As 2016 comes to a close and introduces us to 2017, it is fun to reflect on the past year in golf car news. Our industry is growing and changing pretty quickly and we have reviewed all golf car news from amazing stories, to business deals, and new innovations to bring you our favorites from the year.
1. Over the Top Luxury Golf Carts
Mercedes-Benz revealed their new carbon fiber golf car complete with leather seats, LED lights, and a heated windshield. The Mercedes-Benz Style Edition Garia Golf Car is over the top with a refrigerator and GPS built in. In true Mercedes fashion, they are taking luxury golf cars to the next level and it will be exciting to see if this trend continues into the new year. We have already seen evidence that luxury golf cars are our future, as the Yamaha DRIVE2 was unveiled this year as well.
2. Golf Cars Meet Politics
This election year was full of twists and turns with the Presidential candidates and supporters took to the streets with yard signs and bumper stickers. The Villages was no exception. The residents used their golf cars to show support of their candidates. Denise Neal jetted around her neighborhood this year in her golf car that quickly became known as the Trumpmobile. With signs of support on the windshield and bumper as well as a custom made Trump front placard and side vinyl, there is no doubt that she supports the President elect. Since The Villages does not allow door to door soliciting, her golf car got the job done for her.
3. And the Industry Reports Are In
Future Market Insights has released their yearly golf car market report which delivers insights on the past year. Their report revealed the following:
- North America accounts for 41.6% of the global golf car market.
- The electric golf car segment has expanded at unprecedented rates and is expected to continue its growth as personal use cars become increasingly popular.
- High demand for golf cars in the hotel/resort and airport industries are expected to increase the demand for golf cars in Latin America and Western Europe over the next couple of years.
- The global golf car market surpassed 1.11 Billion in revenues in 2016.
4. Safety First
It seems that no matter how many warnings are issued or products are offered, golf car accidents occur every year. And 2016 was no exception. In July, five children were injured in Miami after a golf car collided with a moving vehicle. None of the passengers were wearing seat belts and all were ejected. A man in Illinois was killed this year after falling from a golf car that his wife was driving. The wife was charged with a DUI. The Florida Highway Patrol reported being called to nearly 300 serious golf car related injuries this year. The takeaway from 2016 is to encourage members of the golf car community to practice safety at all times.
5. Golf Car Laws
Many states either added or amended golf car laws in 2016. Here are a few of the changes across the country:
- Golf cars will be permitted on all Ohio roadways with a speed limit of 35mph or less beginning in 2017.
- South Carolina residents may now drive their golf cars at night, as long as they are equipped with lights.
- Elections in several states from coast to coast included bills to allow golf cars on public roads. The large majority of them passed, including new laws in Alabama.
Golf cars will, once again, be a hot topic for 2017 and we look forward to digging into exciting topics within the golf car culture.
Julie Wilson, Owner of WHEELZ Custom Carts & Accessories, was one of the industry’s first online retailers of golf cart parts, when she founded her business in 2008. Julie’s eCommerce store, www.WHEELZLLC.com remains a popular online shopping experience for innovative golf car parts and accessories.