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We get asked this a lot. It’s Interesting because it’s one of the biggest questions the OEMs ask themselves. As a matter of fact, it’s in the back of every product and marketing exec’s mind from every brand every year as they lay out plans for upcoming sleds.

You see, in this business, the only way to increase profitability is to grab a bigger piece of the pie. And that pie is limited because of the relatively narrow proportions of the sno-mo-market – although there has been growth during the pandemic.

So… if you were in charge, what would you do?

Try this: Build the fastest, best riding best handling sled in the biz! Okay, both Yamaha and Arctic Cat have been on this page for several years now with the Thundercat and the SideWinder and the sales results speak for themselves – but not in an earth-shaking fashion as far as brand switching goes.

Okay then, let’s look at the possibility of building low-cost models that will get entry level customers interested in your brand – and then keep them in your fold so in the future they will buy your products instead of the competition’s.

The current high-value Venom/Blast sleds, although solid entries, haven’t set the world on fire and converted masses of buyers over to their respective brands. At the same time both Ski-Doo and Polaris continue to hold or even grow their market share numbers.

Well, what if an OEM just cut MSRPs way low – and still offer their premium models with all the bells and whistles at a price that is ridiculously rock bottom low? Some OEMs tried this a couple of years ago with some early-order sleds – and although there was good activity for a while in showrooms, there was no significant, lasting gain on the rest of the market.

We think the most successful approach is to come to the market with cutting-edge brand-new technology – something the competition doesn’t offer and is the kind of tech that is completely fresh in the marketplace.

Once again, we have to look at Arctic Cat. By allowing us to get a sneak peek at the new 2024 Catalyst, all eyes were pointed straight at the Thief River Falls, Minnesota sled-maker.

This ploy has likely done much to perk the imaginations of buying customers who may be predisposed to Ski-Doo, Polaris or Yamaha. I mean, how cool would it be to show a new Catalyst off to your buds for the first time next winter? Way cool, we think.

BTW: This kind of marketing in the sno-mo-biz isn’t anything really new. Well, maybe revealing a sled this early is new, but it’s not new to bring out new tech when the stuff you already have is good. It’s the reason Ski-Doo has a Gen5 now and Polaris replaced the AXYS with the new MATRYX.

New is better, and in this biz, you better be bringing new stuff out every couple years or you’ll be quagmired at the bottom of the market. Yup, no matter how good the current model is in your brochure, you better have something radically new – whether engine, electronics, handling, ride, turbocharging… whatever.

Today’s snowmobile OEMs simply cannot sit still: you’ll stagnate to the point of no return if you do – worse yet, the competition will continue to leave you in their snow dust!!

Supertrax Online
Supertrax Onlinehttps://www.supertraxmag.com
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