Consumers Finance Powersports More Than They Admit, Expert Says


LAS VEGAS — Consumers in the powersports market finance their vehicles more than they admit, Tim Buche, president of the Motorcycle Industry Council, said during his opening speech at the PowerSports Finance 2015 conference last week.

“Consumers don’t count that they pull money out of their savings [for financing], obviously, but even taking 401K loans [is a form of financing],” he said. “Did they finance it? That’s for you to decide, but did they come to you to finance it? No, they didn’t.”

Only 33% of vehicle owners surveyed in MIC’s biannual study said they financed at least a portion of their vehicle in 2014, up from 32% in 2012.

The number of consumers that used a credit card for financing a portion of their vehicles also increased in 2014 to 25%, up from 23% in 2012. “So the numbers are low, but dealers will tell you this doesn’t look right at all.”

Jeff Young, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Yamaha Motor Finance Corp., said that the captive sees much higher finance rates than MIC’s data implies.

In truth, consumers do not want to admit that they used financing for their vehicles, Buche said, “but they know they did,” and this creates a pocket of opportunity for the industry looking forward. “People learned that they are better off holding onto their own money, and using someone else’s money for their motorcycle,” he said.

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