Greeley Harley-Davidson and Wild West Motorsports
Chris Peters, Contributing Writer
December 28, 2012
Filed under Power 15 Dealers
Under one roof, Greeley Harley-Davidson and Wild West Motorsports have been offering customers a wide array of products, and doing so with great success. Greeley earned Harley-Davidson’s Platinum Bar & Shield Award in 2011 and ranks third nationally in sales among Harley dealers.
Though under two names, it is one business. According to general manager Steve Larson, the dealership wanted to keep it’s Harley-Davidson identity, while also serving customers looking for ATVs, UTVs, scooters and more.
Between Greeley Harley-Davidson and Wild West Motorsports, the dealership capitalizes equally on new and pre-owned products.
“We are particularly selling a lot of Harleys and a lot of Polaris product,” said Larson. “On the Harley side, both new and pre-owned sales are up.”
Larson explained that the dealership has placed an extra emphasis on finance over the past year. Seeking experts in the field has been beneficial.
“We have some consultants that come in and help us with that,” he explained. “We pay constant attention to our finance process and finance numbers. We’re always trying to be at the very top end of the dealers out there in terms of our finance production.”
Greeley has an expansive apparel selection. When it comes to MotorClothes, the dealership has done very well carrying Harley garments as well as other brands like FOX, Oakley and Thor.
“I think one thing that we’re seeing increase is the tech-style jackets, the riding jackets,” Larson said. “We have a lot of fashion wear and that stuff is still doing well, too. We want to get you outfitted in your gear, but we also hopefully want to take another spot in your closet and be in your casual wear, too.”
Like many dealers across the country, Greeley/Wild West has experienced a significant uptick in service and has increased staff over the last year to meet the growing demand.
“This past year, in 2012, we experienced more service business than we could really comfortably handle,” Larson said. “To deal with that, we stepped up the service significantly.”
In recent months, Larson has hired two new employees for the service department.
Larson explained that since the dealership added Polaris to its inventory, the service department has continued to see growth.
“There’s a lot of service work and a lot of accessories tied to Polaris and Harley-Davidson and those two brands have really driven our service department,” he said.
“We do constant events,” Larson said. “We do events that don’t necessarily have to do with motorcycles.”
From a costume contest called “Harley-ween” to an annual turkey fry near Thanksgiving, Greeley Harley-Davidson is finding ways to attract people to the dealership. This year’s turkey fry, which encouraged attendees to bring a toy for Toys for Tots, fed more than 200 people.
Events have become so important that when the dealership does advertising, it advertises its events as opposed to the products.
“I don’t want to advertise discounts,” Larson said. “I want to advertise reasons for people to come into the store. If we can get the bodies in the door, our staff does a fantastic job of giving them the attention they need and then that will turn into sales.”
“My boss has always told me, inventory is the only thing we make money on,” said Larson. “We’re constantly evaluating our inventory. I don’t know if it’s any different than any other dealer out there, but it’s just constant effort. We try not to let up on it.”
What attracts employees to the dealership?
“Having the right employees is a very long-term approach. It takes some time,” Larson said. “What I mean by long term is, we’ve had many people come in to apply that have said, ‘I’ve been in here before, it’s a lot of fun. You guys are always doing a lot of events and having a good time. I want to be a part of that.’ People become aware that it’s a lighthearted, fun place to be and they want to become part of it. They’re not just applying at some motorcycle dealership — they’re trying to get into this one.”
Location: Greeley, CO
# of Locations: 2
Full-time employees: 30
Year founded: 2002
Principal/Owner: Steve Risdal
OEM brands: Harley-Davidson, Honda, Yamaha, Polaris