Shipments of commercial and consumer turf equipment increased in the model year 2000 (September 1, 1999 through August 31, 2000); however, some are expected to decline in the next two years, according to estimates by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI).
In 2000, shipments of commercial walk-behind units were 110,974 compared to 99,735 in 1999 — an increase of 11.3 percent. Shipments of commercial riding mowers increased 20.3 percent, from 87,921 to 105,735. All riding units increased 6.4 percent, from 1,611,783 to 1,715,356.
The OPEI predicts that for the next two years, more equipment shipments will fall, mostly in the area of consumer equipment purchases. In the model year 2001, commercial riding mowers are expected to increase 10.7 percent, from 105,735 to 117,045. However, all riding units are expected to decrease from 1,715,356 to 1,650,797, a 3.8 percent fall. In the year 2002, OPEI predicts that commercial riding mower shipments will increase 13.9 percent, but all riding units will decrease by 1.5 percent.
According to OPEI, decreases were mainly based on the assumption of rising interest rates. However, the weaker economy has prompted a reduction in interest rates. How this will affect equipment sales remains to be seen. Though the economy is weak and consumer confidence has dropped, mortgage rates are dropping, and housing sales are strong.
Source: Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, Inc. (Alexandria, Va.)
TELL US WHAT YOU THINK
You have bought the same brand of mower for years and have been very satisfied. However, the latest one you purchased has been a real lemon. The dealer is sympathetic and cooperative, but the repairs have been continual. What best reflects your attitude regarding your next purchase?
There's no excuse for a lemon. I'm definitely switching brands.
It was probably just a fluke. I'll stick with this brand.
Not sure what I'll buy next, but I'm considering other brands.
I'll try this brand once more, but only because the dealer has been so understanding.
To vote, visit the Maintenance Matters weekly newsletter site, www.grounds-mag-news.com. We'll post the results in the following issue of Grounds Maintenance.
JUNE SURVEY RESULTS
Do you purchase new or used mowers?
A. I buy all new mowers 63%
B. Mostly new, but some used 18%
C. An even mix 7%
D. Mostly used, but some new 11%
E. I buy all used mowers 1%
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