A Look Back at 2020 and a Look Forward to 2021 in Power Sport and Outdoor Equipment

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Many people call 2020 a dumpster fire of a year, but if one sifts through the ashes, they may find plenty of salvageable items.

Bob McCue, Channel Marketing Director at Walbro, likes to look at the positives. There was plenty to speak of in terms of Walbro’s results and its surrounding industries –marine, power sport and outdoor power equipment.

“With people staying at home, we saw this shift in the outdoor power equipment industry,” McCue said.
2020 statistics showed record growth, and units increased by five million. And, while sales were up for most of this segment, sales decreased for commercial lawn equipment by 5%. There was a definitive cause and effect relationship in outdoor home maintenance due to the pandemic.

Walbro did experience many of the same challenges other businesses faced in the wake of COVID-19 shutdowns. There’s been supplier bottlenecks to deal with and other related pandemic issues to keeping employees safe.

Adaptation is the word here, and Walbro is organizing into business streams to work effectively during the pandemic. And one of the innovative marketing techniques they’re using is internet influencers spreading the word about their products. Once one of these influencers does a video, McCue said Walbro immediately sees a bump in sales.

Looking ahead, McCue said the news is a similar growth trend in the industry. One big difference is the commercial lawnmower market, which shows trending up 5% from the previous year.

“So, in essence, that would get back to what they were pre-pandemic,” McCue said. “But the consumer lawnmower, the handheld market, the power sports market; all those are forecasting sales increases for 2021.”

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