Twenty-three percent of owners of UTVs (side by sides) have purchased an audio product for the vehicle, according to a study by Clarity Research published late last year by SEMA.
Additionally, 12 percent of UTV owners say they plan to buy a sound system for the vehicle.
Powersports audio has become a new focus for car audio suppliers, with well over a dozen suppliers beginning to ship new products in the segment this spring, in pursuit of a small but promising market.
As evidence of the growing demand for audio in powersports, it is attracting the attention of the vehicle makers themselves.
A spokesman for Honda Powersports Lee Edmunds said of customer interest in audio for UTVs, “anecdotally, we see the evidence of it out there…. It’s one of the biggest accessories added to side by sides.”
For that reason, Honda is exploring offering some type of audio option for side by sides. “It’s something we are looking at for the future,” Edmunds said.
He notes that the demand for in-vehicle audio is specific to UTVs rather than ATVs as many UTV owners take their vehicles camping or on other trips and want to add music to the experience.
About 250,000 UTVs are sold annually and about 100,000 of them are used specifically for sport and recreation, such as riding in the desert or open spaces. The key demand for audio is found in the sport UTVs, and Honda estimates the penetration will be higher than 23 percent in this segment.
Other UTV categories include multipurpose (say for farming and hunting) and work.
Honda’s UTVs start at $8,999 and include the Pioneer 700, 704 (4 passenger) and 500.
Here is some more data on UTVs from the Clarity/SEMA report:
- 15 percent of UTV owners have purchased “stereo mount kits” and 9 percent plan to
- The top 3 states for UTV sales are Texas, California and Ohio
- The 12 percent figure for UTV owners who plan to buy a sound system is on a par with other popular accessories for UTVs– 15 percent plan to buy a lightbar/LED lights, 15 percent plan to buy all terrain tires, 13 percent plan to buy GPS/navigation, 13 percent plan to buy a hard top roof, and 13 percent plan to buy a rear view mirror.