Archive for December 22nd, 2009

Research Shows Changing Dealer Networks

December 22, 2009

There’s been a lot of talk this year about changes in the number and types of franchised dealers operating in the United States and Canada, but there’s been precious little data to back up the talk. Until now.

I’ve been going over some very interesting research developed by Don Musick and his company, Genesys Technology Solutions (GenesysTech). The data collected by Musick shows that the major OEMs lost dealers last year while the non-traditional manufacturers — basically Chinese and Taiwanese and other non-MIC suppliers — picked up ground.

It’s like the frog dropped into a pot of water that gradually heats up to boiling, says Musick. The majors don’t recognize that the Chinese dealers are surrounding them with experienced retailers and are getting ready to eat their lunch.

Don Musick

I’ve traveled to China and seen the potential of Chinese factories, and I realize that most of them have a lot of problems as far as succeeding in this market, But, still, Musick makes a pretty strong statement, one that’s worth considering when we talk about the changing dealer network and what it might look like in 2010 and 2011.

Musick founded GenesysTech in 2004 and began collecting dealer information in powersports, auto and a number of other industries. There’s nothing magic about how Musick comes up with his numbers; it’s just a lot of hard work and computer analysis.


Buying vs. Shopping

December 22, 2009

Here’s My Take On Holiday Shopping

Men buy and women shop. And they shop and they shop.  At least in my family, where I buy and my wife, Bobbie, shops.

I’ve been married to Bobbie for 42 years and I just realized the other day that I buy and she shops; this difference in the way we spend time in stores has caused tension  — and a few flare-ups– in our marriage over the years.

It’s a Delmont family joke that when Bobbie tells me she’s just going to “run in” to the store, I don’t know what she means. After all these years, I still don’t get the message: She’s SHOPPING, not BUYING. And you don’t shop in just a few minutes.

I always assume she is running in to BUY something, a simple straightforward task that should only take a few minutes. Walk to the department, pick up the item, check out and back to the car where I’m waiting for her. I can occupy myself calmly in the car for a few minutes and while she does her BUYING. But after 15 minutes or so, I start to get edgy. That’s where the tension comes in.

The problem, of course, is that I never realized she wasn’t BUYING, she was SHOPPING. And that takes longer than buying, a lot, lot longer.

When I explained to her the other day my concept of Buying versus Shopping, she looked at me like I was crazy, a look both of us have become familiar with over the years.

The day after we had our discussion, Bobbie reported the talk to her nurse friends at work. “They all told me that you’re nuts,” she said with a small smile when she related the chat.

“If that’s the way he feels” her best friend told Bobbie, “give him a list and let him go on his silly little BUYING trip. See how long it takes him.”

“I’ll make up your list,” she told me. “You can go buying; I’ll stay home by the fire with a glass of wine and my book.” That’s how it came to pass that I was out buying late one evening recently.

How did this happen, I wondered as I trudged across the dark, snowy parking lot toward the distant lights of the Target Superstore?

Buying vs. Shopping. I just wanted to make a point, to reach an agreement on how we would spend our time in the stores. I didn’t want change to my lifestyle. After 42 years, I probably should have known better.

Merry Christmas, shoppers. And buyers, if there are any of  you out there. JD

Contact me with news tips and story ideas at 952/893-6876 or