Bob Althoff: Dealernews is of, by and for the Dealer

By Bob Althoff, President, Dealernews

WELCOME TO THE NEW DEALERNEWS! Here, we’re going to discuss how we can become better powersports retailers. And more importantly, we’re going to discuss why we should.

I’m Bob Althoff, and my business is A.D. Farrow Co. Harley-Davidson. We have three dealerships in the greater Columbus, Ohio, metro area. Like you, I stay busy running my businesses, taking care of customers and trying to stay abreast of the issues that affect us.

Dealernews is not only a historic masthead, but from 1965 to 2015 played a critical role in the health of our $24 billion industry. Here is where we learned of best practices, where we explored important issues and where we competed against each other for national honors. Dealernews is The Voice of the Powersports Retailer – our advocate, our repository for information.

OF the Dealer…

In May 2016, I purchased Dealernews – including its print and online archives, its digital assets (including the DealerNEWS ALERT enewsletters), and the Top 100 Dealer Competition. In selling Dealernews to me, its former publisher, UBM Advanstar, ensured that Dealernews’ future would now be in Dealers’ hands.

Stan Simpson and Bob Althoff

Stan Simpson, industry icon and immediate past Chairman of the Board of the American Motorcyclist Association (shown here with me), and Scott Johnson, owner of Basic Media, joined as equity contributors. More than a dozen Dealer principals from the United States and Canada signed on as advisers. Mary Green (Slepicka) was retained as vice president and general manager.

We’ve all been pretty busy. Simply put, we have rebuilt Dealernews to become a unique, premium resource for retailers to use in furthering their business.

BY the Dealer…

The companion Dealernews INSIDER site, where you create your account and login, provides a way for powersports retail professionals to communicate and collaborate with each other, and learn from each other – in a private online environment.

If you work at a franchised dealership, at a non-franchised retailer selling pre-owned vehicles, or at a service and performance business in the United States and Canada, we invite you to sign up for a FREE INSIDER Premium account… and dive in! Make it yours! You’ll be able to search for and contact other Dealer, retailer and service business people; form and join working groups; participate in blogs and forums – and simply communicate with each other.

…and FOR the Dealer.

The new Dealernews.com – and the editorial engine that feeds it – is now considered, essentially, an information consultancy for the powersports retail network. That’s right; it’s ours!

Dealernews.com is now a combination public and private (“premium”) site. The public pages, available to all, will celebrate retailers and the key roles they play in their communities, in charitable work, for the people they serve and for the powersports lifestyle. Premium pages, available with your INSIDER login, will deliver more Dealer-sensitive information and present “deep dives” into vital issues we face. Historical archives, how-to information and educational opportunities live there as well. Qualified retailers with INSIDER Premium accounts enjoy free access to all areas of Dealernews.com and a complimentary subscription to the DealerNEWS ALERT enewsletter, which will relaunch in December 2016.

If you do not work for a franchised Dealer, a nonfranchised/used vehicle retailer or a service/performance/custom shop, you may still access the premium content on Dealernews.com for an annual subscription fee.

We have great trust in the men and women who own and operate powersports retail businesses. You represent every brand. You serve major cities, suburbs and rural areas. You are a reflection of the consumer we serve: big-hearted, fun-loving and generous to a fault. I know that, together, we can position the new Dealernews for the future and breathe life into the industry we comprise!

What we have now is worth fighting for. Our multibillion-dollar industry is worth fighting for, and the new Dealernews will help us get there.

Let’s make some history.

Contact Bob Althoff at bobalthoff@dealernews.com