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A supply-and-demand side effect for this summer?

February 1, 2011
Filed under From the Editors

Nel PascaleGreg Heichelbech, the new Triumph North American CEO, brought up a topic repeatedly during the brand’s recent dealer meeting that should be uniformly addressed throughout the industry: Discounting.

More specifically, steering the showroom floor conversation away from discounting and more toward the value of the product.

Triumph is rolling out a program that should do just that — full details in the upcoming Powersports Business — and we know of other spring programs that are in the works to accomplish the same.

It’s too important of a topic not to have the OEM and the dealer fully engaged in.

The irony of this quest to improve profit margin on new unit sales is it’s likely to happen regardless of how well we change the showroom floor culture. Why? Simply put, supply and demand.

The number of metric motorcycles that were exported into the United States last year was less than a fourth of what came into the country in 2008. Yes, our retailed new unit sales are down roughly half from that time, but the sheer unit drop off is incredibly steep.

Obviously we still have a couple of months left before the spring season kicks in and more units are on their way to these shores, but a healthier market and a continued rise in gas prices could make for an interesting supply-and-demand side effect: Healthier margins.

Metric exports to North America:

United States
2008: 372,362 units
2009: 160,655 units
2010: 88,074 units

Canada
2008: 37,131
2009: 21,986
2010: 18,177

Source: Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA)

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