Guerin wanted Ducati from the start, as he was both a fan of the brand and confident in its potential. “Ducati has been in my heart as a customer,” Guerin says. “But I also enjoy working with the manufacturer. Being a dealer right now is great. You don’t have aged inventory. Ducati gets the accessories right, they have the brand experience, Ducati is really on top of it. As a dealer you have to be on top of it as well; you’ve got to play your part and support the brand.”
A more recent addition to the store was adding Triumph. Creating a mirror business name under the same roof, Triumph Newport Beach helped bring the dealership quick growth in the few short years since it’s opened its doors. The store maintains separate websites for each brand.
“The Triumph franchise became available and I felt that if we were going to put another brand in here, it would be a good fit,” Guerin says. “I felt that Triumph was different enough that it wouldn’t compete with Ducati. It’s a complementary brand.”
The results of both brands under the same roof has been surprising, even to Guerin himself. “Triumph’s drawn a lot more traffic into the store. At the end of the day, this might have benefitted Ducati in the sense that this floor traffic might not always buy a Triumph. In 2009, it was challenging, no doubt about it, but it came around quickly. [The year] 2010 was great, 2011 was fantastic and the growth has been fantastic. It’s been a total ‘pinch me’ how it’s all worked out.”
According to Guerin, a huge part of the success of Ducati Newport Beach has been the focus on creating a premium customer experience, along with building a staff that can consistently provide it. The first thing you notice when you walk into the dealership is that it doesn’t look like other powersports retailers. It’s a cross between a contemporary museum and a race paddock. The motorcycles are placed in the showroom as art; people can walk around them and enjoy them. First-time customers are often a bit taken aback. “Sometimes it’s a bit overwhelming,” Guerin says. “Many customers have never seen so much European product in one location. It’s fun to watch people’s faces as they walk in the door. But that’s what we want — it’s for the people that want to come in and experience these products, and touch and feel them.”