Fox’s Suzuki/Kawasaki – Roxboro, NC – Nov. 12, 2007
November 12, 2007
Filed under Power Profiles
3146 Durham Road, 501 South
Roxboro, N.C. 27573
Richard and Todd Fox
The Fox dealership has recently entered its 37th year in business, priding itself on customer satisfaction. For the past 10 years, it’s received the Super Service Award from Suzuki, which is customer satisfaction above 90 percent, and for two years it’s been the No. 1 dealer in its district for the Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) of Triumph dealers. Brothers Richard and Todd Fox own and manage the dealership after taking over for their parents, who started it in 1971. Fox’s Suzuki/Kawasaki is a full-line dealer for Suzuki, Arctic Cat, Triumph and Kawasaki motorcycles, ATVs and Mule utility vehicles. They also offer ATV and motorcycle parts and accessories, motocross and outdoor equipment.
Two factors have caught Richard Fox’s eye in the industry — the import of Chinese product and financing. Richard Fox says both are an issue, but financing has come up more recently. “Because of hard times,” he said, “we are finding more people with blemishes on their credit. If the customer has any blemish, the manufacturers will oftentimes send them away.” To help the situation, Richard Fox says he has a few different finance companies he works with. “We’re trying to send the customer to the company in which they have the best shot of getting approved,” he said. However, Richard Fox says approval doesn’t always happen since it can be impossible to get a reasonable interest rate in the slow market.
The product that does extremely well for Fox’s dealership is the Kawasaki Mule. “We sell one, two, three Mules a week,” he said. “That’s a consistent seller year-round.” With hunting season, Richard Fox says ATV sales have increased. One particular model that stands out is the 2008 750 Kawasaki Brute Force model. “That’s a good selling machine for us also,” he said.
CUSTOMER BUYING TRENDS
“We’re seeing more people wanting more expensive items,” Richard Fox said. “The less expensive items you would sell to the guy on the low end of the income bracket — that stuff is not selling well. I guess those guys are the ones most affected by the turned economy.”
PARTS AND SERVICE
Fox’s Suzuki/Kawasaki has four mechanics, all of whom have been with the dealership at least six years. One mechanic has been with the company 16 years and another 14 years. “We don’t have a turnover of employees,” Richard Fox noted. “I’m too good to them.” He says his benefits surpass other dealers near him and are what keeps employee turnover low. Since each mechanic has a lot of experience, “all of them have their specialty things that they do,” Richard Fox said and adds that two mechanics work on ATVs and the other two mainly on motorcycles, but they do crossover sometimes. Given that they’ve all gone to training and have a lot of experience, they’re able to “keep the CSI high,” Richard Fox said.
PROMOTIONAL HOME RUNS
Richard Fox does basic advertising in and around the dealership’s community. “We run ads in our local newspaper, radio station, seven different yellow pages in the surrounding areas, classifieds and Cycle Trader,” he said. Out of all those ad types, he says Cycle Trader has produced the most benefit. “That seems to target our customers better,” he said. In addition to those ads, Richard Fox says he and his brother attend many dealer shows. Also, Myrtle Beach Bike Week isn’t far from Fox’s dealership, and he says that helps sell new motorcycles.
WORDS OF ADVICE
“Monitor your floor plan closely. Nobody ever went out of business because they ordered too little,” Richard Fox said. “The floor plan is the key thing that you have to watch.”
— Karin Gelschus