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Quite a testament to a risky product development move

March 25, 2011

Even now, some four years later, it still strikes me as the most aggressive — and thus riskiest — product launch the industry has seen in recent times. The Spyder. It was BRP’s first on-road product bearing the now familiar Y-architecture: Two wheels in the front, one in the back. At the time,... Read more »

How the retail-lending environment is shaping up

March 14, 2011

Escalating bad debts and loan delinquencies. Decreasing retail-lending approval percentages. The former usually leads to the latter, which is what we encountered in 2009 and, to a lesser extent, in parts of last year. However, those key criteria for retail lenders — and of course, hence, dealers —... Read more »

How’s your attitude?

February 25, 2011

It’s a simple question, but a potentially powerful one in this climate. “How’s your attitude?” was a question that was answered by every dealer during a recent 20 group session that I attended. Their overall attitude echoed what I’ve witnessed throughout the industry over the winter: Generally,... Read more »

Add these to your to-do list for Dealer Expo

February 14, 2011

If you’re planning to attend Dealer Expo this week, we’ve put together a couple items to add to your to-do list. Here they are, in no particular order: Want to check out the hottest products and services that will be showcased at Indy this year? Check our Jan. 17 and Feb. 7 editions for the Nifty... Read more »

The biggest news from the V-Twin Expo …

February 8, 2011

CINCINNATI — … has got to be Tucker Rocky’s renewed focus on the V-twin aftermarket business. Tucker Rocky President Steve Johnson told Powersports Business the national distributor is “pushing a restart button” on Biker’s Choice, its V-twin arm. The restart includes additional resources... Read more »

A supply-and-demand side effect for this summer?

February 1, 2011

Greg Heichelbech, the new Triumph North American CEO, brought up a topic repeatedly during the brand’s recent dealer meeting that should be uniformly addressed throughout the industry: Discounting. More specifically, steering the showroom floor conversation away from discounting and more toward the... Read more »

An important step in the trade-in discussion

January 18, 2011

Tell me if this doesn’t sound familiar. You’re working with a customer on a trade-in, determining what you’re willing to pay for their used unit and what they’re willing to sell it for. They say, “I want $4,000 because I see it listed at Craigslist and eBay for at least that price!” You say... Read more »

Forecasting 2011’s industry sales

January 7, 2011

If we do see a rebound in industry sales, what department are we most likely to see that jump in revenue in? That forecasting question is one we asked 150 dealers from around the nation exactly one year ago. Their thoughts: The highest percentage (29 percent) believed it would come in service; A slightly... Read more »

Has the improbable happened?

December 7, 2010

Could you imagine a day when the average Harley-Davidson franchise dealership is selling over the course of a year more used units than new units? If this was just a year or two ago, that scenario probably would seem pretty far-fetched. But today, it’s probably reality. Sources who have a keen handle... Read more »

Identifying the dealer’s biggest need

November 29, 2010

If there is such a thing as a single, gaping hole in dealer services, I’m betting I know the area of biggest need. It has to be flooring on used units. Powersports Business is in the midst of a dealer survey that is looking extensively at offseason used unit purchasing, and I’m betting that of the... Read more »

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