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Feb. 11, 2008 – Dealer aims to trade fun for used units

February 11, 2008
Filed under Features

A dealership is taking a new approach to obtaining used inventory: using the lure of Las Vegas to drive business.
Although some financing finalizations still need to occur, M101 Powersports CEO Mike Shell plans to open a dealership showcasing preowned units in Las Vegas some time this quarter. He plans to market the dealership throughout the United States, most of which will be through word of mouth and the company’s Web site.
Customers will be asked to drive or haul their motorcycles or other powersports units to the Las Vegas dealership. Shell’s staff will do a vehicle inspection and based on the results, the customer could get a voucher for a free, two-night stay at a casino. Shell says he’s currently working with Harrah’s Las Vegas and MGM to provide the rooms.
“Right now, we’re in the process of receiving the final amount of funding,” Shell noted. “We made some letters of intent on some properties; we’re that close.”
Shell also is working on giving the consumer a discount for his or her way home. He notes Southwest Airlines and U-Haul have agreed to discounts, but the companies are waiting for the M101 Powersports financing confirmation.
“If a guy sells me a desirable unit for $10,000, I’ll fly the guy home for $99,” Shell said. “If a guy sells me something that I’m only going to make a couple hundred dollars on, then the guy will have to accept the discount or find his own way home. It just depends on the deal and the product.”
Shell says he will buy all bikes, recondition them if they need it and set up a certification program. Shell will buy all powersports vehicles because he notes, “you can wholesale most of it at some point.”
For his showroom floor, however, he will only showcase units that are under six years old.
To start off, M101 Powersports will sell to consumers and dealers. As the company becomes more established, its customers will expand, including possible auctions and exporters.

Business Expectations

Given that Shell plans to purchase all powersports units and is marketing nationwide, getting enough space for those vehicles was key. Shell says he plans on having a showroom floor that will 20,000-30,000 square feet and a warehouse that will be 200,000 square feet.
Shell has additional plans for some of the expected inventory. “We will wholesale a lot of the excess inventory that we don’t want. Then, we will export. We will do a lot of exporting,” Shell said. “There’s hundreds if not a thousand exporters that come into America each year for used bikes. I would rather be the guy who sells it to them and make my 20 percent. That would be less work but more money.
“We will probably turn the inventory quick enough for the first couple of years. After that, we will then have the proper channels and wholesalers in place.”
Shell plans to expand M101 Powersports nationwide. psb

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