Indian Lands in Kentucky

The man behind a number of local car dealerships and a Vespa store in Paducah, Ky., Mike Smith, will be one of Indian Motorcycle's inaugural dealers.

Smith will be carrying Indian's new lineup in addition to Chris Craft boats. Both the companies are owned by Stellican Ltd., the firm behind the legendary motorcycle marque's resurrection.

Dustin Smith, the dealership's general manager and son of its namesake, told Dealernews that the new powersports store will house the boats, the Vespa line, a United Motors dealership, and a couple of other marques in addition to the Indian brand.

"We are always looking for exciting new opportunities and we're very attracted to brands that have an iconic heritage," Smith says of being named an Indian dealer. "These kind of opportunities don't come along very often."

Smith says he's visited Indian's Kings Mountain, N.C., factory and is pleased with Stellican's approaching in re-establishing the brand. "Their priorities are in line in terms of quality and preserving the reputation of the brand."

Smith's father has been in the auto business for about 30 years in Kentucky and also owns Nissan, Kia, Suzuki and Mitsubishi dealerships. He says he believes that motorcycles and scooters are going to become more and more popular as transportation in the coming years.

The Paducah dealership is one of 11 listed on Indian's Web site dealer locator. The listing offers no other information than the geographical location of each of the planned dealerships.

The other cities include Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Omaha, Sacramento, and Tampa. The company has already announced that the Charlotte store is nearing completion and is scheduled to open in the fall.

In an interview that appears in the August Dealernews, Indian chairman Stephen Julius said that the dealer network will be the company's lifeblood.