Millennials Creating Powerful Shifts
The powersports market in the US may be evolving to fit the current retail market faster than you think! We’re breaking down how the latest generation of shoppers (Millennials, or “Gen Y”) is changing the market – not killing it.
Younger Buyers Shifting On-Road Sales
Multiple articles in the past few years have decried the “death” of the motorcycle industry at the hands—and wallets—of Millennials. Harley-Davidson is held up as the case study for this theory, but dig a little deeper and it becomes clear that Millennials aren’t killing the on-road motorcycle industry: they’re simply changing it.
Millennials are, as a generation, saddled with a tremendous student debt burden and entered the job market during the Great Recession; on average, they have lower earnings, fewer assets, and less wealth than earlier generations had at their age. It shouldn’t be surprising that buying motorcycles wasn’t near the top of their priority list!
Contrary to popular belief, this generation is interested in motorcycles; they just aren’t interested in Harley-Davidson’s bread-and-butter cruiser-style bikes. They are drawn to sport bikes, which are smaller and less expensive. Millennial buyers view motorcycles as a practical transportation option for city living, both for ease of getting around and for fuel efficiency. The social cachet—and sticker price—of a hobby or “lifestyle” brand like Harley doesn’t hold sway with these riders. By contrast, older generations are more likely to purchase motorcycles for recreation, or as a hobby. Harley’s average customer has a median household income of $90,000—roughly $20,000 above the median for Gen Y.
Thanks largely to the Millennial generation, 500cc bikes and models under $10,000 are experiencing exciting sales growth; Gen Y has also helped drive the revival of some vintage-style models. Even Harley-Davidson is responding to the demands of the next generation of riders, debuting an electric model and developing more sport-type bikes in an effort to appeal to younger buyers.
The Right Products for Today’s Market
The powersports market may be changing, but buyers still need and want to protect their vehicles. Dealers can capitalize on the growth of the market by offering F&I products that provide excellent protection for every unit type. As a new generation become motorcycle riders, offering them a full spectrum of protection—mechanical coverage, appearance protection, theft prevention, and more—will give them the peace of mind to fully enjoy their bikes.
Is your dealership ready for the powersports market of today and tomorrow? National Auto Care offers a full suite of powersports protection products for all unit types: contact your Sales Rep to learn more!