Lenders are getting innovative with their underwriting and marketing efforts to cater to millennials as the powersports-buying age demographic shifts, and now Wells Fargo Commercial Distribution Finance is adding to those efforts.
The wholesale financier teamed up with the United States Motorcycle Coaching Association (USMCA), the companies announced late last month. USMCA is a nonprofit group that offers education and enrichment materials for new and returning riders and coaches.
Wells Fargo’s partnership includes a financial pledge as well as a commitment to assist the USMCA in funding the development of a training platform with the goal of certifying 500 coaches over the next three years, according to a company press release.
Through the partnership, Wells Fargo CDF will also help develop in-field training and certification to assist in USMCA’s goal of engaging 35,000 new and returning riders each year; attract additional corporate partners; and establish dealer and consumer relations programs to develop deeper relationships.
Other powersports companies, such as leasing provider MotoLease LLC, are also pursuing partnerships with associations to boost ridership.
MotoLease is scouting a partnership with a national training association to provide risk advising and motorcycle safety classes for younger buyers, Managing Partner Emre Ucer previously told Powersports Finance.
Some of that training includes getting borrowers to talk with risk advisors, and MotoLease may soon add a program that pays for riders to take motorcycle safety classes if they complete a certain number of sessions.
Additionally, the Motorcycle Industry Council is hosting 11 events in seven cities next year under the banner of “RiDE,” in which parents and kids can test drive real vehicles or go through virtual reality demos.
The percentage of riders 50 years of age or older rose to 46% in 2014, compared with 25% in 2003, Tim Buche, president and chief executive of the MIC, said at PowerSports Finance 2017 late last month, without divulging more recent figures.
“We looked at the point at which the millennials will overtake the boomers as the primary segment, and we predict it’s about 2019,” he said. “When you look at used bikes, millennials are already [the primary consumer]. Even though the average age is up, the millennials will pull it back down, and millennials are now into their mid 30s, so they are chasing us.”