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View Full Version : ZTR market size - PLEASE HELP


snownh2o2
12-05-2009, 03:14 PM
As a new member to the forum, I’d like to start by saying Hello. I currently am a student at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. I am studying in their business program. Before school I worked for a small local commercial mowing outfit that cut about 400 acres a week.

I have a class project that I am doing involving ‘Doing MARKET RESEARCH’ The assignment is to pick a product, I chose commercial zero turn mowers, and find out everything I can about the market for them. I started this project thinking Google would have me finished very quickly. Not the case. So next I tried calling the different manufactures, yet they were reluctant to divulge any of their coveted information. Next I tried called the largest commercial mowing companies, but no go. I have made nearly 100 calls, was promised at least 20 call backs, and so far I have nothing. I have now turned to guys for help. Please give me anything you can, even if it is an estimate or a best guess (also please state how confident you are in your information). Little tid-bits can also be helpful as I may be able to piece them together to create myself a picture of the market.

What I am looking for is a general overview of the market specifically for zero turn movers. I want to get an idea of the number of units and/or dollars sold per year. I would also like to know how the market has grown or declined over the last few years and has the residential ZTR mowers impacted the commercial market in anyway. Finally I would like any other info that you feel maybe valuable for my project.

Currently I really do not have much of a grasp on the market for this project. Is it $100M, $500M, or could it be over $1B ? I have no idea. I have heard a few times that Exmark has the biggest market share and it is around 40%. I do not know that this is a fact, but it’s a start. If I knew an estimate of their sales on ZTR mowers I think I would start to be headed in the right direction. I have also heard that Exmark’s regional managers do about $50M in sales each year, but I don’t know how many regions they have.
I am a student using your information for the purpose of my school project. Anyone that has information that they would rather not post for confidentiality or other reasons, please email me @ mattm @ lehigh . edu or send me a PM. If you would rather speak on the phone, please email me and I will send you my phone number. Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.

Matt

GPDesign1
12-05-2009, 06:12 PM
Please tell us more about your project- What is the objective?

snownh2o2
12-05-2009, 07:25 PM
The objective of the project is 3 fold. First we are learning about secondary market research. This is the porcess of finding out information that a potential product may be sold in. In the real world there may be no exact product to the one we have, so similar markets must be researched and than assumptions must be made. That is beyond the scope of the course that I am in. That is why each person in the class picked an existing product that already has an existing market. I now also think the professor is also trying to show us that gathering this information is much much harder than one might think.

The second phase of the project is primary market research. Primary market reseach is the process of figuring out what the customer might want in a product. It normally does not involve asking a potentional customer if they would like the product you have, but rather asking them what tasks they need fulfilled. We will be doing a mach version of this after the secondary market research portion has been completed.

The third phase of our project is to forecast the potential for our product. Since all of our products are real life products they should all have potential. We will write a business plan as if we wanted to pitch our product to investors. In the end we will have to pitch the idea to our professor as if he was the investor.

So far the project has been very fun, and I think the professor has really created a good learning experience for all of his students. Once again, thanks in advance to anyone who can give any assistance.

Matt

MOturkey
12-05-2009, 07:49 PM
Sounds like an interesting project. One suggestion that might be a "back door" approach. Why don't you go to some of the local dealers? You might get some information from them, after explaining your project (you might start with the dealership that sells equipment to whomever takes care of the grounds there at the univirsity), or ask them to put you in touch with their sales rep for the various zero turn manufacturers.

This seems to be a little more "personal" approach, and might help you work up the chain until you get the information you seek. Good luck.

mowerbrad
12-05-2009, 07:49 PM
There is alot that you can do with this, I'm not exactly sure the specific information your looking for but I will try my best.

The zero turn mower market is comprised of many manufacturers, some of which you probably have never heard of. The smaller/unheard of companies take up a very small share of the market. But then there are alot of large manufacturers that do take up a large portion of the market (ie; exmark, toro, deere, scag, hustler, etc.). I highly doubt that Exmark has a 40% share in the market, as there are so many other large companies in this market, but I could be wrong.

Different areas of the country have different mowers being used, so the major brands being used around you may not be used around me. The mowers being used in your area (your local market) will greatly depend on what dealers are in your area. So what you may see in your area will likely not reflect the market of the entire country. I have found that even some lesser brand mowers may make up a great portion of your local market, but actually make up a very small portion of the entire market.

Zero turn mowers come in all different types. You will have some more specialty mowers like the walker mowers and the exmark navigator type mowers. Then there are the traditional mid-mount ztr's that you are probably most used to seeing. And of course their are the front mount ztr's that don't have the dedicated baggers. So the market is comprised of multiple types of ztr's, not just one type.

The zero turn mower is a newer style mower compared to the walk behind style mowers. So over the last 10+ years the zero turn mower as been gaining it's popularity and share of the market. But over the last couple years the zero turn has seen a "rival" mower come into the picture, the stand-on. The stand-on type mowers have been out for a number of years but haven't gained great popularity until the last few years. So now the ztr market is having to compete with the walk behind market and the newer stand-on market. The ztr's popularity is still high but is having to compete with more types of mowers than ever.

When someone is looking for a zero turn mower (or any mower for that matter) they will take into consideration many factors. They would have to consider the types of properties they service (flat or hilly, large or small, bag or mulch or discharge, number of obsticles, type of grass, etc). Certain mowers will do better than others in specific applications. You will also need to take into consideration the dealers around you (good service, friendly, knowledgable, good product, etc). And then you may even have to consider the size of your place of storage and the size of the trailer you will be hauling the mower with. There are alot of things that need to be figured out by the potential buyer before they can go ahead and buy the mower.


Hopefully this helps you.

Kutz Lawns
12-05-2009, 07:59 PM
Man, did you waste a lot of time calling around for inside information, you should have came here first!

puppypaws is THE man on here that can tell you everthing there is to know about inside track of information in the mower industry world & he's just a farmer too!

Just give him a couple hours or a couple days, he'll chime in!

snownh2o2
12-05-2009, 08:18 PM
Awesome! I can't wait to here from puppypaws and anyone else who can help out. Thanks again.

Matt

LarryF
12-05-2009, 09:15 PM
Matt,

In case you haven't seen this yet, it's a pretty good article containing general background information on the ZTR mower. Good luck with your project.

http://www.igin.com/article-880-zero-turn-mowers-past-present-future.html

andyslawncare
12-05-2009, 09:46 PM
I don't think many people on this forum will be able to help with how the market is... We are just consumers and users of the products. I know I pay ~$12,000 for a new Exmark, and around here they make up the majority of pro's equipment.

snownh2o2
12-07-2009, 02:13 PM
Larry,

I had read that article and I agree with you, it is very good. It really gives a nice backround / overview.

Thanks for your effort,
Matt

NEWGUYRI
12-07-2009, 08:24 PM
go to yahoo finance and look up some of the major companies profit reports. Here's John Deere's: http://finance.yahoo.com/q/is?s=DE&annual

snownh2o2
12-09-2009, 10:50 AM
Newguyri,

Thanks you for the suggestion. I have gone through my list of zrt manufactures and identified the publically held corporations. Unfortunately there were less than I had expected. I dove into the yearlys, quarterlys, and a few of the odd balls statements and really was unable to separate out the volume done in the zrt market for any of the corporations. I also contacted OEPI and they were tight lipped even thought I am a school student willing to sign a NDA.

I then thought it might be advantageous to find the larger publicly held commercial companies and look at the equipment section of their balance sheet. Unfortunately most of these mowing companies are privately held.

If you would happen to catch something that I may have missed, please direct me toward it.

I appreciated your suggestion, and encourage yourself and others to keep suggesting, even at the chance I may have thought of it already, as I may not have.

Thanks,
Matt


PS ... I heard that puppypaws may have all the knowledge I need to further my project. I anyone talks to them, please point them towards my posts. Thanks again.

Littleriver1
12-09-2009, 01:16 PM
There are two markets for commercially produced z turn mowers. Many home owners with large acreage are buy z turn mowers instead of the tractors with finishing mowers.

TomberLawn
12-09-2009, 04:59 PM
snownh2o2 (does mean it's snowing hydrogen peroxide?),
I know puppypaws and will send him a message for you. I'm sure he will be glad to help you. His dealer is the largest in the area and carries several lines of equipment, so he might be able to get you some information from his reps.

In case it helps with any of your research, the SIC code for commercial mower manufacturers is 3523 (farm machinery and equipment) and residential mower manufacturers is 3524.

snownh2o2
12-10-2009, 09:06 AM
Tomberlawn,

I don't know why, but for some reason most people think its just a bunch of jumbled letters (snownh2o2). In actuality it was chosen about 10 years ago in the days of AOL. It actually stands for snow & water with a 2 after it because the first time I signed up with snownh2o, I messed it up and it locked out the name, hence snownh2o2. Snowin Hydrogen Peroxide would also be correct, however I had never looked at it that way before your post.

Thanks for trying to but me in touch with puppypaws and for the information you provided too. I will have look them up but I will later on in the day.

Thanks again,
Matt

puppypaws
12-12-2009, 12:26 PM
I want to get an idea of the number of units and/or dollars sold per year.[/B] I would also like to know how the market has grown or declined over the last few years and has the residential ZTR mowers impacted the commercial market in anyway. Finally I would like any other info that you feel maybe valuable for my project.

Matt

You will not get an accurate answer for this question. I will try to give you a little insight on some of the markets. To give you a good indication, Toro is the largest producer generating the most income from mower sales, with Exmark being the largest in sales of zero turn mowers for several years, and Toro owning Exmark.

John Deere is the strongest financially but a small player in the zero turn market.

QUOTE:

Toro Professional

"Professional segment net sales for fiscal 2009 totaled $965.9 million, down 25.9 percent from fiscal 2008. Demand in key professional end markets including the golf, municipal and landscape contractor, remained soft throughout the year as customers generally chose to defer purchases of new equipment and irrigation systems. Despite the sales decline, aggressive efforts to lower field inventories position the company for growth in the eventual recovery. For the fourth quarter, professional segment net sales were $165.3 million, down 21.8 percent from the prior year period.
Professional segment earnings for fiscal 2009 totaled $127.6 million, down from $233.4 million last year. For the fourth quarter, professional segment earnings were $1.2 million compared to $13.8 million in the same period last year.

Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses for fiscal 2009 were down 12.9 percent, but increased to 26 percent of net sales from 24.2 percent last year. For the fourth quarter, SG&A expenses were down 6.5 percent, but increased to 32.9 percent of net sales from 29.7 percent in the same period last year. While the company has been aggressively reducing expenses, the drop in sales volumes was greater than the rate of decline in SG&A costs.

Other expense for fiscal 2009 was up $4.0 million compared to last year, and increased $1.8 million in the fourth quarter over the prior year period. The increase was mostly due to higher expense for litigation settlements.

Accounts receivable at the end of fiscal 2009 totaled $143.7 million, down 43.9 percent, on a revenue decline of 15.4 percent for the fourth quarter."

The last numbers I heard was Exmark sales were down 52%, Scag was down 38%, Hustler was down 24%, Ferris was down 40%, Bobcat was up 6% and Bad Boy up 14%. These are the higher volume zero turn mower sales companies at this point in time.

The economy being extremely weak in 2009 brings into reality a company not going below 30% in sales will not bankrupt them, it is not good but they can recover easily with correct management. It looked worse for Exmark percentage wise but 52% of 500,000 is not nearly as bad as 52% of 100,000.

Bad Boy is gaining market share faster than any zero turn mower company in business. They are actually causing the more expensive mower companies to produce a lower caliber mower to compete, such as Hustler with their Big Dog line. It doesn't matter if someone likes a particular brand or not, the smallest amount of common sense helps people realize competition is good for any market.

snownh2o2
12-28-2009, 09:43 AM
Puppypaws,

Thanks for the reply. It is by far the best information I have recieved thus far. I have a couple more quick questions? Do you have any idea if the numbers from the Toro professional were referencing Toro and Exmark or just Toro as a standalone? Also the $.95B net sales figure; is that total ZTR market net sales, or just Toro or Toro/Exmark. Finally, do you have any ballpark information on the number of ZTR mowers sold in a recent year or an idea of the percentage of the market that Toro/Exmark holds?

Currently fiction:
The way I see it, if the combination of Toro and Exmark net sales is roughly $1B and I just guess that they sell an average mower to a dealer for $5,000, then they are selling 200,000 mowers per year. If they together have 50% marketshare, then there are 400,000 units being sold industry wide per year.

There is still a hole lot of speculation in what I wrote above, so if anyone could help firm up any of my assumptions it would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks you,

Matt



PS ... Not to rush anyone, however I have to give a preliminary presentation to my professor in about a week and a half. Thanks again.

PPS ... On a final note, if anyone knows a rep. or someone else that would be willing to speak to me off the record, to give me a better feel for my project, please send me a way to contact them or have them contact me @ phone number six, one, zero, - five, nine, seven, - eight, nine, five, eight. Everything will be help confidential and nothing will be spoken of as factual. Thanks.

NEWGUYRI
12-28-2009, 03:19 PM
puppypaws gives some good insight, however remeber Toro Professional is not fully lawnmowers, it includes construction equipment, etc.

puppypaws
12-28-2009, 07:58 PM
Puppypaws,

Thanks for the reply. It is by far the best information I have recieved thus far. I have a couple more quick questions? Do you have any idea if the numbers from the Toro professional were referencing Toro and Exmark or just Toro as a standalone? Also the $.95B net sales figure; is that total ZTR market net sales, or just Toro or Toro/Exmark. Finally, do you have any ballpark information on the number of ZTR mowers sold in a recent year or an idea of the percentage of the market that Toro/Exmark holds?

Currently fiction:
The way I see it, if the combination of Toro and Exmark net sales is roughly $1B and I just guess that they sell an average mower to a dealer for $5,000, then they are selling 200,000 mowers per year. If they together have 50% marketshare, then there are 400,000 units being sold industry wide per year.

There is still a hole lot of speculation in what I wrote above, so if anyone could help firm up any of my assumptions it would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks you,

Matt



PS ... Not to rush anyone, however I have to give a preliminary presentation to my professor in about a week and a half. Thanks again.

PPS ... On a final note, if anyone knows a rep. or someone else that would be willing to speak to me off the record, to give me a better feel for my project, please send me a way to contact them or have them contact me @ phone number six, one, zero, - five, nine, seven, - eight, nine, five, eight. Everything will be help confidential and nothing will be spoken of as factual. Thanks.

Full Description: The Toro Company (Toro), incorporated in 1935, designs, manufactures, and markets professional turf maintenance equipment and services, turf and agricultural micro-irrigation systems, landscaping equipment, and residential yard and snow removal products. The Company operates in three segments: professional, residential and distribution. Its products are advertised and sold at the retail level under the trademarks of Toro, Exmark, Irritrol, Hayter, Pope, Lawn-Boy and Lawn Genie. During the fiscal year ended October 31, 2009 (fiscal 2009), the segments professional, residential and distribution accounted for 63%, 35% and 2%, respectively, of the Company's net sales. During fiscal 2009, the Company acquired certain assets of Ty-Crop Manufacturing Ltd., a manufacturer of topdressing and material handling equipment for golf course and sports fields applications.


Professional


Toro designs professional turf and agricultural products and market them worldwide through a network of distributors and dealers, as well as directly to government customers, rental companies and large retailers. Products are sold to professional users engaged in creating landscapes, irrigating turf and agricultural fields, and maintaining turf, such as golf courses, sports fields, municipal properties, and residential and commercial landscapes. Products for the landscape contractor market include zero-turn radius riding mowers, heavy-duty walk behind mowers, mid-size walk behind mowers, stand-on mowers, compact utility loaders and walk-behind trenchers. These products are sold through dealers and are also available through rental centers to individuals and companies who maintain and create residential and commercial landscapes on behalf of property owners. The Company markets its products to landscape contractors under the Toro and Exmark brands. During fiscal 2009, it introduced the Toro GrandStand.


The Company’s products for the sports fields and grounds market include riding rotary mowers and attachments, aerators, and debris management products, which include versatile debris vacuums, blowers and sweepers. Other products include multipurpose vehicles, such as the Toro Workman, which can be used for turf maintenance, towing and industrial hauling. These products are sold through distributors, who then sell to owners and/or managers of sports fields, municipal properties, and residential and commercial landscapes. During fiscal 2009, it introduced Groundsmaster 4500-D and 4700-D. It also introduced Toro Workman HD series of utility vehicles.


The Company’s products for the golf course market include large reel and rotary riding products for fairway, rough and trim cutting; riding and walking mowers for putting greens and specialty areas; turf sprayer equipment; utility vehicles; aeration equipment, and bunker maintenance equipment. It also manufactures and markets underground irrigation systems, including sprinkler heads, controllers, turf sensors, and electric, battery-operated, and hydraulic valves. Turf irrigation products marketed under the Toro and Irritrol brands include sprinkler heads, plastic and brass valves, and electric and hydraulic control devices designed to be used in residential and commercial turf irrigation systems. Turf irrigation products marketed under the Toro and Irritrol brands include sprinkler heads, plastic and brass valves, and electric and hydraulic control devices designed to be used in residential and commercial turf irrigation systems.


The Company’s retail irrigation products are marketed under the Toro and Lawn Genie brand names. Products for the micro-irrigation market include products that regulate the flow of water for drip irrigation, including Aqua-TraXX PBX drip tape, Aqua-TraXX PC (pressure-compensating) drip tape, Blue Stripe polyethylene tubing and Drip In drip line, all used in agriculture, mining and landscape applications. In addition to these products, it offers a range of control devices and connection options to complete the system. These products are sold primarily through dealers and distributors who then sell to end users for use primarily in vegetable fields, fruit and nut orchards, vineyards, landscapes, and mines.


Residential


The Company markets its residential products to homeowners through a range of distribution channels, including outdoor power equipment dealers, hardware retailers, home centers, mass retailers and over the Internet. These products are sold mainly in North America, Europe and Australia, with the exception of snow removal products that are sold primarily in North America and Europe. It also licenses its trade name to other manufacturers and retailers on certain products. The Company manufactures and markets walk power mower models under its Toro and Lawn-Boy brand names, as well as the Pope brand in Australia and the Hayter brand in the United Kingdom.


During fiscal 2009, the Company introduced a range of Lawn-Boy walk-power mowers. The Company manufactures and markets riding products under the Toro brand name worldwide and under the Hayter brand name in the United Kingdom. It also manufactures riding mower products and attachments for a third party under a private label agreement. It also sells lawn and garden tractor models, as well as a rear engine riding mower manufactured and sold in the European market. It designs and markets home solutions products under the Toro and Pope brand names, including electric and battery operated flexible line grass trimmers, electric blower-vacuums, electric blowers, and electric snow throwers. In Australia, it also designs and markets underground and hose-end retail irrigation products under the Pope brand name. Toro manufactures and markets a range of gas-powered single-stage and two-stage snow thrower models. Single-stage snow throwers are walk behind units with lightweight two- and four-cycle gasoline engines.

NEWGUYRI
12-29-2009, 07:10 PM
http://www.deere.com/en_US/ir/index.html JD investor relations

http://www.thetorocompany.com/index.html Toro Investor Relations

These are the two big public companies

also, MTD- http://finance.yahoo.com/q/is?s=MTD&annual

If I think of any more I will post.