Jet Ski sales in Australia: Sea-Doo is now three out of every four sold

Exclusive data sourced by Watercraft Zone shows Sea-Doo increased its dominance in the Australian personal watercraft market last year, as Yamaha and Kawasaki struggled with stock shortages.


Sea-Doo accounted for three out of every four new Jet Skis and personal watercraft sold in Australia last year – its highest market share on record – as Yamaha and Kawasaki grappled with severe stock shortages and shipping delays.

While sales of Jet Skis and personal watercraft in Australia dipped last year, exclusive data sourced by Watercraft Zone shows market-leader Sea-Doo increased its dominance locally – having previously accounted for two out of every three PWCs sold in Australia in the years leading up to the global coronavirus pandemic.

The decline in sales of Jet Skis and personal watercraft in Australia over the previous 12 months is believed to be the first significant slowdown since the Global Financial Crisis in 2008 and 2009.

Against this backdrop, Sea-Doo sales dipped by 5 per cent compared to the prior year, while Yamaha (down 44 per cent) and Kawasaki (down 25 per cent) were hit hard by production slowdowns.

Overall, the total number of Jet Skis and personal watercraft reported as sold in Australia in 2021 were down by 16.7 per cent compared to the previous calendar year.

However, total personal watercraft sales in 2021 were higher than in 2018, providing evidence the industry is still growing.

While Watercraft Zone does not currently have access to sales data prior to 2018, the 2021 figure for Yamaha is believed to be its lowest annual WaveRunner sales tally in at least the past five or six years, if not longer.

The 2021 data also represents the single biggest year-on-year decline in Yamaha WaveRunner sales on record in Australia.

Over the past decade, sales of Jet Skis and personal watercraft in Australia have climbed steadily by an average of approximately 5 per cent year-on-year, say industry sources.

Sales of Jet Skis and personal watercraft began to accelerate over the past five years or so, with the introduction of more affordable models (such as the Sea-Doo Spark and Yamaha EX series), and the introduction of more user-friendly features on full-size models (such as the Sea-Doo Fish Pro and Yamaha FX series).

The Boating Industry Association of Australia (BIA) said deliveries of boats and personal watercraft declined last year due to production slowdowns, parts shortages, and shipping delays amid the global pandemic.

“It was a year like no other,” BIA spokesman Neil Patchett told Watercraft Zone.

“There have been a handful of small dips in annual sales over the past 20 years, but the overall trend is positive growth.”

While 2022 is off to a slow start, with ongoing production slowdowns and shipping delays, all three brands – Sea-Doo, Yamaha, and Kawasaki – say they are working overtime to ramp-up production ahead of the next Australian summer.

Sea-Doo dealers in Australia have recently received new shipments of 2022 models, but deliveries to Yamaha and Kawasaki dealers are still only trickling through.

Yamaha and Kawasaki head offices have advised their Australian dealer network to expect ongoing delays – and a lack of accurate arrival timing – until at least the middle of this year.

Watercraft Zone understands Australia will get a boost in the number of production slots after the US summer season mid-2022.

It means that supply of new Jet Skis and personal watercraft in Australia will likely remain tight until the second half of this year.

With the Australian summer season over, some customers located in cooler coastal areas are now contemplating pushing their existing orders back to a 2023 model, to get next year’s colour scheme.

However, for now, there is no guarantee 2023 model-year Jet Skis and personal watercraft won’t be impacted by ongoing delays.

As previously reported, Watercraft Zone advises customers waiting on a 2022 model to stay in contact with their Sea-Doo, Yamaha, or Kawasaki dealer. 

It is worth noting the information supplied to dealers changes regularly.

And they, too, are trying to get the skis out the door as quickly as they can – once they arrive.

Links to our recent coverage on stock shortages are listed below.

 Year  Sea-Doo  Yamaha  Kawasaki  Total market
 2018  4695  1530  485  6710
 2019  5070, up 8 per cent  1920, up 25 per cent  390, down 24 per cent  7380, up 9.7 per cent
 2020  5650, up 11 per cent  2165, up 13 per cent  550, up 49 per cent  8365, up 13.7 per cent
 2021  5345, down 5 per cent  1210, down 44 per cent  415, down 25 per cent  6970, down 16.7 per cent

Above: Sales of personal watercraft in Australia, and the percentage change from the prior year. Figures have been rounded.

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