Posts Tagged ‘Chaparral Motorsports’

Vendors That Compete Against Their Own Dealers

October 18, 2009

BrokenChainWhy has the industry allowed so many vendors to compete against their own dealers through online sales? Shouldn’t everyone respect the supply channel? Or do some vendors have legitimate reasons for selling directly?

Two years ago, I was attending an annual meeting of MIC members when a guest speaker told the 200 assembled vendors that they all should be selling online. “The most important way for the aftermarket to sell is the Internet,” the market analyst said. “Companies used to be worried about how it would affect their retail establishments. That way of thinking has gone by the wayside.”

This comment surprised me. When the analyst asked for questions, I asked whether he believed motorcycle dealers in particular no longer cared whether their suppliers sold directly. He gave a quick affirmative and left the stage.

(more…)

The Good and Bad of MAP Policies

October 9, 2009

Low_Price_Guarantee[1]As PG&A inventories remain bloated, the dangers of heavy discounting mount. Brands take a wallop once their suggested retail prices become a running joke on eBay. To combat this, we’ve long had minimum advertised pricing (MAP) policies.

But dealers have mixed feelings about these policies. Some dealers don’t like them, period. The market should dictate prices, they say. Most dealers like the idea of MAP pricing, but they hate the policies of specific vendors or distributors. Or, perhaps more often, they resent policies that aren’t strictly enforced.

(more…)

Without Credit, and Clueless

October 3, 2009

j0309203“What do you mean I don’t qualify for a loan? I can easily make the monthly payments. My motor home was just repossessed a few weeks ago.”

Ever hear something like that?

David Damron, owner of Chaparral Motorsports in San Bernardino, Calif., has — many times. “People got some excess cash, so they think they can finance,” he told me in August. “And they seem to have somehow forgotten about the two repos. It’s unbelievable the amount of people that are coming in filling out credit apps that are in the high 400 scores and wanting to know why they couldn’t get financed because they’ve got the cash flow now because they’re obviously not having to make the payment on the boat or the car or the truck. They don’t understand.” (more…)

Small Stores Versus Big Stores

September 25, 2009

Exterior_HIn a column titled Memories of Dealerships Past,” industry veteran Mike Vaughan wondered whether the industry downturn will give way to smaller, friendlier stores.

One thing is apparent. The number of dealerships is falling rapidly. But what types of stores will be the predominate survivors? What will be the best way to distribute the smaller volume of motorcycles, about half the volume of only a couple of years ago?

Going by the trBertsend in the general retail world, where big-box stores have taken over, I’m guessing the ratio of big stores to little stores will increase. That means more people riding or driving longer distances to get to a dealership. But motorcyclists typically aren’t averse to traveling.

(more…)

Stock Up on Graphics

September 18, 2009

EDHARDYYamahaNEWCommodities are still selling well. Everything else isn’t. That seems to be the assumption right now. But a major accessories dealer tells me that graphics are selling better than ever. Graphics are about as nonessential as it gets. What gives?

The dealer was David Damron, owner of Chaparral Motorsports in San Bernardino, Calif. Most of you are familiar with the store thanks to his mail-order ads in most of the major motorcycle magazines. I was interviewing him for the cover profile of our October issue.

“Our parts-and-accessories sales are very good,” he said, “but we’re really surprised at the amount of graphics that we are selling. I mean, it’s a different mind-set than my own. If I were counting pennies, I would make sure I had a good chain and sprocket and tires on my bike, and I wouldn’t care how scratched the graphics were.”
(more…)