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Untapped Finance Offerings Stunts Industry Growth

  • Natalie Mattila
  • October 6, 2016
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Pictured, from left, are Jim Woodruff, Chief Operating Officer at National Powersport Auctions; Lenny Sims, Chief of Business Development at NADAguides; and Scott Yarbrough, Editor at Black Book Motorcycle and Powersports Value Guide speaking on a panel entitled “Where the Customers Are: An Inside Look at Vehicle Demand” at yesterday’s PowerSports Finance 2016 conference.

LAS VEGAS — Approximately 14 million people rode a motorcycle in 2014, but didn’t own one, according to data from the Motorcycle Industry Council.

“Why? They have enough interest to ride one,” Jim Woodruff, chief operating officer at National Powersport Auctions, said at PowerSports Finance 2016 yesterday. “I think one of the biggest reasons why the market hasn’t grown enough — or hasn’t grown back to where it was pre-recession — is directly related to the availability of financing that fits the consumer’s needs.”

There are two untapped components in the market, Woodruff explained. The first component is pre-owned finance — a running theme throughout yesterday’s conference.

The second component is that only about one-fourth of motorcycle transactions go through the dealer’s doors, Woodruff said. “That’s the number one financing opportunity,” he said. “I think that’s one of the reasons why many of them go curb to curb — because of the lack of availability in the dealership — and not being able to provide them with the tools they need.”

The powersports finance market still needs “to mature a bit more,” added Lenny Sims, chief of business development at NADAguides. “I think there is also education we can get involved in that would be very helpful to create opportunities, to inform consumers of what benefits are out there, and how easy it could be to get involved in our industry.”

For example, anybody that can bring more finance education to the dealer groups — particularly those who don’t have access to the technology and resources that the larger dealer groups have — “would be a great place to start because there is still that pent up demand out there,” said Scott Yarbrough, editor at Black Book Official Motorcycle and Powersports Value Guide, and more education could help move things forward.

“I’m a huge believer that there is tremendous opportunity for lending in powersports,” Woodruff said.

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