OSSEO, Minn. (WCCO) — Supply issues are impacting sales for a favorite winter pastime.
In some cases, snowmobile dealerships are already sold out of their winter inventory.READ MORE: Target CEO Blames 'Unexpectedly High Costs' For Poor First Quarter Profit
“It’s my only sled I’ve got left for the year, and actually, it’s sold,” said Jordan Deutscher.
Deutscher believes this could be a record year for snowmobile sales — if he had any to sell. He’s a salesman for Heinen’s Motorsports in Osseo.
“Stuff has been going out faster than it’s been coming in. We are on back order lists for everything. You know, it’s difficult to get someone on a machine when you don’t have anything to sell, and that’s what people are wanting right now,” said Deutscher.
Deutcher’s frustrations have been felt by dealers across the state.
“We’re still waiting on sleds that people have had on order since last March, and it looks like some of those won’t arrive until this March,” Corey King said.READ MORE: Minnesota Companies Mining Gold From Nostalgia For Decades Gone By
King is the general manager at Power Lodge in Ramsey. He said normally they’d have up to 300 snowmobiles in stock. This year they’ve only had about 120. When it comes to the supply chain, he said all it takes is one small part to hold up a big sale.
“It’s been everything from a shock component, to a screen, to sometimes even the raw materials to make a piece of the engine. We sometimes have 99% of the engine ready to go, we are missing one part, and it makes the whole thing stumble,” said King.
To make up for a lack of inventory, Power Lodge has been doing something relatively unique: They’ve been renting out snowmobiles to people eager to get out on the trails.
That’s been a popular alternative, because the season is short. And right now, conditions are prime for snowmobiling.
“People need to shift their buying focus from, ‘I want it right now and I’m going to go look for it,’ to, ‘I need to plan ahead,’ and that’s going to be for the next 12 to 18 months at least in this industry,” said King.
King said that inventory is an issue for four-wheelers and motorbikes as well.MORE NEWS: Teen Girls Pitch Apps To Top Executives
Snowmobile dealers said COVID, and even a lack of assembly workers, are also playing a role in snowmobile inventory.