ATV maker's aggressive growth strategy pays off big-time

Can-Am releasing new side-by-sides every 6 months

Even as the ATV market has been expanding, Canadian powersports vehicle maker BRP has been outpacing the industry with its aggressive, targeted growth.

A recent report from research firm Market Insight predicts “outstanding” growth in the worldwide all-terrain vehicle market, including 5.8 percent compound annual growth rate between 2019 and 2024. But in the past five years, BRP has basically doubled its market share, and it plans to double that share again in its side-by-side vehicle business over the next five years, according to Sandy Scullion, senior vice president of BRP’s global retail and services – powersports segment.

“Increasing use of the ATV in the sports, agriculture, and entertainment purpose is likely to drive the demand during the forecast period,” the report states.

Scullion told FOX Business that BRP’s growth has been driven by new technology, its network of dealers and product specialization.

In 2015, BRP President and CEO Jose Boisjoli said Can-Am, which is owned by BRP, would launch a new side-by-side vehicle — off-road vehicles similar to ATVs but usually with more seating and storage — every six months through 2020.

“Every six months we have a drumbeat of launching a new product in the market,” Scullion said. “In our industry, product is king.”

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That flow of fresh new models and accessories has allowed Can-Am to offer a large variety of highly-specialized vehicles for farmers and ranchers, rock climbers, mud riders, youth recreation groups and a variety of utilitarian jobs.

“We used to compete in only a fraction of the segments, and now we’re pretty much in every segment,” Scullion said.

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BRP, which is based in Quebec and also owns brands like Sea-Doo watercraft and Ski-Doo and Lynx snowmobiles, was a relative latecomer when it got into ATVs in 1998. In 2010, it launched its first side-by-side vehicle, the Can-Am Commander. At the time, the market was dominated by the Minnesota-based Polaris.

“The arrival of Can-Am within the industry actually put a lot of pressure on the rest of the competitors to innovate, and together we profit from that healthy industry,” Scullion said.

Can-Am’s push for new side-by-sides every six months helped drive an increase in BRP’s net income from CA$51.6 million in 2016 to CA$257 million in 2017. In its 2019 fiscal year, the company boasted CA$5.2 billion — about $3.98 billion — in annual sales. That was up 23.8 percent from 2018.

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BRP now has 13,000 employees in 120 countries. The U.S. accounted for more than half of its sales in 2019. The company plans to hit CA$6 billion in annual sales by next year, and Scullion said it is on track to his that number.

In November, BRP said its North American powersports retail sales grew 24 percent during its previous quarter. The company pointed to an increased volume of side-by-side vehicles sold and the introduction of the Can-Am Ryker for a 28.9 percent increase in revenues from its “year-round products.”

“BRP at that point is going to be unstoppable,” Scullion said. “We’re on a roll. We have great momentum, super partners with our network and suppliers, and we haven’t seen the end of it yet.”

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