Rise in cruiser sales leads to service expansion
Dave McMahon, Editor-in-Chief
February 9, 2013
Filed under Features
Dealership expands with tech hires, additional lifts
Extensive growth brought significant changes to Simply Street Bikes in 2012. For starters, Minnesota’s largest pre-owned dealership got renamed to appropriately tap into the touring and cruiser market that has driven its recent sales success. Previously known as Simply Sport Bikes, the dealership could no longer overlook the touring and cruiser market potential.
“One-third of our business is in the touring and cruiser market, so we didn’t want to turn off the Harley buyers and metric cruiser buyers with our name,” general manager Brian Cox said.
The name change, which occurred Jan. 1, is only the most recent undertaking. In 2012, the dealership’s service department grew from three lifts and three techs to five of each. Cox hired one tech who had been laid off at another shop due to a lack of work, and another is just out of school, providing support on oil and tire changes.
“We’ve seen a lot of demand and growth in the service department in that touring and cruiser market,” Cox said. “We hate turning customers away, and we really see potential for more growth there.”
Cox credits “the largest selection of tires in town, with the cheapest prices in town,” for the bulk of the service department’s profits. The tire lineup includes Dunlop, Michelin, Pirelli and Bridgestone, among others.
“That’s our go-to. We sell them the tire, bring them in for service. They see what we offer. It gets people in the door,” he said.
A Jiffy Lube-like approach to service has also been beneficial to the store’s growth.
“We do while-you-wait service,” Cox said. “So you come in, and if you have an appointment for a tire or oil change, we have you back out the door. The Harley guys love that, because they’re typically looking at a week or more just for an oil change. The growth has allowed us to offer service on older bikes, too.”
The service department expansion can also be seen in the building itself. Previously, service took up about 1,000 square feet. After a renovation, it’s now about 2,500 square feet.
“It’s just a lot better setup — brighter, clean, more professional looking. It’s really nice,” Cox said.