PowerSports Business

February 15, 2016

Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/636351

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ATV/UTV U.S. racing debut provides value to China-based UTV manufacturer BY DAVE McMAHON EDITOR IN CHIEF The odds certainly weren't in their favor, at least not according to the online forums. There, the Georgia Southern University entrant into the 2015 SCORE Baja 1000 would be lucky to complete a handful of miles. In fact, friendly wagers that the team aboard the Hisun Strike 1000 side-by-side would not eclipse 30 miles could be found online. Some gave them 40 or 50 miles. Maybe. And while the Strike 1000 did depart on the first day, Hisun's e n t r a n t l a s t e d about five hours a n d 1 2 0 m i l e s before safety con- cerns forced the team to withdraw from the compe- tition. A trophy truck had endoed into a ravine — about a 15-foot ditch — and while avoiding the "per- f e c t l y v e r t i c a l " trophy truck, the Georgia Southern team found themselves in the same ditch. "We had several chase trucks but none that were positioned in a way that we could get there quickly," said Ryan Daugherty, vice president of sales and marketing for Hisun Motors USA, who spent four days at the event in Baja California, Mexico. After arriving at the scene two hours after the crash, team members needed only about 40 minutes to replace one of the front wheel hubs, the rack and pinion steer- ing and tie rods. However, the elapsed time at such a late point during the night meant the team would lose the checkpoint support, along with other support along the race course. The Georgia Southern official in charge of the team made the decision to not pursue the race any fur- ther for the safety of his team. The other two entrants in the UTV Sportsman class also did not finish the race. "It was the right decision," Daugherty said. "The vehicle could have kept going, and the will of the team — as a group they certainly wanted to keep going. The kids were extremely disappointed, as you would expect. As a manu- facturer, we understood the most important thing was the safety of those college students." Even so, Daugherty chalked up the experi- ence as a success. "There was no bet online that we would even come close to making it 100 miles, so making it 120 miles was a win in and of itself," he said. Georgia South- ern's race team will be compiling a report that details the race vehicle preparation, as well as the support they would need to make another run at the Baja in 2016. Georgia Southern team members spent nearly two weeks prior to the race's start tra- versing the terrain on Hisun ATVs and UTVs. "As a manufacturer, we learned a lot," Daugherty said. "It was an experience that ultimately will teach us a lot about the vehicle and a lot about the off-road racing environ- ment. The upgrades the GSU team made on the vehicle can be transferred into produc- tion units and improve the product. So yes, I think it's a valuable experience for us to pursue again." PSB Baja 1000 a step forward for Hisun 20 • February 15, 2016 • Powersports Business www.PowersportsBusiness.com MOST RESEARCHED ATV MANUFACTURERS TOP 10 MOST RESEARCHED MANUFACTURERS ON KBB.COM FOR 2015 MOST RESEARCHED UTILITY VEHICLE (SIDE-BY-SIDE) MANUFACTURERS Source: Kelley Blue Book Change in views from 2014 1 1 Polaris up 45% 53.2% 52.2% 2 2 Kawasaki up 16% 11.7% 14.3% 3 3 Yamaha up 15% 11.5% 14.3% 4 4 Can-Am up 86% 7.5% 5.7% 5 5 John Deere up 85% 4.7% 3.6% 6 6 Arctic Cat up 54% 3.8% 3.6% 7 7 Kubota up 67% 2.0% 1.7% 8 8 Honda up 123% 1.8% 1.2% 9 15 Odes up 449% 0.8% 0.2% 10 11 Massimo up 89% 0.4% 0.3% 2015 Rank 2014 Rank Make Share of KBB.com Web hits in 2014 Share of KBB.com Web hits in 2015 Change in views from 2014 1 1 Honda up 28% 25.2% 25.9% 2 3 Polaris up 45% 24.6% 22.4% 3 2 Yamaha up 23% 22.1% 23.8% 4 4 Kawasaki up 31% 7.9% 8.0% 5 5 Suzuki up 26% 7.1% 7.5% 6 6 Can-Am/BRP up 42% 6.1% 5.7% 7 7 Arctic Cat up 31% 5.4% 5.4% 8 9 Kymco up 54% 0.2% 0.2% 9 10 John Deere up 97% 0.2% 0.2% 10 8 E-Ton up 2% 0.2% 0.2% 2015 Rank 2014 Rank Make Share of KBB.com Web hits in 2014 Share of KBB.com Web hits in 2015 29% 22% 20% 9% 6% 6% 5% 3% 27% 22% 22% 9% 6% 6% 5% 2% 25% 23% 23% 9% 5% 7% 5% 2% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% Polaris Honda Yamaha Kawasaki Can-Am/ Bombardier Suzuki Arctic Cat Other 2015 2014 2013 TOP ATV & SIDE-BY-SIDE MANUFACTURERS BY SHARE OF KBB.COM WEB HITS PHOTO COURTESY OF THAR DAUDIER — FILM CLUB GSU (2) KBB.com sees UTV, ATV segments growing in appeal BY LISA PELISSIER CONTRIBUTING WRITER Here's a look at the popularity of pre-owned side-by-sides and ATVs on Kelley Blue Book's KBB.com from 2015, compared to 2014. SIDE-BY-SIDE Utility vehicles showed the most growth of any segment for 2015, receiving 43 percent more KBB.com hits compared to 2014. Polaris utility vehicles gar- nered the most interest for 2015, outdistancing the No. 2 manu- facturer, Kawasaki, by more than four times as many KBB.com hits. Kawasaki and Yamaha both dropped significantly in their share of KBB.com hits in 2015, but Can-Am and John Deere both gained more than 1 percent. Odes and Massimo are new to the top 10 most-researched utility vehicle manufacturers list for 2015, replacing Joyner and Cub Cadet. The increase in interest in Odes has been astronomical: Its utility vehicles received more than five times more KBB.com hits for 2015 than 2014, although some of that was due to values for the full Odes line not being pub- lished on KBB.com until January 2015. ATV ATVs in general gained 32 percent in KBB.com hits for 2015 over 2014, the second- highest increase for any category. As it did in 2014, Honda took the No. 1 spot on this list. However, Polaris has gained. In 2014, the two OEMs were 3.5 percent apart; in 2015, only 0.6 percent separated them. PSB Lisa Pelissier is a senior powersports analyst with Kelley Blue Book. KBB.com: Pre-owned UTVs attract rising views in 2015 Honda was the manufacturer with the most researched ATVs on KBB.com in 2015, holding its No. 1 spot from 2014. Hisun made its UTV racing debut by providing a Strike 1000 UTV to the Georgia Southern University entrant at the SCORE Baja 1000. Hisun's Strike 1000 hits the trail in Baja California.

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