of new players into the market.
Technical expertise is a major factor driving competition. Snowmobile manufacturers are offering sophisticated machines with advanced engineering capabilities. Many small players that emerged during boom times in the 1960s and 1980s have since disappeared, unable to survive the harsh, competitive environment. The increasing popularity of the all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) is a major growth inhibitor for the snowmobile market. These vehicles are gaining popularity in regions such as Alberta, which offers both mountains and trails conditions. The snowmobiling sport has re-energized the economies of several local communities. State and provincial travel bureaus are also promoting snowmobile tourism via such means as the production of trail maps and snowmobile information guides.
The United States, Canada and Scandinavia constitute the major markets accounting for a combined lion's share of the global demand for snowmobiles. However, even though the U.S. alone garners the largest chunk of the market, a matter of concern is the pattern of constantly declining snowmobiles sales over the last few years. Unfavorable snowfall conditions, economic downturn, inhibitive snowmobile unit prices and low consumer confidence have all played a heavy hand in eroding sales volumes in the region. These factors apart, the market is always beleaguered by numerous environmental pressure groups, governmental regulations and other health related issues with regard to harmful emissions of snowmobiles. Several regions in the U.S. and Europe have barred the use of snowmobiles, particularly in wildlife preservation areas such as national parks. Even so, the stringent environmental standards, though considered by manufacturers as mostly unrealistic, have in reality helped the industry by way of a demand increase for cleaner and lighter, direct injection 2-stroke engines. Key snowmobile end-markets include northern border states of United States, especially Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Illinois, the northern New England States, parts of Iowa, Utah, Colorado, Canada and parts of Russia and Europe.
Despite favorable weather conditions in 2008 and 2009, the snowmobiles market witnessed dwindling sales primarily due to the global economic downturn. Prior to 2008, dry and hard unfavorable winter conditions sought to worsen the already bad situation in the market. Increasing levels of unemployment, low consumer confidence and spending power, resulted in almost stagnant growth rates in the market. Further, high prices of newly launched vehicles hampered additional sales as consumers preferred restricting purchases to essential-use commodities and staving off luxury and recreational purchases. Snowmobile manufacturers felt the pinch of tightened consumer spending, resulting in eroding profit margins and large-scale retrenchments. On a positive outlook, the snowmobile industry is expected to witness recovery only post 2011. The turnaround in some regions started towards the latter half of 2010, as snowmobile registrations shot up during the year, a sure sign of changing times. Snowmobile new vehicle registrations in Canada itself reported an 8 percent increase in 2010 over the previous year.
The U.S. represents the single largest worldwide market for snowmobiles, both in volume and value terms, as stated by the new market research report on Snowmobiles. Canada and Scandinavia represent the other major markets for snowmobiles. The Canadian market is also slated to move ahead at the relatively highest compounded annual rate through 2015.
The snowmobile market is characterized by limited engine manufacturers, of which few producers have exclusive supply contracts with major snowmobile manufacturers. Key market participants profiled in the report include Arctic Cat, Inc, Bombardier Recreational Products Inc, TeamFast.com Inc, Polaris Industries Inc and Yamaha Motor Co, Ltd.
The research report titled "Snowmobiles: A Global Strategic Business Report" announced by Global Industry Analysts, Inc., provides a comprehensive review of market trends and issues, product overview, regulatory and environmental concerns, competition, product introductions/innovations, recent industry activity and profiles of market players worldwide. Analysis and overview is provided for major geographic markets such as the US, Canada, Scandinavia and the rest of the world. Market analytics are provided in terms of number of volume (units) and value (US$) for the major markets. The study also provides historic data for an insight into market evolution over the period 2000 through 2006.
For more details about this comprehensive market research report, visit http://www.strategyr.com/Snowmobiles_Market_Report.asp