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Dillon Brothers Harley-Davidson/Buell – Omaha, NE – June 7, 2004

June 7, 2004
Filed under Power Profiles

CONTACT
3838 North HWS Cleveland Boulevard
Omaha, NE 68116
402/289-5556
www.dillonharley.com

OWNERS
Sid and Blake Dillon

BUSINESS PROFILE
The 5,000-sq.-ft. Fremont store was founded in 2002 in a converted muffler shop, and the 38,000-sq.-ft. Omaha store opened one year later, 20 miles away. Carries Harley-Davidson and Buell. The Dillon brothers also own General Motors automobile dealerships. 35 to 40 employees between both stores.

GREATEST CONCERN
Sales manager Scott Hill has no real concerns. “Business is just great.”

WHAT’S HOT?
“Anything that’s brand-new is hot right now,” says Hill. “Buells, the new Sportster, all the big twins, the dressers — anything. I cannot keep enough bikes on hand. We take deposits for bikes to be built at a later date. Harley has just introduced a lot of new parts — wheels, custom paint sets, and chrome — that we’re doing very well with. We sell a lot of helmets, leather, and licensed products like T-shirts, ‘dogwear,’ and blankets. Anything with ‘Harley-Davidson’ on it.”

CUSTOMER BUYING TRENDS
“Our customer base runs a pretty wide gamut,” says Hill. “Not any particular lifestyle or income range. We sponsor the Elkhorn Valley HOG chapter, which has 300 to 400 members.” Hill says more people are accessorizing at the time of sale, “and part of that is because we have gotten more familiar with the parts and the process. Several models on the floor are already accessorized so a customer doesn’t have to go through a catalog — they can buy one that’s already dressed, or we sell parts right off those bikes. There’s also a fair amount of financing going on.”

PARTS AND SERVICE
Dillon Brothers just put a dyno room in the service area. “We have nine full-time mechanics between the two stores, plus one guy who helps out on Saturdays,” explains Hill. “All of our mechanics are factory-trained; we spend a lot of money on training and are constantly going to school. It helps — we’re up on the latest technology.” Dillon Brothers started a Rider’s Edge training course once the Omaha store opened. “We got a couple of classes under our belt last autumn, and we’re been running a full schedule since the end of March.” Does the course have a positive impact on Buell sales? “Yes, but it helps motorcycle sales in general. Rider’s Edge is a way of bringing people into the store who maybe never would have come, and we have acculturated a few of them. They’ve become really good customers.”

WORDS OF ADVICE
“The most important thing is, customers are number one,” says Hill. “Nothing happens until a customer walks in the door. You need to take care of them,” says the former automobile salesman. “Treat everyone as if they were a buyer. A woman who walks in the door is every bit as much of a rider as a man. Treat everybody the same.” psb
—Julie Filatoff

If you would like to share your story with the readers of Powersports Business, please contact Julie Filatoff at filatoff@cybermesa.com.

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