High interest, low inventory vexes snowmobile dealers

While the pandemic has spurred interest in snow machines, ATVs, local sellers grapple with unprecedented supply chain problems

LOCAL MOTOSPORT DEALERS are limited to bare bones inventories as they juggle supply chain issues with strong interest in outdoor recreation. Dealers have just a handful of snowmobiles in stock this year while normally their lots would be full. (Clockwise from top left) Cedar Creek Motorsports service representative Mark Aderman showed off one of the only snowmobiles left in stock. Mike Eidenberger, owner of Port Yamaha, stood next to a snowmobile and UTV. Nick Kochelek, general manager of Cedar Creek Outdoors, held a snowboard in front of electric bikes the business sells in the summer. Photos by Sam Arendt
By 
CONNOR CARYNSKI
Ozaukee Press Staff

Supply chain delays are working against area snowmobile and all-terrain vehicle providers who continue to ride surging interest in outdoor activities stemming from the pandemic.   

Both Port Yamaha in Port Washington and Cedar Creek Motorsports in Cedarburg report seeing invigorated interest in activities such as snowmobiling and ATV riding since the start of the pandemic, but with limited inventory, the companies may not be making as many sales as they could be.

Mike Eidenberger, an owner of Port Yamaha, said the motorsports provider is battling supply chain issues like many other businesses and manufacturers.

“We’ve never seen inventory levels this low since I’ve been working here, which is 1984,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like this in my lifetime.

Eidenberger said snowmobiles in particular are in low supply. He only has three new snowmobiles and one used one in stock, where normally the shop would have many more on hand for interested buyers.

He added that when new snowmobiles do come in, they don’t stay long.

“The turn ratio is incredible. Nothing lasts here very long,” Eidenberger said. “Most of it is pre-sold before it gets here.”

Eidenberger said much of his time is spent fielding quote requests for snowmobiles and ATVs without having merchandise to sell.

You’re working hard but it’s hard to get a sale when you don’t have a product to sell,” he said.

Despite the lack of vehicle sales during a time where there is strong demand for outdoor activities, Eidenberger said his business is going strong with accessory and parts sales, although they are subject to their own supply chain issues.

Julie Newhauser, an advertising representative with Cedar Creek Motorsports, reported similar issues.

She said finding vehicles and parts can be challenging, and when items do come in, they’re often bought soon after. Though early in a winter season with little snowfall, Newhauser said Cedar Creek is nearly sold out of snowmobiles.

She said shortages are partially due to supply chain challenges and partially due to strong interest in outdoor recreation that spiked when indoor activities were restricted because of the pandemic.

“People are snapping up what they can,” she said. “We still have high demand for snowmobiles.”

As families sought outdoor activities during the pandemic, Newhauser said, people who may have not taken an interest in motorsports initially began considering it. She said the increased demand opened the door to other family members who wanted to get out of the house.

“We’re seeing a lot more families doing the sport together,” she said.

Newhauser noted that Cedar Creek Outdoor, which is selling skis and snowboards, in a locations adjacent to Cedar Creek Motor Sports, is also seeing a surge in business.

“It’s our first official year selling skis and snowboards. It’s going really well,” she said.

Eidenberger said even his distributors aren’t sure when the supply chain will return to normal, and he’s seen little improvement since issues began in spring 2020. Everyone he speaks with has a different idea about when things will return to pre-pandemic standings but all he can do is wait and make the most with the inventory he does have.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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