Jet Ski and personal watercraft sales set new record in Australia in 2020

As Australia came out of COVID lockdowns and border closures in 2020, we treated ourselves to a record number of Jet Skis and personal watercraft.

Australians bought more new Jet Skis and personal watercraft in 2020 than any other year on record – despite and perhaps because of the coronavirus crisis.

Faced with international travel restrictions in the wake of COVID-19, Australians came out of lockdowns and border closures and treated themselves to more than 8000 new Jet Skis and personal watercraft so they can holiday at home.

While sales hit the brakes in the dead of winter in the middle of the year – and in the middle of pandemic lockdowns across Australia – the industry made up for lost sales with a boom finish to 2020.

Confidential industry data shows more than 4000 new Jet Skis and personal watercraft were sold in the last three months of 2020 – which amounted to almost half the entire year’s tally of 8300 deliveries.

The all-time record of 8300 Jet Ski and personal watercraft sales in Australia was more than 13 per cent higher than the 2019 tally of 7300 sales, and more than 24 per cent higher than the 2018 tally of more than 6700 sales.

Sea-Doo once again topped the charts with a clear lead, accounting for 67.5 per cent of all new Jet Skis and personal watercraft sold in Australia in calendar year 2020, compared to Yamaha (26 per cent market share), and Kawasaki (6.5 per cent market share).

The Sea-Doo tally of approximately 5600 deliveries in 2020 represented an 11 per cent increase year-on-year, versus Yamaha’s tally of approximately 2100 deliveries (a 12.5 per cent increase), and Kawasaki’s result of more than 500 deliveries, which represented a strong recovery of more than 40 per cent growth after a slump in 2019.

The sudden surge in sales towards the end of 2020 left many Jet Ski and personal watercraft dealers across Australia short on stock heading into the 2021 calendar year.

Due to unexpected high demand – and a shortage of incoming stock due to production slowdowns – there were next to zero discounts in the 2020 runout season, which normally makes way for 2021 model year arrivals.

Most dealers have since been holding their RRPs and not discounting heavily because they need to keep their businesses operational on what few Jet Skis and personal watercraft they have coming into stock.

Meantime, many Jet Ski and personal watercraft dealers have been focussing on their parts and service departments to keep the doors open until fresh stock arrives later this year.

As reported by WatercraftZone earlier, the entire Jet Ski and personal watercraft industry has been gripped by severe stock shortages in the first half of 2021. And now experts predict 2022 model year prices could rise amid continued production delays and high demand.

The 2021 sales figures for new Jet Ski and personal watercraft are expected to be hit hard by delays in the arrival of fresh stock, with Sea-Doo, Yamaha, and Kawasaki all reporting delivery estimates well into the second half of this year.

Many dealers are advising customers that if they want a new Jet Ski or personal watercraft for the summer holidays at the end of the year, they ought to get in early and place an order now.

MORE: Prices set to rise on 2022 Jet Skis and personal watercraft
MORE: Yamaha cancels 15 per cent of production in 2021 
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