Florida Harley Dealer Posts Record Sales Month

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Here’s a reason to be optimistic if you’re a motorcycle dealer: Harley-Davidson of St. Augustine, Fla., reports that it posted record sales during the month of October. And the owners are saying it’s not an isolated incident.

“We were very pleased with our results last month,” said Clark Vitulli, co-owner of Harley-Davidson of St. Augustine (and a former columnist for Dealernews). “Bike sales were up 16 percent versus the same month last year, up 76 percent versus September, and it was the best October on record,” he said. New and used motorcycle registrations for all makes in Florida were off nearly 42 percent in October over last year.

The dealership is marketing its sales success in a tough economy through a series of radio spots. (Click below to play audio.)

Clearly, two events gave them a boost: the recent Biketoberfest in Daytona and the Florida State HOG Rally, which was based for the first time in St. Augustine. However, Vitulli says the Daytona event only resulted in a few new vehicle sales. Most of the store’s success can be attributed to ongoing efforts, he notes.

“We made it a point to have weekly specials in all departments, food and music parties on weekends and value prices on all our new and pre-owned motorcycles, said Vitulli. “And maybe most important of all, we work hard at providing a friendly, at-home atmosphere when people shop here – Allen [Good, co-owner] and I are almost always on site, mixing with our customers. It’s a very fun and exciting, yet low-pressure shopping environment.

“In fact, the tougher the economic environment outside, the softer we sell, because we know how stressful it can be for shoppers today,” Vitulli added. “And that’s proved out by our 9.8 customer service score (on a 10-point scale), by an independent survey company. Allen and I are always pleased with the amazing testimonials we receive on our web site,” reported Vitulli.

H-D of St. Augustine (www.hdstaugustine.com) is a Dealernews Top 100 Dealer (link to profile on Top 100 page). Its main store is at 2575 State Road 16 across from an outlet mall near Interstate 95, exit 318. The dealership has another retail location at 118 S. George St. in the downtown historic district.

Posted by Mary Slepicka