Can-Am Enters Trail Segment with 2018 Maverick Trail Models

Can-Am side-by-side

New Can-Am side-by-side models for 2018 including trail specific models and application specific Defender  and Maverick X3 models.

Can-Am launched their entry into the trail riding segment with four 50″ wide Maverick Trail models for 2018. The new models are the Maverick Trail and Maverick Trail DPS, both of which have the option of a Rotax 800 or Rotax 1000 engine. They also added technical crawling-specific models, the 172hp Can-Am Maverick X3 X rc TURBO R and the 120hp Maverick X3 X rc TURBO.

New for the Defender line for 2018 are the mud ready Defender X mr HD10, the performance oriented Defender XT-P, and the Defender MAX LONE STAR HD10 targeting the rancher segment with a mixture of heavy-duty components and flair.

Can-Am’s 2018 model year is an extension of the company’s aggressive product development pace in the side-by-side market for the last several years. They have been updating their existing product lines while targeting market segments in which they have not had a presence. First was their introduction of the Defender line aimed more for work oriented applications, and particularly for farms and multi-acre home owners. Now they are attacking the trail segment that has largely been left to Polaris and Arctic Cat, now known as Textron Off Road. They are also continuing to differentiate within market segments with their existing product lines by adding application specific vehicles.

These are all trends that are occurring in the market in general as competition in the side-by-side market in both recreational and utility segments has revved up. For customers this has translated into better promotions and pricing, increasing vehicle functionality and performance and a better value proposition. In Can-Am’s case, their new product development strategy has led to increased revenue and market share from the success of their Defender line and annual improvements to the Maverick family.

In the last few years many manufacturers, both large and small, have revitalized product lines, added product lines and newly entered the market, particularly in the utility segment. The challenge is to remain committed to the market with the resources needed to regularly develop competitive vehicles and build out distribution channels. There is likely to be a shakeout in the market in the next few years as some companies will have difficulty remaining competitive product offerings in the face of aggressive product introductions by Can-Am and other manufacturers.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

The following is the press release from Can-Am

Dallas, Texas, Sept. 20, 2017 – BRP (TSX: DOO) unveils four new 50”-wide Can-Am Maverick Trail side-by-side vehicles at its annual dealer meeting in Dallas, TX. People can now enjoy the Maverick experience while accessing many public trails and tucked-away destinations with ease. With their innovative design and extreme agility, Maverick Trail vehicles enhance the consumer experience and allow people to explore the wild with confidence.

The Maverick Trail vehicle is conceived to bring one of the best trail experiences to people with its bold Can-Am Maverick X3 heritage and its ingenious convenience features. Every feature is purpose-built to maximize consumer comfort, vehicle stability, and handling – a must for people who are looking for a full day of adventures.

“The Can-Am Maverick Trail lineup introduces our incredible X3 pedigree to trail exploration,” said Bernard Guy, Senior Vice President, Global Product Strategy at BRP. “People love riding trails because it’s an adventurous escape into nature to discover new destinations with friends, and these ingenious machines are built to maximize the user experience in every way.”

The fun doesn’t stop on the trail, though, as BRP also introduced two new technical crawling-specific models for 2018 – the 172hp Can-Am Maverick X3 X rc TURBO R and the 120hp Maverick X3 X rc TURBO. Rugged crawling is extremely popular (and growing), and BRP went to the rocks to gain real-world insight from owners before finalizing the design.
One critical takeaway for the best possible user experience was the need for a fully-lockable front differential. In response, the Can-Am team created a technology called SMART-Lok™*, which is an ingenious fully-lockable on-the-fly front differential with electronically-controlled automatic modes. That smart technology enhances the riding experience and amounts to traction in extreme conditions.

Maverick X3 X rc models are specifically designed for maximum maneuverability even at low speeds with a high ground clearance and large, specialized tires. They also come loaded with features for maximum protection including rock sliders, front and rear suspension protectors, and a front differential guard for enhanced defense against harsh terrain and rocks.

On the utility side of the lineup, BRP introduced three new specialty packages to its Can-Am Defender model family, each purpose-built for a specific, enhanced ride experience:

  • The Defender X mr HD10 is a mud-ready vehicle that’s built to tackle grimy conditions with ease. It also has a SMART-Lok front differential, and along with other tough and clever elements, is built from the ground up so people can conquer harsh environments.
  • The Defender XT-P brings performance to the workhorse-oriented Defender XT lineup, with upgraded shocks, multiple driving modes, and more. It’s an ideal balance between performance, comfort and convenience, and is packed with a sportier look.
  • The Defender MAX LONE STAR HD10 complements the swagger and grit of the Texas rancher and outdoorsman. It’s the perfect tool for day-to-day ranching tasks while making sure people stand out from the crowd. It features painted deep metallic black coloration, Lone Star trim, and heavy-duty components such as a steel front bumper and full hard roof.

For additional information and technical specs on these new models, as well as two all-new youth ATV models, visit www.CanAmOffRoad.com.

* Smart-Lok was developed in conjunction with TEAM Industries, a market leader in the drive train industry.

About BRP
BRP (TSX:DOO) is a global leader in the design, development, manufacturing, distribution and marketing of powersports vehicles and propulsion systems. Its portfolio includes Ski-Doo and Lynx snowmobiles, Sea-Doo watercraft, Can-Am off-road and Spyder vehicles, Evinrude and Rotax marine propulsion systems as well as Rotax engines for karts, motorcycles and recreational aircraft. BRP supports its line of products with a dedicated parts, accessories and clothing business. With annual sales of CA$4.2 billion from over 100 countries, the Company employs approximately 8,700 people worldwide.

UTV Industry News Briefs

CFMoto Motor company is planning to raise about $68 million in an initial share offering on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.  Learn more:  Reuters.com

Can-Am is the official off-road vehicle for the Luke Bryan Farm Tour. There will be vehicle display booths at each tour venue. A main target customer for Can Am’s relatively new Defender product line is farmers.  Learn more:  Powersportsbusiness.com

Wells Fargo Commercial Distribution Finance extended its preferred dealer financing program with Kymco USA, a long time client. Separately, Kymco is offering a “Customer Choice” offer of customer cash or extended warranty on purchases of 2015 and 2016 year models through Sept. 30, according to its website. Learn more:  Powersportsfinance.com

Kawasaki is donating five Mule UTVs to aid recovery efforts after the destruction left by hurricane Harvey. In addition the company is matching employee donations made to non-profit organizations.  Learn more: Thedrive.com

Yamaha Motor Corp. will launch their power-assist electric bicycles in the United states beginning in 2018. While the company has been in the e-bike business for decades, the US market has not been targeted until now. Four models will be available ranging from street cruiser to more of a racing bike. Learn more: LATimes.com

New SVR Market Study Predicts Solid Growth For STOVs

In a new market study on the small task-oriented vehicle (STOV) market in the US and Canada, Small Vehicle Resource (SVR), LLC predicts growth over the 2017-2021 period. The market research reveals four trends coming together that will result in market gains of mid to high single digits in the forecast period and an industry value in the range of $15.8 billion at retail including parts and accessories.

  • Growing appreciation in a highly diverse market for the effectiveness of STOVs specifically designed to meet individual segment needs;
  • Increasing competition that will drive new product development as manufacturers seek to strengthen current market strongholds and stake out additional market segments with new and/or expanded product lines;
  • Continuing focus on accessories and attachments to enhance the versatility and value of STOVs, boost revenues and supplant other vehicle types such as pick-ups and tractors for work and full-size vehicles for transportation;
  • Golf manufacturers emphasizing non-fleet markets over the continuing slow/negative growth golf car fleet market.

Steve Metzger, SVR Managing Director, states that, “While the fleet market remains in a downsizing mode, it is a marginal decline. It will remain a significant component of the golf car-type vehicle market. On the other hand, SVR forecasts continued sizable gains in the non-fleet market, including light utility and transporter vehicles and personal transportation vehicles.” Metzger also notes, “SVR anticipates that important new opportunities lie ahead, including self-driving technology applications, as well as potential for a much broader market on a global basis.”

Marc Cesare, SVR Managing Director adds, “The off-road utility vehicle market continues to be a competitive vortex for golf car manufacturers seeking new markets, the powersports industry, and traditional manufacturers of work related utility vehicles. While market growth will be slower than the recent high growth years, it remains solid,” Cesare notes, “ and competition will drive product innovation in both base vehicles as well as options and attachments that improve vehicle performance and versatility.

Approximately a third of the market value is from electric powered STOVs, primarily in the form of golf cars or golf car derived utility vehicles and personal transportation vehicles (PTVs). PTVs are golf cars modified for gated community or low speed public road use and include low speed vehicles (LSVs). Key trends and projections for the market include:

  • In total, demand for electric powered STOVs will increase to over 300,000 vehicles in 2021.
  • The demand for non-fleet golf car type vehicles will more than offset the slight decline in the fleet golf car market, moving from under 50% of the total demand to over 50%.
  • Light utility vehicles produced by golf car and other manufacturers are expected to grow approximately 10% annually to 2021.
  • PTVs will continue to grow low single digits during the trend period and electric powered PTVs will slowly increase to represent nearly 75% of the market by 2021. LSVs will account for about one-fifth of the PTVmarket.

Metzger, states that, “The potential for even greater electric powered STOV growth is there. In the PTV market the combination of market forces and emerging technologies could greatly increase the applicability of PTVs. Increasing urbanization is expected to create congestion and pollution issues, and the search for new transportation solutions. The advent of self-driving vehicle technology along with improved battery technology creates the potential for mobility platforms that can in part be based on small PTVs.” He further notes, “Gated communities with their more controlled environments could prove to be excellent testing grounds and the concepts could then migrate to urban environments that are well suited to low speed vehicle operations.”

The new study, the eighth in the series of studies produced by SVR since 2000, covers utility, off-road, and personal transportation vehicles, and fleet golf cars.

The study is entitled, 2017 Market Report on the Small, Task-Oriented Vehicle Industry: Transition and Growth –Trends from 2012; Forecasts to 2021. 

For additional, detailed information on study content a brochure is available with a table of contents ( Small Task-Oriented Vehicle Study – Analysis & Forecast (PDF)) or contact:

Steve Metzger,  smetzger@smallvehicleresource.com

(914) 293-7577

Eicher Polaris Changes Multix Marketing Strategy

Eicher Polaris Multix

The Multix utility vehicle, the first offering from the Eicher-Polaris joint venture.

Eicher Polaris has made a significant change in the marketing strategy for their Multix multi-purpose utility vehicle. Launched in 2015, the Multix was designed to be versatile and transformable from moving goods to carrying the family to generating electricity with the X-Port feature.

Based on extensive market research the original marketing plan targeted entrepreneurs in rural areas and small towns. The entrepreneur could use the vehicle for business during the week, for family outings on the weekend and even provide electricity in areas where the electrical grid can be unreliable. However, the product has not taken off as management expected, although the potential market is deemed quite large. The company points to more conservative rural people not being as quick to adopt such an innovative product.

Therefore, Eicher Polaris is changing course and now focusing on more urban areas. To that end the company is expanding from 77 to 100 dealerships with most of the new openings in metro areas. The hope is that metro locations will provide more exposure for the Multix to a wider range of end users in the urban environment. Management provides examples of end users that can conduct “business on wheels” with the Multix like laundry operators who can use the X-Port for ironing and carpenters to power tools.

Learn more: thehindubusinessline.com

Comment: The versatility of the vehicle may make it a success in the end. In the metro areas, rather than fitting the vehicle to a particular type of user, many different type of users can adapt the Multix to their needs. In the end the Multix may be used for a number of different end use applications that the company never even considered when developing the vehicle. The key will be exposing the vehicle to as many different end users as possible, and helping them adapt the vehicle to their needs. The next step may be to develop a broader range of accessories to cater to specific applciations.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Bad Boy Off Road Rebranded Textron Off Road

Vehicles like the gas powered Stampede 900 will now be sold under the Textron Off Road brand instead of Bad Boy Off Road.

Textron Specialized Vehicles recently announced the rebranding of their Bad Boy Off Road brand of vehicles to Textron Off Road. The rebranding is designed to take advantage of Textron’s association with strong engineering and manufacturing through their long established brands in aerospace, defense and automotive such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna, Beechcraft, Lycoming and Cushman.

The Textron Off Road brand of side-by-sides currently features the gas powered Stampede and Stampede XTR, the all-electric Recoil, Recoil iS and Recoil iS Crew and the hybrid Ambush iS.

“We are changing our brand from Bad Boy Off Road to Textron Off Road to better reflect the detailed design, precision engineering, manufacturing expertise and high performance for which Textron is known, across a number of major industries,” said John Collins, vice president, consumer for Textron Specialized Vehicles. “Our new name is more indicative of the level of performance, quality and innovation that we build into our side-by-sides, and demonstrates how serious Textron is about its future in the powersports market.”

The rebranding makes sense for Textron for a number of reasons. The Bad Boy name is fairly well known in the hunting segment of the utility vehicle market, but this is more of a niche market, and before being acquired in 2010 by Textron there were some quality issues associated with the brand. In 2016 Textron rebranded Bad Boy Buggies to Bad Boy Off Road so there has not been a lot of time to build brand value, and thus not as much to lose in rebranding at this time. While the Textron brand may not be as well known in the utility vehicle market, the company’s collection of more well known manufacturing brands generates higher brand awareness in general. In addition, utility vehicles from Cushman and E-Z-GO fall under the Textron umbrella and certainly are known in commercial UTV segments and, by association, Textron has some awareness there as well.

A bigger question than whether rebranding is good for business, is how the Textron Off Road product lines integrate with recently acquired Arctic Cat products. While their distribution networks are more likely complimentary than duplicative, the question is how their individual vehicles fit together. Textron Off Road’s electric UTVs are a nice compliment to Arctic Cat’s gas powered vehicles, but how does their Stampede line of UTVs fit with Arctic Cat’s Prowler, HDX and Wild Cat vehicles.

If you look at a comparison between the Stampede 900 EPS, Arctic Cat HDX 700 XT EPS and the Arctic Cat Prowler 1000 XT EPS, they have similar price points and features and specifications. One could imagine the Stampede line could be turned into more of a value-oriented brand with lower price points. Value UTVs have become a competitive segment of the market as better quality imported brands and lower priced offerings from established brands target value consumers. However, Stampede’s initial marketing campaigns have been aiming higher than value-oriented customers. Another option might be to target specific market sub-segments, perhaps, in conjunction with geographic targeting based on the Stampede’s distribution network. The greater the differentiation between the various Textron brands, the better chance Textron has of convincing dealers to carry several Textron UTV brands, and of leveraging the distribution channels of their different brands.

Vehicles under the Textron Off Road brand will be available in April, 2017.  Learn more:  Textron.com

Club Car Fit-to-Task UTVs Target Commercial Segments

The Club Car Carryall 500 Facilities-Engineering Vehicle

The Carryall 500 Facilities-Engineering Vehicle is one of the pre-configured Fit-to-Task vehicles being offered by Club Car.

Club Car Carryall 700 Food Service Vehicle

Club Car Carryall 700 Food Service Vehicle

Club Car Transporter Ambulance

Club Car Transporter Ambulance

Club Car recently launched their new Fit-to-Task series of vehicles for the commercial/work segment of the utility vehicle market. The series of vehicles offers customers application specific vehicles already equipped with accessories and options designed for a particular application.

The company displayed four of the vehicles in March at the NMFT Conference and Expo in Baltimore, MD including the:

  • Carryall 500 Facilities-Engineering Vehicle with dual locking tool boxes, a dual ladder rack with tie-downs and a 2″ receiver.
  • Carryall 700 Food Service Vehicle with a van box, 68-tray rack system, a 10-shelf rack system, glass racks and drip edges.
  • Carryall 700 Housekeeping Vehicle with an L-shaped van box with interior LED lights and locking doors, drawers, shelves for towels, linens, etc and room for a full-sized vacuum cleaner, mops, brooms and other supplies.
  • Transporter Ambulance with hand-carry stretcher and mounts, fold-down rail for patient area, storage boxes and seating for three.

Club Car will be rolling out additional Fit-to-Task vehicles including:

  • Facilities-Engineering Vehicles with Van Boxes
  • Security Vehicles
  • Bell Service Vehicles
  • Grounds Maintenance Vehicles (Including a big & tall model)
  • Refuse Removal Vehicles (Including a high-dump model)
  • Snow Removal Vehicles
  • Other Ambulance, Room Service and Housekeeping Vehicles
  • People Movers
  • Long-bed 4x4s and more

These vehicles continue Club Car’s focus on the commercial and work market segments. Over the last few years as the market for fleet golf cars has declined and stagnated, E-Z-GO and Club Car have had to look for new avenues of growth. Textron (E-Z-GO) has chosen to expand their portfolio of small vehicles to reach new markets as evidenced by their recent acquisition of Arctic Cat. Club Car has chosen to further penetrate commercial and work segments in which they already had a strong presence.

Over the past several years Club Car launched new base vehicles like the Carryall 500 and 700, a UTV support team program for rental customers, their Corporate Solution Program for fleet management and maintenance, and utility vehicle accessory packages. In their marketing material they are touting their diverse commercial vehicle offerings and expertise in fleet management of small, electric vehicles. As evidenced by some of the Fit-to-Task vehicles and their website, Club Car is focusing on specific market verticals such as education, government, rentals and resorts.

Demonstrating the global nature of the small, task-oriented vehicle market in terms of both product and marketing approaches, Tata Motors earlier this year announced a series of application specific variants of their ACE mini-truck.

Learn more:  Prweb.com

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Eicher-Polaris Adjusting Multix Strategy

Eicher Polaris Multix

The Multix utility vehicle, the first offering from the Eicher-Polaris joint venture.

Eicher-Polaris, the Indian joint venture between Eicher Motors and Polaris, is adjusting their Multix marketing strategy to boost a lackluster rollout, according to reports from the Economic Times of India. The less than expected performance has been mentioned in recent quarterly earnings calls with analysts. Eicher-Polaris has already boosted the Multix’s power with a more powerful and BS IV compliant engine. The company plans on doubling their dealer network to 150 locations over the next six months and looks to more aggressively market this new concept vehicle. Additional resources are being allocated to marketing strategy consultants and customer research to inform future marketing initiatives.

The joint venture’s management has moved back their breakeven time frame by up to two years and may start producing ATVs at the Multix plant to help in that regard. The plant, located in Jaipur, has a capacity to produce 60,000 vehicles annually, so ATVs could fill some of that capacity until the Multix can develop some momentum.

This isn’t the first time Polaris has had difficulties in markets outside of the powersports arena. They have had some challenges along the way with their Bobcat partnership, Brutus line sold to commercial and government markets, as well as, some issues with traditional Polaris dealers trying to sell GEMs after the brand was first acquired.

While one might expect the past success of Polaris might produce different results, these difficulties are not completely unexpected. Selling to commercial and government customers is different than selling a new off-road vehicle to a powersport customer. With the latter, Polaris’ established presence in the market facilitates a build it and they will come approach, and the company has had years to hone their PR and marketing campaigns for a market often eager for the next best thing. Literally, dealers can wait for customers to walk through their doors,

In the commercial/government market customers are often constrained by budgets and budgetary calendars, and a dealer has to be pro-active. The successful dealers I have met in this market all aggressively make on site visits and demo vehicles for potential customers, as well as, attend trade shows, exhibitions and other venues where potential customers congregate. This is essentially a different type of dealer than the powersports dealer. This is not to say that Eicher-Polaris and Polaris won’t be successful in these markets. Despite these hurdles, Polaris has continued to grow their commercial business and their recent acquisition of Taylor-Dunn shows they are committed to a long-term strategy. In fact, overcoming these hurdles is building an institutional knowledge of these markets that should improve help them moving forward.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Kawasaki Adds Government/Fleet Section To Website

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

The new 2017 Kawasaki Mule SX 4x4 XC.

Vehicles like the Kawasaki Mule SX 4×4 XC are being marketed to government and fleet buyers.

Kawasaki recently added a section on their website specifically for government and fleet sales. The fleet sales section includes links to information on their work and recreational side-by-sides as well as ATVs. The government section includes motorcycles and personal watercraft in addition to side-by-sides and ATVs. There is also contact information for Michael Jacobs, Kawasaki’s government and fleet sales manager.

This is another indication of side-by-side manufacturers trying to target to additional markets and in particular commercial and work related markets. In many cases, manufacturers with a strong presence in the recreational and crossover market segments are moving more aggressively into the utility segments in search of sales growth. They are accomplishing this by several methods including developing new models or whole product lines for the market, partnering with other equipment manufacturers to access different distribution networks and/or developing new and targeted marketing programs and sales teams.   Learn more:  Kawasaki.com

BRP Unveils Race-Inspired Can-Am Maverick X3 at Phoenix International Raceway

Can-Am Maverick X3 Daytona

The new Can-Am Maverick X3 with Daytona Package.

From BRP Press Release

BRP unveiled a race-inspired Can-Am Maverick X3 Daytona Package during the Can-Am 500, the NASCAR Sprint Cup race being held at Phoenix International Raceway this week-end. Inspired by race fans, the vehicle combines leading Maverick X3 performance and design characteristics along with a distinctly stock-car appearance.

“It’s a privilege to welcome BRP, a world leader in the powersports industry, to Phoenix International Raceway with its strong Can-Am brand,” said Joie Chitwood III, Chief Operating Officer of International Speedway Corporation. “Can-Am has made a solid commitment towards motorsports and the unveiling of the Can-Am Maverick X3 Daytona Package is another evidence of this commitment.”

The defiantly-designed, precise and powerful Can-Am Maverick X3 side-by-side vehicle is built to conquer even the most demanding terrain. With its 154-hp turbocharged inline 3-cylinder Rotax engine and the ability to go from 0 to 60 mph in less than five seconds, the vehicle is all about performance, which is something all race fans appreciate.

“With the Can-Am Maverick X3 vehicle, we set a goal to deliver a clear leader in the sport segment, and our teams worked together and produced a bold vehicle with incredible looks, agility and performance,” said José Boisjoli, BRP’s president and CEO. “We believe race fans will enjoy this dedicated Daytona-inspired look.”

Sponsorship renewed for the 2017 and 2018 seasons

BRP’s Can-Am brand will be present on the NASCAR circuit for the next two years through its collaboration with the GoFAS No.32 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, in association with the Kappa and Cyclops Gear brands. The agreement provides Can-Am with the opportunity to sponsor 36 races, 13 as primary sponsor.

The agreement includes two race title sponsorships– the Can-Am Duel at Daytona and the Can-Am 500 in Phoenix for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Learn more:  BRP.com

Maverick X3 Development Process

Can-Am Maverick X3 X rs side-by-side

The Maverick X3 X rs package is designed for riding the dunes or occasionally above them.

An article in PowerSports Business provides some details of the product development process for Can-Am’s recently launched Maverick X3 side-by-side. The process started from scratch and early on the company researched trophy truck, sandrails and dune buggie markets for design input. Side-by-side users have been migrating from these markets. Based on this research, Can-Am engineered a large trailing arm and up to 24″ of rear suspension to the Maverick X3 lineup. The wider 72″ X3 model will also appeal to the dune riding crowd. Another critical design element is the low center of gravity for the passengers.

The overall design revolved around the words defiant, precise and powerful. Since the X3 was positioned as the top of the product line vehicle, Can-Am wanted it to be a statement vehicle with an aggressive and bold look. Precise refers to the suspension and handling characteristics and powerful refers to the turbocharged engine.

According to Can-Am dealer response to the Maverick X3 has been enthusiastic. The MSRPs for the line were less than they expected given the vehicle features they had heard about, and they liked that they can prep the vehicles and put them in their customer’s hands within an hour. The key demographic for the X3 is men in their mid-40s looking for an exhilarating adrenaline rush and most will be migrating from ATVs or replacing another side-by-side. Learn more:  Powersportsbusiness.com