We heard some ATV owners griping the other day about how the price of ATVs has skyrocketed the last few years.
It’s true, the average cost of a 4-wheeler has been climbing steadily the last ten years and when you examine the prices year by year, the price increases do seem a bit arbitrary.
The point is, if you were buying exactly the same thing every year, $300 to $500 increases would seem like a rip-off, especially over a 5-year period.
However, the consumer market has put the OEMs in a precarious place where the demand for technology requires millions of dollars worth of investment to get sales.
If you compare a 10-year-old ATV to what is in the showroom today, you’d see incredible differences. Independent suspension, very advanced 4WD systems, electronic fuel injection, digital gauge packages, automatic transmissions with engine braking and power steering are all modern advancements that cost real money. These have all become must-haves to gain consumer approval.
Here’s the point: When an OEM adds expensive electronic or mechanical tech to its model lineup, the investment in that technology is spread out over the life of the vehicle.
In other words, if EFI is added to a model, the company does not expect to recoup that investment in one single year. Usually the recoup is spread over 3-5 years and may include a whole series of models being sold.
Tech is expensive and that’s why ATVs aren’t cheap anymore.