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ZTR market size - PLEASE HELP

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by snownh2o2, Dec 5, 2009.

  1. snownh2o2

    snownh2o2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    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.

  2. GPDesign1

    GPDesign1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 428

    Please tell us more about your project- What is the objective?
  3. snownh2o2

    snownh2o2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    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.

  4. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,782

    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.
  5. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    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.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2009
  6. Kutz Lawns

    Kutz Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    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!
  7. snownh2o2

    snownh2o2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Awesome! I can't wait to here from puppypaws and anyone else who can help out. Thanks again.

  8. LarryF

    LarryF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,181

  9. andyslawncare

    andyslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 812

    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.
  10. snownh2o2

    snownh2o2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12


    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,

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