Key Consumer And Commercial And Lawn And Garden Products Show Overall Increase For Model Year 2003

A strong housing market, record levels of home mortgage refinancing and tax cuts helped stoke demand for and provided the cash to purchase outdoor power equipment over the past year. Shipments of key consumer lawn and garden products increased overall during the 2003 model year (September-August), even though some small-volume categories showed declines according to official 2003 industry estimates released by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI). Shipments for all consumer product categories showed a 5-percent increase for model year 2003 over 2002 with total shipments at 8,103,217 units. With growth in all riding categories, including a large increase in rear engine rider shipments due to the increase in zero-turn models, the 2003 model year ended with an 11-percent increase for all riding units. Walk-behind mowers increased 4 percent to 6,000,000 units but walk-behind tillers showed a decrease of 5 percent to 295,320 units.

The net total for commercial turf care products showed a 4% increase in the 2003 model year with total shipments of 228,032 units. The zero turn radius technology has continued to boost the commercial turf care industry with an increase of 22 percent in all commercial riding mowers to 141,867 units which completely offsets the decrease of 17 percent in commercial walk-behind mowers to 86,165.

The model year for these products was September 1, 2002, through August 31, 2003, and the industry estimates represent shipments destined to U. S. markets only.

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) is the major international trade association representing the manufacturers and their suppliers of consumer and commercial outdoor power equipment such as lawnmowers, garden tractors, utility vehicles, trimmers, edgers, chain saws, snow throwers, tillers, leaf blowers and other related products. Founded in 1952, the Institute is dedicated to promoting the outdoor power equipment industry by undertaking activities that can be pursued more effectively by an association than by individual companies.

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