Dave McMahon, Editor-in-Chief
December 28, 2012
Filed under Power 15 Dealers
Mosites Motorsports is leaving the Great Recession in its dust. With double-digit growth in each department from 2011 to 2012 despite flattish unit sales over the same time frame, general manager John Zalenchak has seen his staff build from its add-on sales. He estimates average department growth of 12-16 percent, with parts up 50 percent from 2011.
“Our new unit sales are up a percent or two, but the sales margin is up 13 to 15 percent,” Zalenchak said. “We’re selling the same amount of product and making more money. We figured a few things out in terms of looking at the business and our efficiencies. On paper we start at the top and when we’re both tired and want to agree on something, that’s where we stop.”
Mosites’ pre-owned unit sales also have been “pretty flat” in 2012, but the margins have once again seen growth. “We’ve made more money at it. We’re buying at auction, and with some brands being down to running flat, I guess we’re sitting OK. We’re up in used, but not the numbers I want to see. I want one new sold for every one used sold, and we’re at about three new to one used.”
By having a back-up plan in place for a manager’s mid-year departure, Mosites was able to show gains in the F&I department. Zalenchak had been training another employee as a back-up F&I staffer, and she was able to step in and complete paperwork and other processes thanks to proper training.
As a former F&I manager himself, Zalenchak lives by menu ordering in the department. It helped generate a 13-14 percent increase in sales compared to 2011.
“We didn’t have that when I was doing it,” he said. “The menu makes it easy to step in if you haven’t had that much experience. And it helps with compliance. I definitely like our menu sales.”
Showing growth of 50 percent compared to 2011, Zalenchak says he stocked much more product on the floor and in back stock. “We have it here, we’re buying it right, going to the shows and taking advantage of the offers with the different tier levels and deeper discounts,” he said.
Zalenchak had worked in every department of a dealership except service. So earlier this year, he added the title of service manager to his duties. The result? A 15 percent increase in the department.
“Service has always been my thorn,” he said. “It was a learning experience for me. I went to a seminar and we got a grip on some things, and we did fine.”
He waited until after the busy season to hire a new service manager.
Supplying the Pittsburgh Pirates with a Can-Am Spyder every year for their Pirate Parrot mascot has helped with the store’s brand recognition, and bike nights sponsored by Mosites have taken on a life of their own. There are currently eight sponsors of the bike nights, and this year a nearby non-competing dealership joined.
“Bike nights are a large part of our budget, but that is decreasing because of the sponsors,” Zalenchak said. “We give away anywhere from $750-$1,000 in gift cards at each event, so it’s nice to rotate that every week with another dealership.”
With three trailers and a box truck, Mosites is ready for action.
“If it can be associated with motorcycles or powersports, we’re usually there,” he said. “January through March is our busiest time of the year with events.”
Radio advertising is on life support, “not dead, but we’ve done some tests and we’re not getting the crowds that we
once did. We go more with social media.”
Zalenchak says optimizing inventory levels has had a favorable impact on the dealership’s bottom line.
“You have to keep it in line to make money,” he said. “We’ve been really good lately with our inventory and managing it. There’s been a little bit of push from OEMs trying to get inventory back up, but we fight that off a good bit now. Before, it was ‘OK, let’s take it.’ Now we’re a lot smarter than we used to be, just like everyone else. We don’t have an inventory issue anymore, and that’s helping us grow the way we have.”
What attracts employees to your dealership?
At Mosites, it starts with the owner.
“Doug is one of the most down-to-earth owners out there. He has a real passion for the sport and the industry. A lot of people respect him and the way he believes the dealership should be run,” Zalenchak said.
Location: North Huntingdon, PA
# of Locations: 1
Full-time employees: 25
Year founded: 2005
Principal/Owner: Doug Mosites
OEM brands: Aprilia, Can-Am, Honda, Kawasaki, Piaggio, Sea-Doo, Ski-Doo, Triumph, Vespa