Canada West outstrips USA West in snowmobile sales by 41%

Western Canada is a lucrative market when it comes to snowmobile sales, far outpacing its neighbour to the south

by Keith Powell

Picture of winter snowmobile scene, with U.S. and Canadian flags superimposed on top of picture.
Snowmobile sales in Western Canada are a profitable, and often overlooked, market. Photo courtesy Nova Guides/SnoRiders

For years, I have been telling snowmobile manufacturers, sled dealers, snowmobile enthusiasts and just about anybody who would listen that western Canada is a critically important sales market. A market that maybe doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. So I am happy to finally have the numbers to prove it. The International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association (ISMA) was kind enough to release these number to SnoRiders, and we are pleased to present them to our readers.

According the ISMA, total snowmobile sales in western Canada for 2014 was 19,499 machines. Compare that with the American west (including Alaska) snowmobile sales of 14,799 units.

That means that snowmobile sales in western Canada outpaced the western USA by 25 per cent, and if you take out Alaska, it adds up to a 41 per cent difference. The staggering thing about these numbers is that the population of the American west is some 64 million, compared to a far sparser population base of 11.2 million in western Canada—or almost six times larger.

Here’s a list of 2014 snowmobile sales by market:

NEW SLED SALES -- Canada West

  • Alberta - 7,743
  • Saskatchewan - 4,387
  • British Columbia 3,410
  • Manitoba - 2,398
  • Nunavut - 883
  • Northwest Territories - 391
  • Yukon - 287

Total: 19,499

NEW SLED SALES -- USA West

  • Alaska - 3,293
  • Colorado - 2,216
  • Idaho - 1,899
  • Montana - 1,876
  • Wyoming - 1,626
  • Utah - 1,498
  • Washington - 1,278
  • Oregon - 553
  • California - 416
  • Nevada - 144

Total: 14,799

What’s the number one snowmobile sales market in western Canada?

In 2014, Alberta racked up sales of 7,743 new 2014 sleds, which is almost 77 per cent more than second place Saskatchewan. It is more than double the number of snowmobiles sold in Alaska—the number one market in the western USA—and more than three times as many sleds as sold in Colorado, which is the number one sales leader in the continental western U.S.

All four western Canadian provinces (Alberta, B.C., Saskatchewan and Manitoba) substantially outpaced the likes of Colorado, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. It should be noted that individually, Alberta, Saskatchewan and B.C. sold significantly more snowmobiles than the USA west market leader Alaska.

Snowmobile sales leaders in western Canada:

  1. Alberta - 7,743
  2. Saskatchewan - 4,387
  3. B.C. - 3,410
  4. Manitoba - 2,398

There is no denying western Canada is an important snowmobile market as one OEM representative recently told me, “We often use western Canada as an important test market for new innovations in snowmobile design and manufacturing.” 

While both the Canadian west and the American west are important markets to the snowmobile manufacturers and dealerships, unfortunately, it sometimes seems like the Canadian market doesn’t receive the respect it deserves.

The numbers don’t lie, western Canada is an increasingly important sales market for the entire snowmobile industry. 

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