By Mirela Setkic, Marketing & Operations Manager for ChopperExchange.com.
Last night, I was sitting in my Corporate Social Responsibility class at University of South Florida here in Saint Petersburg. The professor, who is also a consumer research analyst for LukerOnTrends.com, was going on and on about the current state of our economy. As I was about to tune out his lengthy lecture, the professor brought up a PowerPoint slide about American consumer confidence and discretionary spending from 2006. The numbers were shocking.
According to LukerOnTrends.com, in 2006, 74% of American households had an annual income of less than $75,000 and 29% of American households had an annual income of more than $75,000. Of the 74% who earned less than $75,000, more than 50% had no money left over after household bills were paid. Of the 29% who earn more than $75,000 per year, less than 1% had no money left over after household bills were paid. According to LukerOnTrends.com, these statistics have not improved since 2006.
According to the Conference Board Consumer Research Center and the Nielsen Company, American consumers’ appraisal of the current business and employment conditions remains low due to the current state of the American labor market. In July 2011, only 13.4% of the surveyed consumers described business conditions as “good”, while 39% of consumers appraised the current business conditions as “bad”. Furthermore, more than 44% of consumers said that jobs are “hard to get”, compared to only 5.1% of consumers who stated that jobs are “plentiful”.
Not only did the above research data serve as a major reality check, but it also made me wonder if American motorcycle manufacturers and dealers are forgetting “the average American” consumer who may love American motorcycles but simply cannot afford them due to the current state of the U.S. economy. American motorcycle manufacturers and dealers should embrace this time in our history as an opportunity to empower the “average American motorcycle consumer” by offering motorcycles affordable to those who make less than $75,000 per year.
The bottom line is that motorcycle dealers must be willing to make deals in order to get Americans on two wheels.
For additional information on American consumer confidence and trends, please visit www.conference-board.org and www.lukerontrends.com.