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Mischler’s Harley-Davidson/Buell/BMW – Beaver Dam, WI – July 26, 2004

July 26, 2004
Filed under Power Profiles

CONTACT
N8131 Kellom Road
Beaver Dam, WI 53916
920/887-8425
www.mischlershd.com,
www.mischlersbmw.com

OWNERS
Art and Deb Mischler

BUSINESS PROFILE
30,000-sq.-ft. dealership founded in 1958 by Art Mischler’s father, William. “This is the only job I’ve ever had,” he notes. At present location for two years; previous building was 8,000 sq. ft. Carries Harley-Davidson, Buell, and BMW. 24 employees.

GREATEST CONCERN
Mischler’s greatest concern is the economy — jobs make the ball roll. The John Deere factory is pretty big here, and if it does not stay strong, that does seem to reflect in the area.”

WHAT’S HOT?
Hot sellers at Mischler’s include the BMW K 1200 GT and the R 1150 RT sport-tourers, plus the R 1100 S sportbike and the F 650 CS “freedom machine. In Harley-Davidson, the dressers — the Classic and Ultra — are the biggest sellers, plus the Road King, the Heritage, and the Softail lineup. “The Buell XP12 is coming across pretty well, and this year we seem to be selling a lot of Blasts,” says Mischler, despite not being a Rider’s Edge store. In PG&A, 99% of sales are of Motor Company merchandise. “We don’t seem to be selling as much as we did years ago in Drag Specialties or Custom Chrome.”

CUSTOMER BUYING TRENDS
The BMW customer at Mischler’s is more technically savvy, while the Harley-Davidson buyer is more custom-savvy. Do the customers fully accessorize their brand-new rides? “Yes, if they’re going to spend the dollars, they invest right away,” says Mischler, “then detail the rest of it themselves later.” He estimates that 50% of customers finance their purchases. “Harley doesn’t have any financing promotions, whereas BMW offers deals all the time. A lot of guys look at it as, ‘I’m not going to borrow any money for my toys.’”

ANTI-POWERSPORTS ISSUES
Beaver Dam is a rural area 30 miles north of Madison, and Mischler says they are not facing any issues “right now.”

PARTS AND SERVICE
“We are known for our service,” says Mischler. The BMW service team includes one Master Tech and three certified techs, one with five years’ experience and two with two years. “The service writers also are BMW- and Harley-Davidson-certified. Our veteran Harley technician has been with us for 27 years, and two younger guys are also close to making Harley Master Tech. We’ve added a couple more parts people to help ensure our inventory is correct. That’s an ongoing challenge.”

PROMOTIONAL HOME RUNS
Mischler’s sponsors the Beaver Dam HOG chapter, which holds its monthly meeting there, and displays newsletters from all five BMW clubs in the area.

WORDS OF ADVICE
“It’s somewhat hard to come up with new ideas to intrigue your customers,” says Mischler. “We try to adjust our sales to be aimed a bit more at our customers. Everybody seems to be sales-oriented, and good advertised prices help things to roll along easier. We advertise those sales through e-mail, direct mail, radio, and newspaper.” 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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