Letters: Dealer Says Yamaha Has "No Clue"

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PWC DEALER SAYS YAMAHA HAS 'NO CLUE'

We reported on our website that Yamaha Watercraft Group has a new program in which PWC dealers can use their co-op funds with no out-of-pocket expense. For every dollar in their fund, they can spend 50 cents on television advertising. Below is a Yamaha dealer's response to the article. Yamaha, in turn, declined to comment on his response. — ed.

At Yamaha's dealer show, we were asked to order 15 to 20 percent more product than we sold in model year 2008, just to reach Level 2. We had to order another 10 percent on top of that to reach Level 1 (dealers who reach the top level pay 20 percent of approved advertising bills, while co-op funds last).

Both Mark Speaks, president of the Watercraft Group, and Bryan Seti, the group's national marketing manager, were sure that the 2009 model year was going to be great. Many dealers did not agree with their forecasts. Keep in mind this was in August 2008, before the economy took a nosedive.

My store has consistently been one of the top 50 dealers in the country, and we thought the forecasts were way out of line. If a dealer did not order at least 90 percent of what the geniuses at Yamaha asked for, there was NO co-op to be had, among other benefits. I believe there are many dealers who have no co-op funds due to Yamaha's overly optimistic forecasts.

I wish I could tell my good, loyal, longtime customers what they had to order each year, but it doesn't work that way. And by the way, if Mr. Speaks and Mr. Seti haven't noticed, we have had a slight business slowdown recently. Of course, they wouldn't because, in my opinion, neither one has a clue as to what goes on day to day in a personal watercraft dealership. — Jack O'Neill, owner, Action Kawasaki Yamaha, Bradenton, Fla.

SHORT STROKE

Great job on the 2008 Top 100 issue (March). I like the quick articles at the end going over some of the various dealers' ideas. — Scott Lukaitis, parts and accessories manager, Freehold Honda Triumph, Freehold, N.J.