Vehicles are manufactured in Taiwan, although product input from KYMCO USA is extensive. When we visited in June, 11 company engineers and designers were on hand to ride and observe how we all rode and used the machines.
KYMCO may be a small company by comparison to its major competitors, but it provides its dealers with the kind of sales and marketing support that’s usually attributed to a much larger organization. Since entering the market 12 years ago, KYMCO has progressed steadily in product and dealer development save for a couple of steps back, like everyone else, when the recession started in 2007.
Vice president of sales Bruce Ramsey said KYMCO’s long-term goal is to expand its dealer organization by about 500 new, mostly in the West (plus a couple in Alaska), an increase of 80 percent. He explained that while KYMCO has some coverage west of the Mississippi, existing dealers are pretty far apart, and it was unlikely that a potential customer would be willing to drive 75 or more miles, in some areas, to buy a vehicle or get a unit serviced.
So, what is KYMCO looking for? “Dealership criteria,” explained Ramsey, ”is pretty much industry standard. We’re looking for candidates in an open area that have a respectable-looking facility, showroom space and a service area, and who are ready to enthusiastically promote the brand.”
Dealer support. A dealer has several options regarding product inventory, depending on location. There are dealers who stock only ATVs and side-by-sides, some that stock and sell only scooters, and some that do both. Depending on the area, and providing the candidate can qualify for a GE credit line, a dealership can be established with as few as five units.
KYMCO provides the dealer with point of purchase materials, outdoor signage and access to consumer financing through Sheffield. The manufacturer has an online warranty system and a proprietary warranty compensation program that it plans to integrate with Lightspeed by 2015. Online services include a parts system with a sans pricing area accessible to consumers who want to check part numbers. In order to purchase, they still need to go through a dealer.
“We provide all the benefits that a larger company can, our product is well built, fit and finish is top notch, and we offer lower MSRPs and higher margins than any of our competitors,” Ramsay said.