Factors such as increasing disposable incomes, and renewed focus on connecting with our families mean that recreation is big business. From hitting the water for a day of wakeboarding or fishing to tearing up the trail in an ATV, the powersports industry offers adventure-ready folks the opportunity to get out and enjoy the outdoors in a vehicle that’s designed for maximum fun.
According to data published by Solomon Partners, ATVs / SxS vehicles experienced 24 percent YoY growth in the US and while the powersports market size was valued at US $29.62 billion in 2021, it is poised to grow from US $31.43 billion in 2022 to US $50.85 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 6.2 percent.
Dealerships have thrived during this renewed interest in powered recreation. On top of demand, low inventories due to shockwaves from pandemic-era shortages boosted profitability to all-time highs. As we move forward into the next phases of our economy, new and emerging market trends are driving the discussion of where the powersports industry will go next.
Market Trends Driving Future Growth in Powersports
Several factors contribute to an optimistic outlook for the powersports industry, including the popularity of ATVs and larger side-by-side UTVs, increased government allocations for military use, and growing consumer demand.
Accessible Outdoor Entertainment
Thanks to viral videos on platforms like YouTube and popular sporting events like the X Games, powersports continues to gain traction as a popular form of entertainment that is accessible to most consumers. Unlike high-cost racing series like Formula 1 or INDYCAR, the average consumer can go out and buy a motorcycle or other powersports vehicle used by their favorite rider or team. In recent years, the professional quality of the equipment has carried over into personal use, making powersports more exciting than ever before.
ATVs, for example, have less restrictive age limits, lower maintenance costs, and easier maneuverability, making them a surefire bet for a steady increase in sales among both younger and older consumers. In addition, governmental efforts in North America to increase the number of ATV trails in parks are expected to boost the powersports industry’s expansion by further promoting the widespread adoption of ATVs.
Inclusive Adventuring = Market Growth
A relatively new market driver is the growing number of women taking part in the powersports segment. According to a 2018 survey conducted by the Motorcycle Industry Council, nearly one in five motorcycle owners are women, double the number from 10 years earlier. This growth is set to continue with dealers and manufacturers actively promoting inclusivity by featuring more women in advertising, designing gear and equipment specifically for women, and creating female-friendly environments in dealerships and events.
Defense and the Future of Powersports
Another potential growth market for powersports producers is the defense sector. With a single manufacturer being awarded a seven-year, $100 million contract in 2020 to produce a light tactical vehicle, and another having delivered a trial Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) for analysis and testing, this sector is set for unprecedented growth.
Electrification, as with other technologies, is a growing trend. Although not all sectors are responding at the same rate, the industry is witnessing a surge in technological trends that are shaping the future of powersports.
Trending Technology Underpins the Growth in Powersports
One of the most significant trends in the powersports industry is the adoption of electric powertrains.
Electric dirt bikes, ATVs, and other powersports vehicles are making their mark in off-road adventures, providing instantaneous torque and eco-friendly performance. Thanks to advancements in battery technology and charging infrastructure, the range and longevity of electric powersports vehicles continue to improve, paving the way for a user experience unlike any other.
Lighter Materials, Versatile Applications
Coupled with the rollout of the all-electric powersports vehicle is a heightened focus on “light-weighting.” This quest for lightweight yet robust powersports vehicles has led to the integration of advanced materials and innovative designs. Carbon fiber composites, aluminum alloys, and high-strength steel are revolutionizing the construction of frames, components, and bodywork.
These materials offer exceptional strength-to-weight ratios, improving performance, maneuverability, and durability. Coupled with these futuristic materials, innovative design concepts and ergonomic considerations ensure optimal rider comfort and control, maximizing the enjoyment of every adventure.
Enhanced Rider-to-Vehicle Connection
Although comparatively new to the powersports market, connectivity and smart features are transforming how owners interact with their vehicles, enhancing safety, convenience, and entertainment.
The integration of Internet of Things (IoT) technology allows for seamless communication between riders, vehicles, and their surrounding environment. Connected HUD (heads-up display) helmets and wearables provide real-time data on speed, navigation, and vital signs, ensuring a safer and more informed riding experience. GPS tracking and navigation systems guide riders through unfamiliar terrains, while real-time data monitoring enables proactive maintenance and diagnostics.
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) in Powersports
Other futuristic features making their way onto powersports vehicles are underpinned by autonomous technologies. Promising a new era of convenience, safety, and unparalleled riding experiences, autonomous systems on motorcycles, ATVs, and other powersports vehicles leverage advanced sensors, artificial intelligence, and machine learning algorithms to navigate and adapt to changing environments.
Enabled by these autonomous systems, enhanced safety features, such as collision avoidance and adaptive cruise control, work tirelessly to prevent accidents and protect riders. Moreover, ride-sharing services and connected convoy systems open up exciting possibilities for group riding and community engagement.
Turning Simulations into Reality
Taking user engagement a step further, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies are propelling powersports owners into immersive experiences.
VR simulators provide riders with virtual tracks and environments for training, skill enhancement, and thrilling racing simulations. AR helmets, on the other hand, display critical information in the rider’s field of view, improving navigation, safety, and situational awareness. These immersive technologies transport riders into a world where the boundaries of reality and fantasy blur, offering unique and unforgettable moments on every ride.
Protect Your Customers’ Powersports Adventures
These emerging trends fueling the growth of the powersports market present many opportunities for companies to serve this sector and innovate new technological advancements. Established companies are diversifying their product lines, while new players are entering the market with powersports-specific products, including accessories and services that enhance the riding experience.
To help ensure that powersports owners get to enjoy the full freedom and exhilaration these vehicles offer, present protection products to your powersports customers. Providing protection plans positions your dealership as a trusted partner in your customer’s adventures, and helps boost brand loyalty by reducing the possibility of unforeseen repair costs.