The Utility Task Vehicle (UTV) industry just got a new home and dealer training program, UTV University, at the Green Industry & Equipment Expo (GIE+EXPO) and Hardscape North America, the world’s largest trade show for the garden, lawn and outdoor power equipment industries. The announcement was made March 8 by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), which is the majority partner in the mega trade show to be held Oct. 19-21, 2016, at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky.
UTVs are the chosen workhorse of those with big loads to haul in all territories. The addition of training sessions at GIE+EXPO for UTV dealers is a sign that this market segment is coming of age, noted Kris Kiser, president and CEO of OPEI.
More than 400,000 UTVs were sold in North America in 2015, and the industry projects that sales will grow even further, as UTV dealers have an abundance of current and prospective customers. On average, consumers spend more than $1,700 on accessories for UTVs, so dealers need to be well versed in the options available.
“Nearly two out of three UTV buyers accessorize their units, and one in three buys the UTV with accessories pre-installed, so there is profit to be made by showcasing and upselling accessories with the sale of UTVs,” Kiser said. “Even better for UTV dealers, 40 percent of UTV buyers purchase their accessories from UTV dealers.”
Including UTVs in the mega trade show makes sense, added Kiser, because UTV safety standards are managed collaboratively with OPEI as the trade association representing the utility market. GIE+EXPO also includes every segment of the outdoor power equipment industry, including the UTV manufacturers.
The UTV education sessions will be held the first day of the show, Oct. 19, from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. The education program will have a trade focus and feature classroom-based sessions conducted by recognized powersports industry experts from Powersports Business.
“GIE+EXPO has grown significantly, and is the largest home to showcase the utility products,” said Kiser. “In fact, we’re anticipating our largest show ever in 2016, which is coming off the heels of last year’s record-breaking attendance.”
In 2015, GIE+EXPO’s footprint was 1.35-million square feet (more than 30 acres and the size of 27 football fields), making it the largest ever for this mega trade show and, in fact, one of the largest trade shows in the United States. In 2015, the show was attended by more than 21,000 people from around the world, representing an 11-percent increase in registration over the previous year. For more information about GIE+EXPO, visit www.gie-expo.com.