Here’s How Many Snowmobiles Were Sold Last Year
Have you ever wondered how many new snowmobiles were sold in the last year? And where? Us too.
Beyond mere curiosity, a look at the worldwide sales of snowmobiles can offer us some insight into the health of our sport. More sleds sold is a good thing of course, but how is that achieved?
How many snowmobiles are sold each year is reflective of many factors, making it difficult to accurately predict whether snowmobile sales may rise or fall from year to year.
Here’s our take on what are the key factors that affect how many new snowmobiles are sold worldwide each year:
- Political factors. The price of oil (for sales in Alberta, Canada anyway!) supports higher incomes = more money thrown at new toys. Unemployment and lower wages = sled swap haggling.
- The pandemic that shall not be named drove everyone outside, resulting in a lasting boost to snowmobiles sales since Winter 2020-21. So basically, widespread disease increases sled sales. Noted.
- Snow conditions the previous winter – No one is immune to F.O.M.O. (Fear Of Missing Out), and epic winter conditions will drive adventure seekers straight to the dealership. Meanwhile, a bad winter will have wishy-washy trail riders reconsidering their options.
- Production capacity – If enough sleds can’t be produced to meet demand or dealerships have nothing to sell, total new sled sales will suffer.
- Quality and availability of riding areas – A wide variety of trails and riding areas helps disperse crowds and provides a better experience. This is why it’s so important to be respectful and stick to legal trails and areas, so that existing riding areas do not become threatened by closure.
- New riders – Then pandemic drove many first time riders into our sport, and increasing numbers of demographics such as youth, women and people from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds are a welcome addition to our community of riders.
- And the final factor driving hordes of adventure seekers into the backcountry? How awesome the latest issue of Mountain Sledder is. This should probably be #1 actually. We’re that influential.
So now that we know the main factors driving the ups and downs of snowmobiles sales, it’s time to take a look at the numbers from this last year, Winter 2021-22, before making some bold predictions about next winter.
How Many Snowmobiles Sold in Winter 2021-22
In total, for Winter 2021-22, there were 130,644 new snowmobiles sold worldwide, a decline of 2% from the strong year prior.
104,764 in North America, of which:
- 53,821 were sold in United States
- 50,943 sold in Canada
- 0 in Mexico (apparently they’ve had a number of bad snow years)
25,880 in Europe and Russia, a 10% increase from the year before, of which:
- 3736 new sleds sold in Finland
- 8671 in Sweden
Winter 2022-23 Sled Sales Prediction
So what are our predictions for snowmobiles sales growth for Winter 2022-2023, you ask? (You didn’t ask? Oh well, too bad.)
- Political factors. At the time of publication, the price of oil is flirting with historical highs = turbo sled snowchecks for everyone who is employed north of Red Deer. Braaap! For this exercise, we’re just going to disregard inflation, the rising cost of living and the fact that no one is selling sleds in Russia this winter.
- Health. Monkeypox may or not be a thing, but regardless, many people will likely play it safe and buy a sled just in case. There’s no faster or better way to escape the contagious hordes than at Wide Open Throttle.
- Snow conditions. This kinda depends where you live. British Columbia had epic snowfalls last winter. Other places not so much. Year to year this may balance out, but the Winter 2022-23 snow forecast for BC is looking pretty good once again. Sales in Western Canada will go triple uranium.
- Production capacity. Huge question mark here. As we all well know by now, the ‘Big Four’ snowmobile manufacturers struggled with parts supply issues (and other pandemic-related issues) that prevented the manufacturers from scaling up to meet huge demand for new sleds in Winter 2021-22. This shortage left dealership floors largely barren and some customers waiting to receive their snowchecked sleds. For Winter 2022-23, worldwide supply problems are destined to continue to some degree, even if other issues (such as labour force stability for example) subside. For model year 2023, all four manufacturers have limited spring sales quantities (of some models at least, if not the whole lineup) with the goal of improving delivery timelines over 2021-22. Verdict: Total sales will once again be curtailed by production capacity limitations.
- Riding Areas. Many snowmobile organizations are making massive efforts (the Ski-Doo Snow PASS grant program is just one example) to help sustain and improve areas for us to ride and enjoy our sport. In the short term, volunteerism and rider compliance will go a long way to keeping our sport healthy. Join a club and support the efforts!
- New Riders. Why not introduce a friend or family member to snowmobiling this winter? If you love it, chances are they will too. The Polaris Empowersports Women’s Riding Council is an example of one manufacturer’s effort to support inclusivity and grow participation in our sport.
- We’re working on the 10th Anniversary issue of Mountain Sledder magazine! It’s going to be full of awesome content, and many more people will be inspired to seek out the overhead blower pow, thrilling riding experiences and camaraderie showcased in our magazine.
In summary, if production capacity allows it, new snowmobile sales will bounce back from a slight decline last winter with new growth. Demand will stay strong, and production capacity will begin to improve as pandemic-related issues subside over time. Sales in North America will increase slightly, checked only by increased cost and inflation. In Scandinavia, sales will increase more significantly, which will help offset the complete tanking of sales in Russia.
But regardless of how many new snowmobiles are sold this year, there’s going to be blue skies, smooth trails, deep snow and enough stucks for all!