Q1 2014 Dealer Sentiment Index: Kawasaki dealer comments

Publish Date: 
Apr 21, 2014

The following comments were submitted by Kawasaki franchised dealerships in the Q1 2014 Dealer Sentiment Index research study, produced by Baird Research and Dealernews.

  • The only Kawasaki that sells well is the Ninja 300.
  • Kawasaki sales are improving. They were very bad last year, so this year we are putting an extra emphasis on moving our carryover 2012-13 bikes. Their rebates have helped somewhat.
  • In my opinion, Kawasaki should discontinue ATVs. Their product line is stale, and the ATV business in general is faltering. I have basically stopped stocking Kawasaki ATVs and no one seems to have noticed.
  • Fewer new products, fewer affordable products, crazy layers of incentives.
  • March saw a nice uptick in motorcycle sales with aggressive Kawasaki promotions. Cleared many noncurrent models!
  • Kawasaki has an identity crisis; they do not know who they want to be.  Kawasaki is the one brand we have that should give Polaris and Honda a run for its money, but it does not and will not with current leadership.
  • ZX14s are selling below cost in our area. One would be too many.
  • Noncurrent levels are too high, with selected models not receiving appropriate funds. The new ordering system has improved availability, favorably affecting my inventory levels. KMC and KMFC are still the easiest of the OEMs to deal with, even though dealers can’t seem to influence model introduction to fill the numerous “holes” in the lineup. Stale models are also a problem that needs addressing; we need more than color changes and KX250s and 450s. Good start with the Ninja 1000 and Z1000.
  • The middle class cruisers are super soft. We are sitting on two-year-old Kawasaki  900s and can’t get anyone interested. Even though it is not a lot of product, it still isn’t selling, which makes it seem like an inventory overage.
  • We like the two-month order periods. Allows us to adjust our inventory levels and avoid excess inventory levels.