Posts Tagged ‘Ed Lemco’

Assurant Solutions To Drop 20 Group Business

May 27, 2009

Assurant Offers Gloomy Outlook For Powersports

Joe Delmont

Joe Delmont

Assurant Solutions, the company that purchased the Lemco 20-Group business several years ago, said today that it is getting out of the 20 group business. At the time, the Lemco 20 Group operation was the largest of its kind in the powersports industry with about 325 participating dealers. Assurant purchased the business from RideNow, a major powersports dealer organization, which had purchased it from founder Ed Lemco.

In a memo to clients today, Jimmy Atkinson, Assurant vice president, said the company plans to “transfer” Assurant’s 20 group business to long-time trainer Gart Sutton.

Sutton’s GSA Best Operators Clubs business will contact the 300 or so members of Assurant’s 20 groups, Atkinson said, to “ensure a smooth transition.”

It’s not clear from the memo what this transition involves for dealers.

The move to GSA is effective June 1, 2009.

GSA also is negotiating to purchase Assurant’s traffic log business, Atkinson said. This deal could close within 60 days, he said.

In a related move, Assurant will close the Denver office on Friday, May 29, Atkinson said. Denver had been the headquarters for the Lemco operation prior to Assurant’s acquisition of the business.

A Gloomy Forecast

In his memo, Atkinson presented a gloomy forecast for the powersports industry. Noting that unit sales this year are down more than 30%, he said that “thousands of dealers will close over the next year.”

Based upon the number of franchised dealers operating in 2008, that’s a closure rate of almost 30%, higher than anything I’ve heard previously.

Atkinson said its Insureco operations will close Aug. 1, 2009, and dealers will have up to 60 days to arrange for replacement services.

Assurant Solutions remains committed to its vehicle service contract business, Atkinson said, adding that the company expects to “participate” in the recovery of this industry.

Dealernews editors are in the process of contacting participating dealers, as well as representatives of GSA and Assurant for details on this important announcement. We’ll provide additional information as we obtain it on this blog and at dealernews.com. For additional details on this story, visit dealernews.comJD

Contact me with news tips and story ideas
at 952/893-6876 or joe@powersportsupdate.com


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Lowdown on the NCMDA Update: Dealer Expo

February 12, 2009

As was mentioned in an earlier post, now is the time for all powersports dealers to either join their state dealer associations or, if they already belong, start beefing up the organization.

With the recession running full tilt, the threat coming from CPSC regulations (here and here als0), the weakening or loss of state franchise laws, and the ongoing head butting with OEMs, dealers need strength in numbers, says Ed Lemco, executive director of the National Council of Motorcycle Dealer Associations (NCMDA for those who love unwieldy acronyms).

Lemco chaired a meeting of the group here in Indy during Dealer Expo with dealer association muckety-mucks or dealer principals from all over the country.The AMA was also present, apparently in a move to renew bonds between the motorcycle org and dealers. According to Lemco, back in 1986 a dealer division was nearly established within the AMA, but it ended up falling through.

But the main thrust is that only about 20 percent of the country’s (more…)

National Dealer Assn. Meeting: Follow Live

February 12, 2009

With the economy in the toilet, now, more than ever, is the time to join your state motorcycle dealer association. That’s the word at the National Council of Motorcycle Dealer Associations. Follow the meeting live over HERE.

Hard at work.

Hard at work.

Good Time to Buy a Dealership?

January 5, 2009

Motorcycle sales since mid-September have been horrible, I’m told. And given low gas prices and scared customers, 2009 looks worse. Many dealers will probably want to cut their losses and sell their business. Other dealers, the more fortunate ones, may find themselves surrounded with good deals.

A couple of weeks ago I talked to a dealer in the South who is trying to buy a nearby competitor. This potential buyer has been in business since 1996. During the years of double-digit growth, he was able to pay off the mortgage on his building. He’s also been able to buy his inventory as soon as the flooring terms expire. In fact, because sales came to a standstill in mid-September — after months of record store sales — much of his money is now on his floor. But, as he says, luckily it’s been sitting there instead of the stock market.

So he called me up for articles on buying and selling a dealership. He was going to give the latter articles to the potential seller. You know, to soften him up to the idea.

One of our columnists, Clark Vitulli, founded America’s PowerSports Groupforsale, a large dealer network, so I suggested him. You can read his past columns here.

Another industry guru, Ed Lemco, has hosted seminars and written articles on buying dealerships. Dealers can see him in February when he hosts the annual meeting of the National Council of Motorcycle Dealer Associations in conjunction with Dealer Expo in Indianapolis.

And, of course, many books have been written about buying or selling a business. There’s also a lot of good stuff on the Web. For example, I like this article, which outlines who you should hire to help you buy a business. Our Southern dealer has already hired a broker to mediate his dealings.