Good weather, good planning help Jacksonville dealers


Jacksonville area dealers are crediting good planning with helping them keep up with demand for used bikes as the soft economy struggles to recover and manufacturers cut back on new shipments.

Warm weather and improving credit standards are combining to bring in customers, and dealers who stocked up on used bikes late last year have kept inventories in the comfort zone.

"We've seen a significant increase the last two months in [the sale of] used product," Terry Holt, GM at Purcell's Motorcycle & Marine, told the Florida Times-Union. "The dealers, over the last 18 months, have worked their new product down with the help of factory rebates and that sort of thing...manufacturers cut back on production. As it gets further along, until they get up to full speed again and orders come in, you¹re going to see even more emphasis on used bikes."

Even though the dealer prepared for demand, the supply may not hold up, Holt says.

"We bought them over the winter and that's where we made our investments," he says. "With what the economy has done to them, we have been able to purchase quite a few over the last period, but now they're getting a little scarcer."

Mike Grimaldi, sales manager for Adamec Cycle Sales Co., says even though he stocked up on used bikes, his inventory of Harley-Davidson/Buells isn¹t where he¹d like it, partly because of production cuts at H-D.

"We did pre-purchase. We knew this was going to happen last summer, so we went into the winter preparing for it," Grimaldi says. "We planned for it, but because of supply and demand, my inventory at this store is lower than we¹d like it to be. Hence, I'll be going to auction at the end of the month to buy motorcycles."

Jacksonville PowerSports has survived similar hardships in the past GM Jeff Lewis says, and lenders are starting to make quicker approvals.

"We're seeing an increase in all activity right now," Lewis says. "With the good weather, it seems like the lenders have loosened up a little bit. We’re seeing quite a bit more activity on the used bike side and the new bike side."

Posted by Holly Wagner