Motorcycle, marine, leisure, and garden batteries can provide strong margins, different seasonal profiles, and lucrative new markets for factors to explore throughout the year. Factors should look to diversify their product portfolio and reduce their dependence on seasonal light vehicle battery sales, explains Exide Technologies.
There are millions of motorbike, motorhome and boat owners in the UK. This customer base is wealthier than average and will spend good money to get the best replacement parts. For factors, this presents an exciting opportunity to diversify revenue, reduce the seasonality of battery sales, and gain a foothold in new markets.
“Savvy motor factors are seeing a strong case for tapping into growing, underserved segments of the battery market. Areas like motorbike, marine and garden offer sizeable opportunities, and provide a natural counterweight to the seasonality of car battery sales,” said Craig Everett, UK Marketing Manager at Exide Technologies.
New motorhome registrations
UK motorhome registrations are up 13% year- on-year, according to the National Caravan Council. At a time when the economy is weak and new car registrations are down 5%, a 13% increase shows the market’s strength and resilience. Motorhome battery sales accelerate at the start of spring, perfectly timed for when car battery sales are declining from the winter peak.
Exide is a leading supplier of motorhome and caravan batteries. Its range has been verified by the National Caravan Council, and it is an OE supplier to leading manufacturers such as Carthago, Reisemobile and Hymer.
The company also has an excellent reputation in the marine market, where it has OE relationships with brands such as Catana, Azimut and Jeanneau. Exide’s Start AGM, Dual AGM and Equipment Gel products have been verified by DNV for safe and reliable use at sea, a coveted endorsement for marine market products.
Lithium-ion motorbike battery speeds ahead
More than one million motorbikes are registered in the UK. Motorbike owners are passionate about their bikes, and often prefer higher-quality, higher-margin products that offer greater reliability and performance. This creates a favour able environment for motor factors, with customers less sensitive to price than in other segments of the battery market.
Exide Li-Ion, the company’s new lithium-ion motorbike battery, has been showing impressive sales. It is up to 80% lighter than a standard lead-acid battery, which allows for faster acceleration and better handling. It offers super-fast recharging and has very low self-discharge, making it ideal for seasonal use.
A cut above the rest
Exide is also a supplier of ride-on mowers. This market, comprising residential and commercial customers, provides a considerable source of sales. The same batteries are suitable for small agricultural and plant machinery, increasing the addressable market.
Exide Garden is a new battery series. It uses a calcium/calcium alloy and provides good starting power and a long lifespan. The battery offers excellent coverage from just two types, making it easy for stockists to enter the market. Exide Garden is suitable for machinery from Husqvarna, Jonsered, John Deere, Stiga and others.