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Harley-Davidson/Buell of Omaha, Inc. – Omaha, NE – April 21, 2003

April 21, 2003
Filed under Power Profiles

CONTACT
7337 L Street
Omaha, NE 68127
402/331-0022
www.harley-davidsonofomaha.com

OWNERS
Jim and Frank Holstein

BUSINESS PROFILE
Approximately 20,000-sq.-ft. dealership founded in 1976; at present location in Omaha since 1983. Carries Harley-Davidson and Buell. 12 employees.

WHAT’S HOT?
Dave Sorg, general manager, says all of the models are hot sellers, “except the Buell Blast,” since Omaha is not a Rider’s Edge store. (That rider-education program uses Blasts as training bikes.) Sorg adds that the dealership does well with a variety of items, especially Motorclothes and collectibles. “We do pretty well with Screamin’ Eagle parts. And every bike that goes out gets accessorized, obviously.”

CUSTOMER BUYING TRENDS
Sorg notes that “years ago” he could have pinpointed a typical customer, “but not anymore. The average income varies from $30,000 per year to whatever. Customers used to just buy the bike — if they could get the motorcycle, that was good enough. Then they’d get the clothing little by little. Now it seems that clothing and accessories are almost more important than the motorcycle. That’s the main trend I’ve seen.” Two other trends Sorg has spotted: More people financing, and a greater influx of women buyers.

ANTI-POWERSPORTS ISSUES
Sorg reports that no anti-powersports issues are affecting the shop. The dealership uses the Omaha Council Bluffs HOG chapter that it sponsors as its main PR vehicle. “We work with HOG on whatever they have going — charity events and such,” including the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

PARTS AND SERVICE
H-D of Omaha has four service technicians, one service writer, and a service manager. “We send the technicians to school when there’s something new going on,” says Sorg. “But there has to be a reason. I don’t see any point in sending someone when they already know it.” Four staffers work in parts. “We just got a new computer system that everybody’s trying to learn — Harley’s Talon II. Our parts department has completely changed. We’ve redone the hard parts area in back. This includes all new shelving. That’s a big job, but it needed to be done since it had been the same forever.”

PROMOTIONAL HOME RUNS
“When things are selling pretty good, there’s really no point in doing a bunch of advertising,” says Sorg. When the dealership does place ads, it looks to newspaper and direct mail, with less emphasis on billboards.

WORDS OF ADVICE
Sorg says he really doesn’t have any words of advice for his fellow dealers, “because I think most dealers are doing a pretty good job.”

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