INDY LIVE 2012: Powersports retailers ruling in Indy

Publish Date: 
Feb 18, 2012
By Mary Slepicka

Indy is bringing in a new generation of buyer.

Accompanying the franchised dealers, independent retailers and service shops this year are an increasing number of specialized stores and volume buyers. Based on badges scanned and initial surveys conducted during Friday and Saturday, show management confirms that not only are the Harley and metric dealers in town, but so is Costco and Amazon.com.

Accompanying everyone are the large powersports e-tailers, including MotorcycleSuperstore.com.

As of noon Saturday, 44 percent of badge-holders were annual patrons, 37 percent were return visitors after a short (one- to two-year) sabbatical, and 19 percent were first-time attendees. More than 72 percent were dealer owners, GMs and/or department managers authorized to make purchasing decisions on the spot.

Initial reports indicate that the inaugural American V-Twin Dealer Show is a hit, with more than half of the 2012 visitors so far coming to Indy to attend both AVTDS and the Dealer Expo. This would jive with show management’s contention that most retailers want to view all markets in one venue and on one weekend. Nearly 80 percent of attendees have so far indicated that they will be returning to Indy in 2013.

“Additionally, V-Twin buyers are happy with what has been delivered,” said Allison Lombardo, vice president of marketing for Advanstar, which produces the shows (and is parent of Dealernews). “Eighty-six percent say that they ‘like’ or ‘love’ the inaugural American V-Twin Dealer Show.”

Education seems to be the key driver for attendance this year. According to initial surveys, 86 percent say they “loved” the Kevin Freiberg opening day presentation on Friday morning, and 72 percent were in town specifically to attend the Dealership University-presented classroom seminars. Indeed, most of the classroom seminars were at full capacity on Friday and Saturday. In addition:

- 29 percent said they were in town to take advantage of the buying/selling opportunities;
- 29 percent said they were here to view new products;
- 21 percent said they were after show-exclusive savings on products;
- 14 percent cited networking opportunities; and
- 7 percent said they were in town specifically to participate in the NPA auction on Saturday.

As of Saturday morning, the geographic breakdown showed that 29 percent of attendees were from the Midwest, followed by Northeast (29 percent), South (21 percent), and Southwest (7 percent). Fourteen percent of attendees traveled in from outside the United States.

– Mary Slepicka