South East Polaris – Cleveland, OH – Jan. 19, 2004
April 14, 2004
Filed under Power Profiles
The Meyers Family
10,000-sq.-ft. Polaris dealership founded in 1948 at current location as a Harley-Davidson dealership; took on the Club Car golf cart line in 1962. (All still exist as three separate divisions, each run by a Meyers brother.) Became a franchised Polaris dealer in 1995. Largest-selling segments at the Polaris shop are ATV and motorcycle. Carries Polaris’s full line (ATVs, Ranger and Professional Series utility vehicles, snowmobiles, PWC, jet boats, and Victory motorcycles), plus Load Rite and Yacht Club Trailers.
“In my market right now, the economy is a major concern,” says Todd Meyers, manager of the Polaris dealership. “There are a lot of layoffs and jobs being lost in Cleveland, which is a blue-collar city.” Is the dealership feeling the effects of this? “Yes.”
Hot sellers at South East include the Victory motorcycle lineup and the Sportsman ATVs — 400cc, 500cc, 600cc, and 700cc. Meyers says his customers use their ATVs for fishing, hunting, and working around the yard. Snowplows are a popular ATV accessory, as are chrome add-ons for the Victory motorcycles.
CUSTOMER BUYING TRENDS
The dealership, which is in a suburb of Cleveland, has a wide-ranging customer base. “It’s not just males,” says Meyers. “We sell to many women and families, too.” One trend he has spotted: “A lot of the people who rode sport ATVs are buying utility models as they get older. Sport models are usually bought by the younger males from 23 to 32, then at 32 they seek the comfort of the utility ATVs.”
Meyers reports that he is not seeing much anti-powersports activity in his part of Ohio, but is concerned about what people read regarding ATVs, both on a local and national level. “Our ATV club attends meetings. There is an ATV trail two-and-a-half hours away from us. They’re discussing what to do with the land and talking about shutting it down. We just sent some representation to those discussions.”
PARTS AND SERVICE
The Polaris dealership has one part-time and two full-time staffers in parts, and five full-timers in service. “Right now we are four doors from the Harley building,” explains Meyers. “In Spring 2004 we are building a new Polaris facility, going from 10,000 sq. ft. to 20,000 sq. ft. and right next-door to our Harley-Davidson facility.”
PROMOTIONAL HOME RUNS
South East Polaris sponsors a Victory club, which meets at the dealership once a month, plus the very active South East ATV Riders Association that holds many rides. Meyers says some of the ATV enthusiast magazines are interested in its annual Cabin Fever Ride.
“This year it’s in February,” says Meyers. “Because of our golf cart division we have access to semi-trucks, so we’ll send 100 ATVs to Las Vegas, Nev., while our customers fly out. We’ll ride for three days with guides and stay in downtown Vegas. These out-of-state group ATV rides are our own niche. Last year we went to Scottsdale, Ariz. We’ve been to Biloxi, Miss., and West Virginia, and next year I’m planning on Mexico.” The dealership does not host a snowmobile club. As
for advertising, Meyers says he does “a lot
of direct mail, newspaper, print, radio, and television.”
WORDS OF ADVICE
“Get involved,” advises Meyers. “Support the homeowners who would open up their land to ATVs, and your state officials who help to keep ATV off-road riding areas from being closed.” Meyers says the South East ATV Riders Association has approximately 400 members, all of whom come up with ideas for the twice-monthly rides (“even during the Winter months”) and approach landowners about riding areas.
23361 Aurora Road
Cleveland, OH 44146