Automotive Vs Motorcycle Dealerships
My background involves a wide variety of business types from health insurance to transaction printers. I’ve developed sweepstakes engines and automotive sales menus. Since returning from China in 2015 I have worked primarily in the powersports industry and specifically motorcycle marketing. That’s why many of the articles on this blog are targeted towards powersports and motorcycle dealership examples.
There is a saying that motorcycle dealerships are 20 years behind automotive dealerships, and often that is true. Its mostly a simple question of profitability – there is just more money to be had in running a car dealership. Seasonality is extremely tough on dealerships located in areas with hard winters. Motorcycles are luxury items and banks have tighter loan restrictions. There is less profit on the backend for the Finance department, and service suffers from seasonality the same as sales. Motorcycles are much less likely to be a rider’s only mode of transportation.
This all translates to less innovation for motorcycle dealers, and often what we have are solutions that were developed first for car dealers and then passed down with minor changes. But on the bright side that leaves a lot of opportunity for quick thinking players to dominate those dealers who are slow to adapt.
A lot of what I do is based on a different model than a typical dealership who only competes in their local market. I work on things from a national perspective as well as local. For a powersports dealer in the north its critical to successfully target and sell units in other states in order to maintain winter momentum. The business model seeks to replicate companies like Vroom, Carvana or Autonation. The first real competitor to emerge with a similar way of thinking has been RumbleOn. That said, my situation is a hybrid that involves brick and mortar dealerships in different states and cities. All of the lessons of the traditional dealership still apply.
Above everything else, the tight market and margins means that I have to squeeze every bit of efficiency out of everything we do. Whether you are a national or local dealership group that lesson always remains true. I hope you will find the upcoming blog articles useful.