Winchester Motosports – Clearbrook, VA – June 30, 2003
June 30, 2003
Filed under Power Profiles
117 Hopewell Road
Clearbrook, VA 22624
Carl and Dana Lucci
8,300 sq. ft. dealership founded in 1994. “We were in a smaller building for the first six months, then moved to where we are now,” says Dana Lucci. “We added a new warehouse at the back last Spring.” Carries Ducati, Moto Guzzi, Triumph, and Victory motorcycles, and Polaris ATVs. Largest-selling segment is motorcycle. Eight employees.
“This shop deals with franchisers that are overseas,” says Lucci. “Many times our customers get information via the Internet — even before the dealers are provided with that from our franchisers. That is a real issue for us. Another issue is that we try very hard to give our customers good value for their money, but we’re not too inclined to discount the bikes to cost, like many dealers are. We’re seeing a lot of price shopping — customers saying, ‘I can get this bike in California for $8,500.’ My immediate response is, ‘Then I suggest you go to California — because I can’t stay in business if I sell it to you for that.’”
The Luccis also see safety “getting to be more of a big deal. We’ve lost a couple of customers who were killed. That’s always very difficult for us, because they get to be like family. Carl and I are both older, so we have no compunctions about telling our customers who to go out with, how to dress, that kind of thing.”
“We carry unique lines,” says Lucci. “We have a pretty good mix; it’s a fun shop to visit, with all kinds of good stuff to look at and ride. The new Victory Vegas is very popular, and Moto Guzzi is also doing well right now. We sell a lot of helmets and leather. We carry the brand-specific leather — Triumph and Ducati — which sells very well. As far as ATV accessories are concerned, we’re moving a lot of lifts, carts, and mowers.”
CUSTOMER BUYING TRENDS
Lucci describes Winchester’s customer base as “very broad, very sophisticated — because the lines that we sell are very sophisticated. Most people who come in to look at Ducatis, Triumphs, or Moto Guzzis know as much about the motorcycles as we do.
“It’s a very loyal group, particularly the Guzzi people; they tend not to sell their motorcycles, just buy another one.” Winchester plays host to a Victory club and the Riders of American Triumph (RAT) group.
“RAT sponsors some rides that leave from here. This year — because of the weather — none of the clubs have been very active. But that will pick up as soon as the sun comes out.”
“We’ve been very fortunate — there haven’t really been any anti-powersports issues,” says Lucci. “We do have some government land for riding close by, but we have mountains all around. There is so much good riding territory here, both ATV and motorcycle. We’re at the base of the Shenandoah Valley.”
PARTS AND SERVICE
Winchester Motosports has four certified service technicians and two parts salespeople. “We dedicated some of the new area in back to parts, so we can expand our showroom,” notes Lucci. “It’s really not a very big dealership at all.
“We’re trying to set up a dedicated ATV area — right now we move the units in and out every day, and don’t have a place to display them the way they really should be. We’re also looking at upgrading our computer programs. We try to stay on top of things, but there’s a lot.”
WORDS OF ADVICE
“This is a very, very competitive business,” says Lucci. “Sometimes we get so wrapped up in and all the demands of running a business — like the bills have to be paid today — that we forget to make our shops fun places for our customers to come to.
“Here at Winchester we do the Saturday donut thing. People come from all around for what they call ‘The Carl and Dana Show.’ My husband and I have been married an awfully long time, and we have a good time — and we like our customers. You need to remember that you’re here because they’re here — and nothing is more important than that person who walks in that door. Keep them safe and give them good value for their dollar.”