The annual GIE expo in Louisville is typically a good indicator of trends in the Lawn and Garden industry. Things like attendance, exhibition space, and the number of new model introductions at the show speak volumes about the health of the industry.
So what can we take away from this year's show? The industry is strong and continuing to grow. The record number of attendees were treated to several new model launches and new innovations from suppliers. UTV's and residential zero-turns seem to represent the largest segments for growth.
The most prominent product launch in the UTV segment was the new Gravely Atlas jobsite vehicle. A totally new design from the ground up, the Atlas places a premium on utility and offers class leading towing ability. For more info visit their site: http://www.gravely.com/en-us/utv
A new innovation that caught everyone's attention was the Michelin X Tweel Turf. A non-pnuematic tire developed jointly with John Deere, the Tweel looks like a bit of space age technology planted on a zero-turn mower. The investment on the part of these two companies is a great indication of how important innovation and product differentiation is becoming in the zero-turn market. To see the Tweel, visit Michelin's website: http://www.michelintweel.com/tweel-Turf.html
Of course for GDI, the most important part of the show is seeing how many manufacturers are still trusting GDI hour meters to monitor their equipment. From walking the show floor it is easy to see GDI's NewGen Series hour meters are still the industry standard for quality and reliability.
As manufacturers set their sites on the future and seek new ways to differntiate their products GDI will be working along side them to ensure they have the technology necessary to move the industry forward. Looking forward I think that 2015 should be the best GIE Expo yet.