Establishments in this industry are primarily engaged in the retail sale of new and used automotive vehicles, equipment, and supplies, not elsewhere classified, such as snowmobiles, go-karts, dune buggies, utility trailers, and golf carts. Also included in this industry are establishments primarily engaged in the retail sale of aircraft. Not included in this classification are automobiles, light trucks, recreational vehicles, motorcycles, boats, motor scooters, all-terrain vehicles, and personal watercraft.
All Other Motor Vehicle Dealers
In 2004 the U.S. Census Bureau reported 2,292 firms engaged in the retail sale of new and used automotive vehicles, equipment, and supplies, not elsewhere classified. Major segments of this industry are retailers of snowmobiles, go-karts, and aircraft.
Snowmobile retailers sell new and used snowmobiles, parts, and equipment and are involved in the servicing of the vehicles. Dealers contract to carry the product lines supplied by the four snowmobile manufacturers worldwide: Arctic Cat, headquartered in Thief River Falls, Minnesota; Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP), headquartered in Valcourt, Quebec, Canada; Polaris Industries, headquartered in Medina, Minnesota; and Yamaha Motor Corporation USA, headquartered in Cypress, California. There were 1,815 snowmobile dealers in the United States in 2006, and more than 85,000 full-time jobs are generated by the snowmobile industry in manufacturing, dealerships, and tourism-related businesses.
The sport of snowmobiling is relatively new; snowmobiles were first mass produced in the 1950s by Bombardier Inc., a Canadian company. Forbes magazine estimated that the market peaked in 1971, when dealers sold approximately 500,000 units. Snowmobile sales decreased steadily in the early 2000s. In 2006 unit sales fell below 100,000 for the first time since 1993. More than 140,000 sales were registered as recently as 2001, after the industry's 1990s peak of 170,325 units sold in 1997. Michigan is the state with the largest number of registered snowmobiles (374,522), followed by Minnesota (278,886), Wisconsin (215,758), and New York (149,610). Among less populous states, Idaho had 48,900 registered snowmobiles, followed by Maine (73,275), Montana (31,259), New Hampshire (44,000), North Dakota (18,185), South Dakota (11,898), and Wyoming (34,852). A total of 1.64 million snowmobiles were registered in...