Do You Want To Sell Your Dealership?


Groups Plan To Purchase Up To 40 Dealerships in 2009

If you’re considering the sale of your dealership, your chances of success might be improving. It looks like there is new money coming into the market with an eye to rolling up dealerships into operating groups

Long-time industry pro, Bill Shenk, is the point man for three groups, and his PowerHouse Dealer Services company has been retained to find and evaluate acquisition opportunities for these buyers.

The three buyers plan to purchase collectively up to 30 metric motorcycle

Bill Shenk

Bill Shenk

dealers and 10 Harley-Davidson dealerships in 2009 with more acquisitions planned for 2010, Shenk told me. The three groups did over $100 million in retail powersports business in 2008, he said.

Shenk wouldn’t tell me the names of the three groups or the money behind the groups. He did tell me that all three groups “are very liquid,” already have “successful OEM/powersports relations and operations,” so they can purchase and close on deals quickly.

The buyers, Shenk said, are prepared to acquire the dealership businesses and their real estate, providing a nice opportunity for owners to cash out of the business completely.

It’s easy for interested dealers to participate, Shenk says. “There are no listing frees, marketing fees, selling fees or other requirements or constraints placed on potential sellers,” he told me, “other than the standard confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements at the time of discussions.”

While the buyers will look at individual dealerships and groups, Shenk said they are limiting their purchases to businesses that have at least one of these franchises: Harley-Davidson, Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, and Suzuki. Dealerships can carry other franchises, but they most have one of these five major lines to be considered, Shenk emphasized.

Confidential inquiries can be emailed to Shenk at

Shenk also will be providing training at the Dealer Expo in Indianapolis this weekend. He will be available Saturday through Monday in the Dealernews booth in the Convention Center, and he can be reached by cell at 540/421-9292.

Shenk’s PowerHouse Dealer Services is a company that provides consulting services to powersports dealers in the U.S. Shenk also facilitates dealer 20 Groups and works with some 70 dealers on this basis. A former motorcycle dealer and auto dealer, Shenk has been in the business for more than 30 years.

A dealer 20 Group is a group of about two-dozen non-competing dealers who have similar interests and whose dealerships have similar characteristics. There are several similar groups in the powersports industry; they range in size from as few as about 20 dealers in one group to over 300 in a large number of groups.

The participating dealers provide monthly financial statements to the group’s facilitator, who compiles them and distributes them to dealers in the group. The dealers also gather regularly, generally about every three months, to review individual and group performance, to identify industry trends and to discuss best practices that can improve profitability at the dealership level.  JD

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