Renton Motorcycles, longtime Top 100 Dealer, shuts its doors

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Dealernews Top 100 dealer Renton Motorcycle Co. has closed its doors to make room for a sister auto dealership, Renton Honda, to move in.

Dealer principal Bob Lamphere also owns Downtown Harley-Davidson next door to Renton Motorcycles in Renton, Wash. The H-D dealership remains open, along with the separately owned Mick Kelly's restaurant at the Full Throttle Bar and Grill, which overlooks the Renton Motorcycles showroom.

GM Terry Stallcop said Renton Motorcycles has been losing money since the economy cratered, so the parent company made a decision to move a moneymaking car dealership from leased land to replace a money-losing powersports dealership on owned land.

Renton Motorcycles, a longtime Top 100 Dealer, sports an 86,000 sq. ft. facility. It was known for devoting entire walls and color schemes to its brands -- blue for Yamaha, yellow for Suzuki, and so on.

“We need that building. It’s a huge building and we need it for one of our Honda car dealerships [which is in a leased facility],” Stallcop said. “It made sense to move it to a building that we own. Since Renton Motorcycles was losing money, it didn’t make sense to move it somewhere else.”

While Renton Motorcycles has “surrendered” its Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzki franchises, Stallcop said customers won’t be left in the lurch. The store is open through the end of the year to honor gift cards and prepaid service agreements. After that, other dealers should pick up the slack, he said. “There’s a Kawi dealer in Kent, and a Yamaha and Honda and Suzuki dealer in Auburn. Customers have dealerships to go to close by,” he says. RMC has 28 employees, and GM Stallcop pledges to make sure everyone has a job when it’s over.

“We’re going to do our best to find them work, whether it be one of our stores, or I will personally help them find jobs at other dealerships,” Stallcop said.

Customers can reach the company at rmcreception@rentonmotorcycles.com or at 425-226-4320.

Posted by Holly Wagner

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