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Posts Tagged ‘Dealer News’

welcome-vegasI’m talking about Las Vegas where the average tourist gambles only four hours in their 4-day stay.

After a couple decades of being the fastest-growing city in the U.S., Las Vegas has seen its growth stall in recent years.  Portions of the strip are dotted with steel and concrete shells as construction was halted and developers attempted to refinance projects and avoid bankruptcy.  Just as Americans did with their homes, casino owners borrowed way too much money to build hotels that were way too big.  The unemployment rate ballooned and for a while the city had the honor of having the highest foreclosure rate in the country of ANY metro area with at least 200K people.

I visit the city often for various work conventions or when attending motorcycle rally’s and recall getting gouged on the rooms and expensive food so, over the last few years I could not be more unconcerned or feel less guiltless in taking advantage of the town when it was down.  Hotel room rates have been slashed and suites that a few years ago went for $400 were recently selling for $125 a night.  And, I’ve wanted to get some of my money back from the card tables for a while now.

An artist rendering of the new Las Vegas Harley-Davidson dealership near the "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign on the south end of the Strip.

An artist rendering of the new Las Vegas Harley-Davidson dealership near the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign.

But, economic defeat on the strip in this dirt wasteland is being reset by none other than Harley-Davidson.

Mr. Andress and Tim Cashman are building an $18M flagship dealership on the south end of the strip.  You may remember that this is where the “Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas” sign attracts large numbers of tourists for a photo op.  The Cashman’s plan to tap into the 40M annual visitors and build a 50,000 square-foot, two-level motorcycle complex which will clearly draw visitors off the strip.  They purchased the 5.25-acre site at the bargain basement price of $8M and expect construction of the dealership to be complete in October 2014.

The Cashman’s are no strangers to Las Vegas where they have three other Harley-Davidson dealerships and also control 10 alternative retail outlets (ARO’s) that sell everything in the alphabet with a H-D logo sans the motorcycle.  Their total annual sales in 2012 was about $60M.

Clearly the strip is on its way back!

Photo taken by author and dealership rendition courtesy of Las Vegas Review.

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It’s official.

This is change-the-industry rock-the-valley kind of stuff.  Like, one day the world is this way; and the next day it’s some other way.  This is huge.  Like game over man.   It’ll be a return to the glory days, for sure.

What am I referring too?

Harley-Davidson has decided to give motorcycle fans another chance to take a test ride on the H-D motorcycle of their choice.  And being the best slogan and sound-bite guys in the biz they decided to name the program the second annual Super Ride program.  Last year it was just Super Ride program.  Pure genius!

Assuming you have a valid motorcycle license, between 1 April 2010 and 30 June you can take a short test ride.  The program is available to all Harley dealers, however, some may decline to participate.  Check with your local dealer to see if they are on board or if there are other requirements.  The program is designed to help sell bikes since feedback from motorcycle shoppers indicated that the inability to test ride a motorcycle is a big hurdle in selling some bikes.

Memo to Harley-Davidson Marketing department: the web site link needs to be updated as the page referenced links to 2009 models.

UPDATE: 2 April 2010 — H-D updated the link for Super Ride program HERE.

Photo courtesy of H-D.

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The U.S. motorcycle market endured some tough times as a whole in 2009.  According to recently released industry sales figures U.S. motorcycle sales declined 41% this past year, however, a couple northwest Harley-Davidson dealers were named among the Top 100:

MONTANABeartooth Harley-Davidson/Hi Mountain Recreation (Billings)
WASHINGTONDowntown Harley-Davidson Renton (Renton)

Non-Harley dealers in Oregon – Bend Euro Moto (Bend), Moto Corsa (Portland) were named to the Top 100 along with Renton Motorcycles (Renton), Skagit Powersports (Burlington), and South Sound Motorcycles (Fife) all based in Washington.  Interestingly there were no dealers from Idaho, Utah or Nevada.

The Annual Top 100 Awards is a juried competition that recognizes dealerships for the achievements in retail design and merchandising, e-commerce, customer service, community involvement and general business management. More information on the competition can be found HERE.

Congrats!

Photo courtesy of Advanstar Communications Inc.

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Timpanogos H-D Bronze Sculpture

I’ve written a couple of times about the motorcycle destination resort in Lindon, Utah called Timpanogos Harley-Davidson and its bankruptcy hardship HERE.

Adding insult to injury the embattled dealer was hit by sneaky metal thieves looking for some quick cash.  A 4-ton statue – which cost approximately $100,000 and depicts an old-time speed racing motorcycle and was mounted to a granite block outside the motorcycle shop was stolen over the weekend.  Stating the obvious, Lindon Police Chief Cody Cullimore stated:

“that thieves must have used heavy equipment to ‘make off’ with the statue.”

The days of “tweekers” selling scrap metal for quick cash are over, at least in Oregon.  A new law (SB 570 (.pdf)) which went into effect this year requires everyone transporting metal to get a state certificate (.pdf) and selling scrap metal is no longer possible without detailed information on where the metal was obtained.  In addition sellers will no longer get same day cash for the metal.  They will get checks in the mail after a 3-day waiting period assuming the person has an address!

Metal theft has been problematic in the northwest.  Nothing is off limits it seems from aluminum bleachers at the high schools, bronze grave markers and even railroad spikes.  These people will need to continue to support themselves and I doubt this will cease the acts….but it might make them move to other locations where the hurdles are lower.

UPDATE: January 5, 2009 — The Dealer News blog is reporting that the theft was the result of artist Jeff Decker, who owns Hippodrome Studios and used a crane to remove the statue.  The artwork was listed as an asset of the business, which went through bankruptcy, however, it was not an asset, but instead was loaned to the dealership under a “display” agreement.  The artist simply repossessed the work and it will now be a civil case and not a criminal case.  Also reported was that the dealer originally opened as Monarch Harley-Davidson prior to the owners sinking millions into the place.

Photo courtesy of Timpanogos H-D.

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This is a reminder that tomorrow is the start of the 2009 Cycle World International Motorcycle Show in Seattle, WA.

Location:
Qwest Field Event Center
800 Occidental Ave.
Seattle, WA

When:
Friday, December 11:  4:00 – 9:00pm
Saturday, December 12: 9:30 am – 8:00pm
Sunday, December 13: 9:30am – 5:00pm

See you there!

Photo courtesy of Cycle World.

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Douglas A-26CYeah, it’s a little Randy slang from American Idol, but the title reference is about the new Indian Motorcycle called the Chief Bomber.

Two new models were introduced at last month’s dealer meeting and photo’s are starting to surface on the internet.  The new models are the Dark Horse and the Chief Bomber.  The Chief Bomber was inspired by WWII aircraft and is a limited edition model.  It will be available for one year in Military Green and Silver Smoke finishes.  The pin-up girl tank artwork was inspired (above photo is not a replica of the fuel tank) by the aircraft Bomber nose art of that era. For an added touch the leather used on the seat and saddlebags are reminiscent of the feel and color of an old bomber jacket.

MargieThe Chief Dark Horse is a sinister “matte” finish which is all the rage and highly desired by youthful riders.  The components on the bike including the blacked out headlight, tappet blocks, suspension, engine components, exhaust system, and hand controls make the few remaining chrome components stand out. The Bomber and Dark Horse are priced at $30,999 and $27,999 respectfully.  While that is pricey there are plenty of devotees who believe owning a gleaming reincarnation of the vintage bike is necessary.

Indian_BomberAfter a year in operation under the new company structure and management there are 15 Indian Motorcycle dealerships open worldwide.  All Chiefs have a 105 cubic inch PowerPlus V-Twin with electronic closed loop sequential port fuel injection. Engine cylinders are Nikasil plated and the stainless steel exhaust system is an integrated 3-way catalytic converter with heated oxygen sensors.   They have a 6-speed Baker transmission with belt drive. Brakes are 4-piston Bembo calipers and 11.5″ dual rotors up front. Fuel is stored in a 5.5-gallon tank and assembly of the motorcycle takes place in Kings Mountain, NC – U.S.A.

At the various rallies you’ll find large crowds gathering in and around the Indian booth.  There is something about these “Pretendian” motorcycles and how they recapture the glory of a half-century ago.

Photos taken at Evergreen Aviation Museum (“Margie” Artwork from nose of Douglas A-26C Invader).  Indian photo courtesy Motorcycling Magazine.

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H-DNet Web Site

H-DNet Web Site

Working together to improve their joint bottom lines IBM and Harley teamed up for a new television ad promoting the way IBM’s portal technology (H-Dnet) helps the motor company advance its brand identity online.

The four-minute ad was filmed on location at Milwaukee HQ, in Daytona Beach, and at Hal’s and Wildfire dealerships.  It’s a testimonial-type ad shifting from one speaker to the next and again talks “lifestyle” (Harley heritage) more so than products and how they’re using IBM technology to reach new riders.

See the 4 min video on YouTube HERE.  I watched the ad and think it will get favorable responses from the public at large.

H-DNet photo courtesy Harley-Davidson web site.

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