Savage on Sleds: What if...
Two OEMs teamed up to create a low-cost sled?
March 6, 2012
|What we learned at the Big 4's Sneak Peeks this winter got me to thinking (I know it's rare!). We learned about a cooperative effort between Yamaha and Arctic Cat to build a youth sled. I think it may be the seedling of an idea that could solve one of our industry's biggest problems - the lack of a real low-cost ($5,000-$6,000) entry-level sled for newcomers. There are fine entry sleds, but not at that price. |
All us media types have been telling manufacturers for years that consumers want a low-cost modern sled for the kids, the spouse or just to have an extra sled for friends to ride. Wouldn’t it be nice to replace that beat up 1992 440 you have sitting in the garage?
Such a sled would bring new snowmobilers into the sport, folks who today say they are put off by new sleds’ pricing.
So here’s my thought. Yamaha and Cat are cooperating to make a 120 youth sleds for both Yamaha and Cat, (See 2013 Yamaha story, p. 42.) Yamaha provides the engine, Cat the rest of the sled. An OEM recently told us a sled maker likely would need to sell 10,000 units a year for several years to make back the tooling and development costs on a new sled. The entry-level market is not that big for any ONE manufacturer.
But with shared costs and two selling arms it would be more possible, and at an economical price for consumers. Could it work? Automakers do it all the time.
What do you think? Something to consider as this snow-challenged season winds down and we look toward next fall. Happy Trails!