COLUMBUS, Ohio – A group of powersports Dealers has acquired Dealernews from its former publisher, UBM, with a commitment to launch new information and collaboration services “to make Dealers better Dealers.”
Principal partners in the venture, Columbus-based DN 2.0 LLC, are:
- Bob Althoff, dealer principal at A.D. Farrow Co. Harley-Davidson, who is president of Dealernews;
- Stan Simpson, former AMA chairman and owner of JRJ Sports Center in Cibolo, TX, serving as chairman of Dealernews; and
- Scott Johnson, CEO of University Nutrition and president of Basic Brands/Basic Media Group in Columbus.
Mary (Slepicka) Green, former publishing director, editor and associate publisher of Dealernews, has been retained as vice president and general manager.
What we have is worth fighting for… and the new Dealernews will help us get there.
“Dealernews is now of the Dealer, by the Dealer and for the Dealer. We have rebuilt Dealernews to become a unique, premium resource for Dealers to use in furthering their business,” Althoff said. “What we have is worth fighting for. Our multibillion-dollar industry is worth fighting for, and the new Dealernews will help us get there.”
DN 2.0 has relaunched Dealernews.com into a public and premium information website. Premium content will require login access, offered free to qualified retail professionals – meaning, those who own or work for franchised powersports Dealers, non-franchised vehicle retailers, and service and performance shops in the United States and Canada.
An accompanying online community site, the Dealernews INSIDER, and the DealerNEWS ALERT enewsletters are also launching this month. A refocused Top 100 Dealer competition will open for its 25th Anniversary year in January, with winners announced in late March. Additional business services will roll out during the year.
“I think one of our main challenges facing dealers today is finding ways to consistently deliver top-quality customer service while operating on the thin margins that competition demands in today’s marketplace,” said Don Owens, principal at Dothan Powersports in Alabama. As the new format of Dealernews grows, “we can help strengthen the entire Dealer network in many ways. We know there is strength in numbers, especially if you join that with data and information.”
Dealers now have the opportunity to conveniently share best practices and ideas “from actual people working within dealerships who have possibly resolved similar issues,” added Dave Mungenast Jr. of Mungenast Motorsports in St. Louis, MO.
The new Dealernews can “unabashedly become the collective voice of all Dealers in the nation,” said Jim Boltz of the Washington State Motorsport Dealers Association and owner of Lynnwood Cycle Barn in Marysville, WA.
The Dealernews relaunch is being supported by a coalition of Advisory Board members representing veteran owner/operators, and Dealer and industry consultants, including Owens, Mungenast and Boltz. They are joined by (in alphabetical order): Joey Belmont of Big #1 Motorsports, Birmingham, AL; Jim Foster of Killeen Power Sports in Texas; Malcolm Hunter, recently retired from Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada in Vancouver, BC; Robert Kay of Star City Motorsports in Lincoln, NE and Harley-Davidson Central in Grand Island, NE; Bob Kee of Destination Cycle in Kerrville, TX; Dennis Larratt, a land access and trails preservation expert based in Littleton, CO; Laura Lemco of Dealership Valuation Services in Littleton, CO; Jerry Lenz of Beaverton Motorcycles in Tigard, OR; Kurt Mechling of Performance PowerSports in Seneca, SC; Mark Peterson of Southwest Superbikes in Dallas, TX; Sandy Stroope of Boat World Honda Polaris in Harrison, AR; and Mike Vaughan, retired OEM executive and former publisher of Dealernews, who is based in Oceanside, CA.