The spring buying season is “a little delayed” compared with last year, likely because of bad weather, Jim Woodruff, chief operating officer of National Powersports Auction, told Powersports Finance.
Ordinarily, the spring buying season for powersports begins in April after dealers have stocked their inventory, though, it could start in February or March for dealers located in the South, Woodruff added. However, the auction house has seen a delay by about one month, which could be reflective of dealers holding back from filling their inventory due to inclement weather.
“We’re getting a ton of rain here in the southwest this year,” Woodruff said. “We’re going to get close to double our average before it’s over. The wholesale buying season precedes [the retail buying season] by usually 60 to 90 days, a good two or three months. So that may mean that dealers need to stock up inventory in advance. Typically we see pricing start to rise in the January, February timeframe, sometimes in December. And this year we’re seeing a little bit, but it’s just not quite like we’ve seen in years past.”
Hesitations about the market are also contributing to dealers stocking inventories more slowly. “The economy is doing great, but tariffs and all the other noise that you hear caused some people to hold back a little bit,” Woodruff added.
However, the delay is unlikely to drag down yearend auction volume. Preowned retail volume will likely “continue to be strong, if not stronger than 2018,” with off-road and metric vehicles expected to grow, he said.
NPA operates auctions in San Diego, Philadelphia, Dallas, Cincinnati, Atlanta, and Madison, Wis. Its newest facility in Sacramento, Calif. will hold its first auction on March 14.