Posts Tagged ‘Saddlemen’

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.

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Dealer Expo Comments; Extra Product Coverage

February 25, 2009

This year’s Dealer Expo was different. First of all, about 40 percent of booths were in the brand-new Lucas Oil Stadium, a few blocks away from the rest the show in the Indiana Convention Center. Luckily, decent weather made the walk bearable for those of us who chose not to use the free shuttle service. I hear underground walkways will be available for the 2011 show.

My editorial duties didn’t allow me to examine the stadium much, but several people told me they loved the building itself. I didn’t hear any complaints about the splitting of the show.

Advanstar Communications, our owner, hasn’t released attendance figures, but the traffic did not seem much different from previous years. Most vendors told me that the number of booth visits was down, but that more serious buyers were stopping by. General managers and owners seemed to be walking the aisles in a greater concentration.

This makes sense. Many dealership principals likely couldn’t pay to send employees this year. And owners are keeping a tighter grip on the purse (more…)