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Early returns show Q2 not so hot at retail

Dave McMahon, Editor-in-Chief
July 24, 2013
Filed under Columns

As avid Powersports Business readers, I wanted to provide you with a first look at the Q2 Dealer Survey we’re hosting in conjunction with RBC Capital Markets.

We’ll provide our typical thorough results in the August edition, but after only a few days of compiling answers, the early returns show 43 percent of dealers were “below plan” during the quarter. About 35 percent were on plan, and 22 percent were “above plan.”

Be sure to call or send me an email if you would like to be included in our quarterly dealer surveys. Dealers who take the 5-10 minutes to complete the survey get the complete results from RBC Capital Markets analyst John Kempf. And once again this year, RBC is offering $100 retail gift cards to five dealers selected at random who have completed the survey.

A Power player

Speaking of dealers, we at Powersports Business are thrilled to announce that ARI Network Services will be sponsoring the Powersports Business Power 50 Dealers program. ARI’s support of the Power 50 in its inaugural year will be tremendous boost to the Power 50 as we provide appropriate recognition to the top 50 dealers in North America. If you’re like your competitor down the street and you think your dealership is one of the 50 best in North America, be sure not to get left behind. Dealer principals or GMs can complete the Power 50 online application form at www.powersportsbusiness.com/power-50. The deadline is July 15 (call or email me if you need a little extra time to complete the application). The applications are coming in at a steady rate, and the contenders are strong, to say the least.

We’ll announce the Power 50 as part of the Powersports Business Institute @ AIMExpo in Orlando. We’re in the midst of completing the dealer education lineup for the AIMExpo event, and it’s going to be impressive and profit boosting. We had an outstanding number of industry experts submit presentations, and you as dealers will be the ones to benefit Oct. 16-20 in Orlando.

A novice at best

A ride up former mining trails in Colorado on the new KYMCO UXV 700i brought some epic views.

A ride up former mining trails in Colorado on the new KYMCO UXV 700i brought some epic views.

My trip to Gateway Canyons Resort in Colorado proved to be memorable on a variety of fronts. Thanks to KYMCO USA’s offer to get more acquainted with the company’s executives — not to mention to ride along some of the most beautiful scenery you’ll ever encounter aboard the new KYMCO UXV 700i — I’m becoming a bit addicted to the side-by-side riding lifestyle.

As a novice at best, my riding skills are still in their infant stages. I suspected that all along, but all I needed was a few minutes sitting side-by-side next to some of the enthusiast media members to understand the paces that these machines can be put through. As I told some of my comrades following the event, I kept the “Oh crap!” moments to single-digits, which was deemed a success.

Gateway was just the starting point for my wild weekend aboard side-by-sides. After departing the luxurious Gateway Canyons Resort, I was off on the mostly unpaved John Brown Trail and headed to Castle Valley in Utah. From there, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks called. Then on departure day, I managed to take a RZR 570 on a guided trail ride in Moab. Between Arches, Canyonlands and three hours on a RZR, the weekend was all of that and more. I hear and read so much about how the desert southwest is such an ideal playground for side-by-sides. After experiencing more time aboard a side-by-side in two days than I ever had previously, I’m already on the lookout for reasons to get back.

Dealer touch

Not sure if dealers attending OEM media rides is atypical or not, but it sure seemed to add to the KYMCO UXV 700i ride. Dustin Sweeten owns Powerhouse Motorsports in Utah, and has been a longtime KYMCO dealer. He’s a fan of the brand, knows the exceptional riding areas in the southwest, and is otherwise a guy who represents the industry well. Would one of your dealers step up to the plate for your brand, taking a week away from the store to answer questions about the brand? Sweeten’s presence at the ride allowed enthusiasts to get better insight into how dealers plan to sell the new product, and otherwise become more familiar with the brand in a less corporate manner. It was different, and an addition that added value to the event.

Not to be overlooked…

Whether you’re selling on the floor, capitalizing on F&I sales or shipping packages to the hundreds of riders every day, sometimes it’s good to know your work is appreciated. I surely don’t through kudos around as much as I should. Fortunately, twice in two days last month, PSB staffers have received some glaring reader feedback about recent stories in the magazine:

“Wow, what a great article you wrote in Powersports Business magazine! I really liked how personal it seemed and the image that it portrayed. Is there any way I can get it in a form we can post on our Facebook page and website? I would also like to make a plaque for our office. I cannot express my thanks enough … great job!”

“Just wanted to thank you on behalf of everyone here. The article was beautifully written, well captured and of course we are just flattered at the incredible opportunity. When we received the latest edition, we all fought to open to our article as fast as we could. The awesome two minutes of silence that followed as everyone on my sales floor, marketing team and executives read at once … it was a very memorable moment. Thank you!”

“Thanks for taking care of the address. We wouldn’t want to miss an issue as it is a great tool for us as powersports business owners.”

“Wow – what timing! I was reading the article and took around the campus to show everyone …  Article was phenomenal! Thank you and your staff, and Liz as well. You guys do a fantastic job!!!”

Dave McMahon is Editor in Chief of Powersports Business. Reach him at dmcmahon@powersportsbusiness.com or 763/383-4411.

 

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