Mark Stewart

                 Are dealers finally figuring it out?

   2007 was a pretty slow year for the motorcycling industry. Dealers and manufacturers had to pull out all the stops to make sure that they would stay afloat and keep the revenue numbers up. So, when motorcycle sales are down, dealerships really need to look into other avenues for revenue. Harley Davidson understands this very well. Walk into any Harley Davidson dealership and buy a bike and you will end up spending almost as much on accessories and apparel as the bike itself.
   Victory dealers too will sell the boots off their own feet to make sure they are making more than just the margin off their motorcycles. With limited accessories and apparel available, many Victory dealers have started to create their own line of products to add on to a bike sale.  The Victory dealerships that I know and work with know how to sell and really drive business.

   However, the traditional metric dealerships have yet to figure this out. Yamaha, for instance, has paid millions in advertising campaigns and commercials telling the customer to “personalize” their ride, but the dealers will still let the customer leave without any add-ons. The other dealers, from my experience, are even worse. I have talked to the mechanics at Suzuki and

1 AFT Customs Pro Street Exhaust

they can recommend parts to me for my bike but when I go up to the sales team to discuss pricing and ordering the parts the sales person is clueless and has never heard of such a product or company. They did seem more than happy to talk about dirt bike accessories but I was interested in V-Twin parts.

   So, are the metric dealerships going to start figuring out that their customers are going to customize their bikes whether the dealership has anything to do with it or not? Recently I found out that there is a new partnership between world champion metric builder AFT Customs and a Sacramento, California Honda dealership that gives me a little hope for the metric shops.

   AFT Customs is going to come into Elk Grove Cycle Center and customize a couple of their VTX 1300’s to show Elk Grove’s customers what can be done with a bike by just bolting on some accessories. This is becoming a new trend, one that is very exciting. By partnering with local builders like AFT Customs, dealers stand to increase their accessory sales and AFT Customs stands to increase the visibility of their building services and their accessories. It really is a win win for both parties.

   So, to celebrate the relationship, Elk Grove Cycle Center and AFT Customs is hosting an open house at the dealership this month. They are going to have great deals on parts, accessories and even the 2008 line of bikes. AFT Customs’ owner and builder Jim Giuffra will be attending with his award winning VTX 1300 and his 750 Aero bagger. In addition, the AFT Girls , Jim’s modeling agency, will be modeling the new line

AFT Bagger Bike 082

of women’s riding gear. It is going to be a blast and represents a new way of thinking with the metric dealerships. If you are around the Sacramento area on February 23rd, please make an effort to go and support this event. I am sure that Elk Grove Cycle Center will immediately see the benefits of parties like this and there will probably many more in the future. 

For more info on this event, check out:
www.aftcustoms.com or

Stay tuned for another upcoming article!

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