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The right approach to a bad situation

July 13, 2010
Filed under From the Editors

Nel PascaleDALLAS — Combine a Harley-Davidson dealer, an executive from a metric manufacturer, the founder of the largest aftermarket company in the industry with a brand specialist and you get a pretty lively discussion.

That’s what happened last weekend in Dallas at the Tucker Rocky Distributing Dealer Show. On Sunday, Tucker Rocky President Steve Johnson led an industry panel discussion on a range of topics, from changes in marketing and technology to keys for dealership profitability to reaching a new audience.

The latter subject brought forth one of the more interesting comments from the hour-plus long discussion. On the issue of women and their increasingly importance to the industry, Harley-Davidson dealer principal Clark Vitulli discussed his approach to the subject. Vitulli, who owns a Florida Harley store, says when he’s on the showroom floor, he makes an effort to reaching out first and foremost to women and children that enter the store.

“Those are the people that get ignored” at other dealerships, Vitulli said.

Vitulli, in fact, characterized many dealerships as having an “unfriendly environment for women and children” — a notion that is backed by the relatively small percentage of women riders the industry includes today.

More insights from the industry panel will be highlighted in an upcoming edition of Powersports Business.

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