Snowthrower Shipments Down for 2003

Estimates by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) for Model Year (MY) 2003, which ended in February, indicate that snow thrower shipments slipped by 31.1 percent from the 2002 level. The 2003 Model Year (March, 2002 through February, 2003) indicated that shipments for snow throwers were 565,397 compared to 820,200 for MY 2002. Optimism for the future abounds, however, because the snow thrower shipment season is short and has always been subject to large swings in retail inventory.

Recent history clearly demonstrates this. 2002 was a great year for shipments but the season was dry and mild so retail inventory accumulated. This in turn dampened snow thrower shipments during the 2003 Model Year. This past winter season was harsh and this greatly reduced the level of product inventory. This all bodes well for shipments in MY 2004.

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