|Title:||United States number of golf carts sold from 2000 to 2009|
Start of full article - but without data
Golf Car Units Sold
2009 XXXXXX 2008 XXXXXX 2007 XXXXXX 2006 XXXXXX 2005 XXXXXX 2004 XXXXXX 2003 XXXXXX 2002 XXXXXX 2001 XXXXXX 2000 XXXXXX
Note: Table made from bar graph.
Savvy businessmen know that just as many work deals get done on the golf course as they do in a stuffy office. And soon propane dealers could be offering clients a new show-and-tell experience with their business pitches on links across the nation.
Market research done for the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) shows substantial opportunity for selling propane-powered golf cars, utility vehicles and specialized commercial mowers into the golf equipment market. The field covers equipment sales for use in municipal, college, resort as well as golf course applications nationwide.
PERC has contracted with Club Car to develop a new utility vehicle platform for the golf, resort, turf, commercial and industrial markets. Golf course and maintenance crews use utility vehicles in various configurations, including cargo, truck bed, food and beverage, and shuttle. Most run on gasoline.
The $XXX,XXX project is geared to produce a competing propane-fueled version that is expected to reach the market in 2013. The platform hopefully can also be applied to a propane golf car product.
Club Car's product portfolio includes golf cars, commercial utility vehicles, multi-passenger shuttle vehicles, and rough-terrain and t off-road utility vehicles. In 2009 it was the second largest golf car manufacturer with XX percent domestic market share.
According to data acquired during market research coordinated for PERC by Foley & Lardner, a law firm with a division that specializes in representing the golf and resort industry, utility vehicle sales soared to XXX,XXX in 2008 after barely topping XXX,XXX units just XX years ago. The total fell to XXX,XXX in 2009, the last year for which data is available. Golf courses, colleges/universities, municipalities, hotels/resorts and parks/ recreation are the leading markets for sales in North America (see chart, right).
Steve Wayne, PERC's chief commercial officer, says the large, virgin market is ideal for propane technologies on several fronts.
Switching from gasoline and diesel vehicles provides an opportunity to cut fuel and maintenance costs, extend vehicle engine life and reduce emissions that spoil the environment. It can also eliminate problems of theft and spillage that are common with other fuels.
"We're thinking that these markets are going to rebound substantially because people have been putting off purchases due to the economy. They're overdue to replace some of these old products; that's one reason we chose this vehicle for our entry point," Wayne explains.
"You start with utility vehicles that are used in factories and all types of businesses - on college campuses, hospital grounds, parks, hotels. These are everyday vehicles that are used to move equipment and people," Wayne says. "They are typically gasoline-powered vehicles, and we have a convincing story to tell about the benefits of converting to propane."
Utility Vehicle Units Sold Unit Sold
2009 XXX,XXX 2008 XXX,XXX 2007 XXX,XXX 2006 XXX,XXX 2005 XXX,XXX 2004 XXX,XXX 2003 XXX,XXX 2002 XXX,XXX 2001 XX,XXX 2000 XXX,XXX 1999 XX,XXX 1998 XX,XXX
Note: Table made from graph
Market Share by Application 2009-2006
Applications % of Units sold
Commercial Golf X.XX% Other Turf X.XX% Com-N-T X.XX% Industrial X.XX% Gov't X.XX% Consumers Farmers XX.XX% Estates XX.XX% Hunters X.XX% Recreation XX.XX% On-Road X.XX% Note: Table made from graph
2009 & 2008 North American Vehicle Utility Sales by Major Market Segment and Sub Applications
2009 2008 Turf Markets XX,XXX XX,XXX Golf Courses X,XXX XX,XXX Colleges & X,XXX X,XXX Universities Municipalities X,XXX X,XXX Parks & Recreation X,XXX X,XXX Sports Facilities XXX XXXX Nurseries XXX XXX Landscapers XXX XXX Cemeteries XXX XXX Other X,XXX X,XXX
Commercial Non-Turf X,XXX X,XXX Hotels & Resorts X,XXX X,XXX Amusement Parks X,XXX X,XXX Hospitals & Clinics XXX XXX Airports XXX XXX Security XXX XXX Other XXX XXX
Wayne says Club Car is still honing estimates of fuel consumption for the utility vehicles. He notes that golf cars built on the same platform would typically use XX gallons a day - more than X,XXX gallons a year.
Research indicates the market overall is ripe for propane vehicle technology because of the potential cost savings at a time when budgets are lean.
There also is intense pressure from environmental groups and local communities for these businesses to be good stewards of natural resources (water, wildlife habitat) and to minimize greenhouse gas emissions and water and ground contamination from the use of pesticides and herbicides.