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Kawasaki of Carrollton

May 12, 2003
Filed under Uncategorized

CONTACT
2655 East Belt Line Road
Carrollton, TX 75006
972/418-6565
www.carrolltontonkawasaki.com

OWNER
Ray Burgess

BUSINESS PROFILE
North Dallas dealership founded in 1987; Burgess purchased it in 1992. Carries full lines of Kawasaki and Polaris (including Victory). Largest-selling segment is streetbike, followed by ATV, dirtbike, and PWC. 12 employees.

GREATEST CONCERN
“When the PWC market tailed off dramatically, that was obviously something to think about,” says Burgess. “I don’t think it really had anything to do with legislators closing places to ride or negative press, as much as just the tailing off of a trend. I’ve been selling powersports vehicles for more than 20 years, and my dad was a dealer for 40 years. I’ve seen a lot of trends come and go. Based upon past trends, watercraft will come back. Most dealers have learned not to let the manufacturers load them up and are ordering really few since the window for selling PWC is so small now.”

vWHAT’S HOT?
Kickin’ it at Carrollton: The Kawasaki Jet Ski 1100ZXi and the Polaris MSX watercraft. “But it’s early in the season and we haven’t sold a lot of watercraft yet,” notes Burgess.

CUSTOMER BUYING TRENDS
Burgess says his dealership’s clientele is “a cross-section, a slice of life. We have everyone from a guy who can barely afford to live indoors to local dignitary Don Carter.”
Burgess believes that the economy and the war are having a negative effect on unit sales. “I’ve noticed a bit of a downtrend that coincided somewhat with the beginning of the war with Iraq. But parts and service seem to be as good — or up, in some cases.

PARTS AND SERVICE
Carrollton has a service manager, a service writer, and three service technicians, all Kawasaki-certified, plus a parts manager and three parts salespeople.

PROMOTIONAL HOME RUNS
“Just over a year ago we began to double the size of our dealership and completely remodeled the entire store,” says Burgess. “We’re one of Kawasaki’s Ichiban Gold-Level Dealers —one of the top 24 dealers out of the 1,400-dealer network — so we have pretty good traffic anyway, but we’ll have 200 to 300 people here for the grand reopening.”

WORDS OF ADVICE
“Keep costs low and don’t try to grow too quickly,” advises Burgess. “Getting too big too quickly and having high expenses are the factors that kill most dealerships. Slow, controlled growth seems to be the key.”

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