Pure Sport ATV sales have taken a pretty significant hit the last two years and it’s forced OEMs to take some focus off those consumers who have been most affected by the recession.
It’s a fact that the age category that buys Sport ATVs is much younger and more vulnerable from a job security perspective.
Some Pure Sports like the Outlaw 525 and 450 solid axle models and Suzuki’s Quad/Racer 450 do not appear in 2011 brochures and this is a pretty strong indication the market for those models has dried up.
Interestingly, these models are still available at most dealers but are not current year offerings.
Even the degree of racing support from the OEMs is changing. There’s a lot more emphasis on GNCC-style cross country events and 4WD race-targeted ATVs.
Two manufacturers, Can-Am and Arctic Cat, see the benefit in building very serious mud-specific racers and supporting those kinds of events.
Since there are limited budgets right now for race support and the money always goes where there’s the best possibility for a return, the cash is going where the market has the best potential to influence sales.
That’s why you see Polaris pumping the desert and cross-country racing efforts of the Razor.
This market segment is a bit older, while still participating in and influenced by racing.
Folks in this buying demographic also enjoy a more stable employment environment – thus are better able to actually buy an off-road vehicle.