Read an excerpt below of Kent Lester’s INSIDE TRAX taken right from the pages of Supertrax!
No one’s arguing about the increasing complexity of new snowmobiles these days.
The average sled has become a depository of wiring, sensors, servos and computer brains in an effort to maximize fuel economy, meet EPA regulations and, yes, get more performance.
I don’t intend to be critical here, but this complexity has created a couple of industry problems that just don’t seem to be going away.
I’m not even sure they can be solved, so consider this oracle a mere observation, not a cutthroat commentary on our business.
The problem I’m talking about has everything to do with expectations. Consumers (that’s us) are demanding more and more stuff from our sleds; more features, more power, more comfort.
The OEMs are in the business of selling snowmobiles and are merely responding to what keeps them in business. The drive to produce more complexity is irresistible when the market is shrinking and those at the top with the bucks to spend are performance driven enthusiasts only interested in going faster every year.
I know, you can say this is the very thing that has driven the industry since day one. It’s true. However, the expectations of consumers to have the most sophisticated equipment – equipment that by its very nature and the limitations imposed by the EPA, has to be extremely complex – have been driving prices into the stratosphere.
There’s another problem. As complexity increases, so does the possibility of component failure or, worse yet, the failure of the whole sled to deliver on its lofty promises. Durability is one issue – having your own sled sitting in the garage half the winter in need of repairs is another.
Consumers need to shoulder some of the responsibility here, too. Our demands for better stuff and always wanting it right now, are way too close to being unreasonable – especially when you consider the number of market segments there are. Frankly, it’s amazing what the manufacturers get to market, year in, year out.
As an industry we need to begin thinking, simpler is better.
Read more in Supertrax Volume 19, #3.