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Worldwide Snowmobile Sales Jump 12 Percent From Last Year

Published online: Jun 26, 2013 News
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According to the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association, the long winter and continued enthusiasm and interest in snowmobiling powered snowmobile sales to increase worldwide to 144,601 new sleds sold in the past year, an increase of over 15,000 units, which represents a 12 percent rise. Sales in the United States were nearly flat at 48,536 new snowmobiles sold, while sales in Canada rose over 8 percent to 44, 022 new sleds sold.

The snowmobile community is optimistic following the above average snowfall throughout most of North America this past season. Manufacturers have reported dramatic increases in attendance at their spring snowmobile shows, with visitation was up over 30 percent at some shows.

The snowmobile industry reports an increase in registered snowmobiles in North America to approximately 2 million registered sleds.  Increased registration in Northern Europe and Russia continues, and there are over 700,000 registered units in the European community and Russia.

Snowmobile-related tourism also increased in North America and beyond. This can be seen in economic impact studies conducted throughout North America by major business colleges and universities. Miles ridden by snowmobilers (which is always predictive of economic impact) showed a 20 percent increase in the 2012-13 season. ISMA attributes this to  good riding conditions and improved and expanded trail systems.

The average age of a snowmobiler this past season was determined to be 43 years of age, a slight increase.

Surveys conducted by ISMA have shown that slightly over 70 percent of first-time buyers in the snowmobile market purchased a used snowmobile. Many of them are young adults who move on to purchase a new snowmobile later in life.

The majority of snowmobilers in North America are club members and/or association-federation members. Snowmobilers are also active fundraisers who raised over $3.4 million dollars for charities last year.

The Go Snowmobiling website serves as another strong indicator of interest in snowmobiling. This year more than 4.4 million visited the site, a 15 percent increase from last year. Statistics show that approximately 20 percent of those visitors are individuals who do not own a snowmobile but are expressing a great deal of interest in owning one and going snowmobiling. It was also noted that approximately 20 percent of the visitors to the site visited the site's rental outlet pages. This activity and interest in renting bodes well for future sales and the growth in the snowmobile rental market.

According to ISMA, the continued broad-based growth of the snowmobile community includes the increased number of visitors and exhibitors in snowmobile shows. State and provincial organizations continue to grow and expand club membership. Many organizations report that new trails are being developed to support the positive economic impact of snowmobiling and job growth for rural communities. Economic impact studies generated by North American universities show that snowmobiling is growing in importance as part of the overall economic engine in many communities. Estimates show that snowmobiling now generates more than $30 billion of economic activity in North America. The economic activity generated by snowmobiling provides many jobs and investment opportunities and generates considerable tax revenue for local governments which eagerly support snowmobiling, according to ISMA.