SAN DIEGO — ThunderRoad Financial, Wells Fargo Commercial Distribution Finance, and TDECU all expressed optimism about 2020, highlighting strong consumer confidence and the growing UTV market during the “Growth Opportunity in Powersports Finance” panel at PowerSports Finance Summit 2019 this week.
“The good news is U.S. consumers are very, very strong and they’re very, very confident,” Jeremy Jansen, commercial leader of motorsports at Wells Fargo CDF said. “Despite consumer confidence levels falling the last two or three months, consumer confidence is still very high on a 20 to 25-year framework. The small business owners are still very confident, and unemployment is very low.”
Additionally, motocross and adventure bikes are “up nicely,” and there are “bright spots” in the UTV sector, Jansen added.
The growth in the UTV market was echoed as a positive sign for 2020 by the other panelists. “One of the areas that I still think is strong — and I see continuing to be strong in 2020 — is the UTV market,” said Donal Hummer, president and chief executive of ThunderRoad Financial. “We love that stuff. It seems to be doing very well. It’s done better than a lot of the other sports products over the last few years. I believe that’s going to continue.”
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TDECU, which lends to dealers in Texas, also saw growth in UTVs as the vehicles become street legal in more areas across the state, Director of Wholesale Business Jud Chamblee stated. The credit union predicts that the overall powersports market will likely remain flat year over year.
While there are reasons to be optimistic for 2020, the powersports market is still facing uncertainty due to tariffs and consumers’ outlook on the upcoming presidential election, Jansen added.
“We watch a lot of things at Wells Fargo with the help of Wells Fargo Securities that we feel have high correlations to powersports, and the key metrics are sound,” Jansen said. “There is just a significant amount of uncertainty in store for us in 2020, with tariffs and elections and all that stuff going on. So I’m cautious about next year, but again, the consumer is driving the economy right now, the consumer is very strong. That gives me a little bit of optimism.”