Unsurprisingly, the economy was the hot topic at the Tucker Rocky Dealer Show that wrapped up yesterday at the Fort Worth Convention Center. Several vendors have responded to the downturn by introducing products at lower price points — or by offering similar items requiring fewer part numbers.
Tucker said about 1,000 people representing 500 dealerships pre-registered for the show. Actual attendance wasn’t available by this story’s posting. Last year, pre-registrants hailed from 300 stores, but 500 stores eventually showed up.
Vendor count was also comparable to last year: about 150. Vendors that Tucker had picked up in the past six months included Baron Custom Accessories, Cycle Protect, Cyron (high-end LED lighting), Drop-Tail Trailers, DVS (skater shoes), Renthal, Royal Purple, Scorpion, Vertically Driven Products (maker of a UTV sound bar) and VonZipper.
Tucker holds its national sales meeting at the same venue during the two days before dealers arrive. This year the distributor allowed vendors to skip the sales meeting and exhibit at only the dealer show. About 60 vendors chose this option. Some said they received more than 50 percent off their exhibitor fees. A partition separated them while they set up their booths during the sales meeting.
As it did last year, Tucker also assisted dealers by reimbursing them for some of their travel expenses if they spent a certain dollar amount.
Another sign of the times was all the promotions taking place. Helmet vendor SparX, for example, was offering a program in which dealerships that buy in for $1,500 receive a 5 percent discount on future orders.
Ohio Steel has reduced its minimum orders for QuadBoss trailers from four units to one. “We’ll take any order now,” a company rep said.
The sales manager for Continental Tire said his company is doing twice as many aggressive dealer promotions than usual.
New this year was an “ATV closeout” booth with which Tucker was unloading noncurrent inventory. It joined the “Steals and Deals” booth that has long been a part of the show.
As mentioned earlier, several vendors hawked a product of which the affordability was a major selling point:
- PSR now offers economy front and rear stands that retail for $49.95 and $54.95, respectively, with a margin of 35 percent. This compares to the company's regular stands that retail for $129.95 and $199.
- Cycra’s Probend CRM handguards mount on the lower end of the handlebars. This allows the company to offer two SKUs instead of the eight required to accommodate the upper, curved portion of the bars.
- LeoVince now offers a stainless steel X3 system that’s steel-blasted to look like titanium.
- Shad had a new 49-liter matte black top case that’s 15 percent to 20 percent cheaper than its 50-liter model with a glossier finish and the option to add colored panels.
- Swisher displayed plow blade extension kits that reduce a dealer’s need to carry multiple sizes of plows.
- DG has ATV exhaust systems with an aluminum body but a steel midpipe. This allows it to retail for $199.95 instead of the usual $269.95.
- Hiper is hoping to attract more nonracers with carbon fiber ATV wheels that retail for $109 to $145 instead of the usual $180.
- Pro Armor’s ProAm Series uses thinner metal and simpler styling to reduce pricing.
- Seizmik reduced the retail price of its UTV center consoles to $179 from $200.
Even Myrtle West Customs, traditionally not known for affordability, was displaying an “economy kit” that includes a wide-tire rim that matches the stock front one, thus allowing the customer to change only one wheel.
Several companies, of course, bucked the trend by coming out with enhanced products. GoPro will soon sell a high-definition version of its onboard camera that will retail for $299.99, a hundred bucks more than the GroPro Motorsports Hero Wide. Mile Marker displayed a light-duty winch that retailed for $100 more than usual because it allows the user to vary its speed. Daytona TwinTec’s Twin Tuner II adds timing recharging to fuel management for an additional $50 over the original Twin Tuner.
When asked about sales, vendors of maintenance items like oils, tires, chains, etc., often reported either very slight downturns or modest increases. A rep for EBC claimed the company’s sales were up in the high single digits. Most vendors of nonessentials said sales were off significantly.
Stay tuned for product coverage from the show (including summaries of Tucker’s house brands), as well as an article based on an interview with Tucker Rocky executives. Meanwhile, see below for a peek at a new colorway for the Firstgear TPG Monarch women's jacket.