Posts Tagged ‘dealerships’

Hey employees, it’s your time to speak up. Owners? Sit and listen.

April 20, 2010

(Ed. Note about change in first paragraph: Ray said, sure, go ahead and add his name.)

A while back, I got a note from Ray Jones, service manager at Shawnee Honda in Shawnee, OK.

The gist of his message is this: Often times, the regular workaday employees of a dealership don’t get a chance to weigh in on what could be done to improve business. And, in many cases, these workers are on the front lines of a store and know exactly what is or isn’t going right (sometimes before the management ever catches on).

So, this begs the question: When the economy goes soft and everyone is scrambling for ideas, how many often does management turn to its seasoned insiders for ideas?

Here’s the text of a short column I asked him to submit. Take a look and please let us know what you think — and maybe offer up examples of when you were asked for ideas, what they were and the results.

Maybe the best ideas are right under our noses and we are failing to even consider them. These are the ideas of the employees. Let’s challenge the people who actually work in the dealerships to bring new innovative ideas to the table and not overlook (more…)

Dealernews Announces the Top 100 Dealers for 2010 — Are you one?

January 6, 2010

Oh, how we love the Top 100 contest. It’s a chance to take a peek into a myriad dealerships across the country and boy is it exciting. Well, my excitement is about to go off the chartsnow that we’ve announced the Top 100 Dealers for 2010. I got to see quite a few and I’m highly impressed at how many stores took this bad economy by the cajones and charged forth with fantastic new ideas, marketing efforst, restructured business plans and just a great big dose of Great American Kick Ass. 

A few ideas that stuck out: promotions text messaged to customers; dealers using Google AdWords, a concentrated focus on improving CSI scores, more stores offering online credit applications, many dealers using e-mail marketing, using Facebook to interact with customers, and the big daddy, an in-store discount store where lower-priced (not discounted) items are offered. 

From Mary Slepicka’s announcement:

More than 35 states from coast to coast, plus two Canadian provinces, are represented in this year’s Top 100. States with the highest number of winning dealerships are Texas (8), Missouri (7) and Virginia (6). A full list of the 2010 Top 100 Dealers follows.

The Top 100 Dealers will be honored Feb. 12 during an invitation-only awards reception in Indianapolis, where the 2010 Dealer of the Year and Merit Award winners will be revealed. The Top 100 Dealers will be showcased in a three-day gallery exhibit during the 42nd Annual Dealernews International Powersports Dealer Expo, held Feb. 12-15 at the Indiana Convention Center and the Marriott and Westin Hotels in downtown Indianapolis.

This year’s winners also will be commemorated in the 2010 Top 100 Yearbook, to be published in March byDealernews. In addition, an online gallery will be available starting in March at

So go take a look at the list and let us know your thoughts, especially if you’re one of the Top 100.

Ducati’s Michael Lock Speaks …

March 4, 2009

to who else but our favorite industry cad and all-around good guy, Robert Pandya, during a quick tete-a-tete (except for the camera man and those guys in the background) at Dealer Expo.

Lock has interesting take on what dealers need to be doing right now as the economy continues to ooze and drip. Lock suggests “Don’t sell a product, sell an entrance to a club.” Make sure customers are happy and engaged and know that there’s much more to motorcycling than two-wheels and a motor. It’s all about the lifestyle baby (that last bit was mine.)

heeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeee’ssssssss Robert and Michael

Remember what mom always said: Don’t eat lead or motorcycle parts.

February 16, 2009

The story that has been buzzing all around Indy for this Dealer Expo is the new lead content rules that affect sales of youth ATVs and motorcycles. We’ve covered it extensively over at and in our Show Dailies. The regulations are the kind of sweeping, all-inclusive legislation that rules out such things as common sense and rational thinking.

Here is one exhibitor’s solution: 



If you’re reading this and you’re still at Dealer Expo, head over to the Motorcycle Industry Council’s Business Center to voice your concerns. They’re in Booth 4705 in the Indiana Convention Center and sign a pre-printed letter to the CPSC and generate an e-mail to members of congress.


“This is a big deal,” said MIC president Tim Buche at the organization’s annual meeting on Friday. He urges people to take charge against the rulings that virtually wipes children’s ATVs, motorcycles and related accessories off the market.


You can also go online at to generate the letter to congress.