The powersports audio market is humming along and will see another two to three years of growth, according to Wet Sounds, one of the market pioneers.
At that point there will be more product on the market than demand, as more companies expand their powersports lines, said Richard Young, Wet Sounds VP Sales.
Wet Sounds said it has been growing at a rate of about 20 percent a year. And it has an OEM business that’s growing at about 30 percent a year.
Its next move is expanding into vehicle-specific powersports subwoofers (as well as new universal powersports subwoofers) later this year. It will also expand into the category of lifestyle audio. Though it wouldn’t offer specifics, it said the lifestyle audio product is already in production and will be released in the near term.
“Vehicle-specific is the way the industry is going, even though universal fit may be easier for dealers. Side by sides have a 2 or 3 years turnaround. It makes it more difficult, but it’s what consumers are asking for, Young said. “They want to mount subwoofers, and in some vehicles, space is insane,” he added.
Earlier this year Wet Sounds made the unusual move of appointing a CEO from the retail sector. JR Stocks joined the company after holding senior management posts at leading chains Custom Sounds and Freeman’s Car Audio.
Stocks said Wet Sounds’ new products will also address the different types of UTV/ATV users. “It’s almost an East Coast-West Coast thing.” In the Southeast, UTVs and ATVs are used primarily in mud and wet environments, “where in the West it’s guys riding on the sand dunes and rock crawling. They are two totally different consumers. So the guy in the mud wants the product as high up as it can go. However, guys riding in the sand want the product down lower because they are trying to keep a low center of gravity…”
Wet Sounds has been more focused on the Southeast type of customer and will start offering West Coast style products.
Wet Sounds is also looking at the motorcycle market. “As a retailer I saw one brand end up with a cult following basically by accident. This brand didn’t market to the category, they had a compression driver and an awesome 6” x 9” speaker and that product ended up on some bikes. From there the word spread through forums and via social media creating a bit of a windfall for the brand and their dealers….Wet Sounds is known for our compression drivers…. I see a great opportunity for us to grow into the motorcycle segment, where the demand for loud product is high.”
Photo: JR Stocks