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Dealers mixed on Sunday motorcycle sales

July 12, 2011
Filed under Features

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has signed a new law that amends a 1983 act and will allow motorcycle dealers to sell bikes on Sundays as of September. Some dealers have applauded the change and are excited to sell on Sundays, while others plan no changes.

Dan McCarthy, general manager of Brian’s Harley-Daivdson in Langhorne, Pa., told Powersports Business that his dealership is planning to increase its staff on Sundays. The dealership is already open seven days a week, but sales staff weren’t needed as bikes couldn’t be sold.

“I think it’s terrific. We’re a recreational business, and we really need it,” he said of the jump in business expected on Sundays.

He said the dealership has lost unit sales in the past because it hasn’t been able to sell on Sundays.

“If you take a look at the people in this world and what time they have available, Sunday is a very open day for most people,” McCarthy said.

Though McCarthy is looking forward to the extra sales day, some dealers won’t take advantage of the new opportunity. Mike Miller, owner of Ray’s Yamaha in Reading, Pa., said he will stick with his Monday through Saturday workweek mostly to give his employees a guaranteed day off.

“We will not open [Sundays]. We are pretty big believers that one day, Sundays, are a day of worship or a day to actually enjoy the products that we sell,” he said.

Miller’s concern with the law isn’t about competition. He says it will be great for dealerships, like Brian’s Harley-Davidson, that already do business on Sundays, but he’s worried about other dealers who may open on Sundays without expanding their staffs.

“My big problem I think is a lot of the principal owners only look at it as a day to possibly make more money,” he said.

Miller said he wants his employees to be able to spend time with their families and enjoy a social life on Sundays.

The law, Senate Bill 419, was signed by the governor on July 7 and will go into effect 60 days after passage, according to WNEP-TV. The new law does not affect automobile sales, which are still prohibited on Sundays, according to the website of Pennsylvania state Sen. Tommy Tomlinson (R-Bucks), who sponsored the bill.

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