“But we weren’t selling enough to be viable when the economy turned. I needed something else. I’m sure Honda would rather have had us stay as a [Tier 4 exclusive] PowerHouse dealer. But either we moved to a Tier 3, or they would be looking for a new dealer. We had to do something to build volume, and it wasn’t working with [exclusively] Honda,” he says.
“The market was too small to support a single-line dealership. It was too small in 2006, but I just didn’t realize it,” Seltzer continues. “When things slowed down, we obviously had to do something else.”
That something else was to acquire the local Kawasaki/KYMCO dealer in town. The owner wanted to retire, and the sale worked out well for both parties.
Seltzer wanted to add Yamaha because that would have given him snowmobiles and PWC — a very nice package — but Yamaha wouldn’t approve the deal because it would have put him within seven miles of another Yamaha dealer.
“We felt it was too close, and they did, too,” he says. “It’s a shame, because we would have done a good job for them.”
Adding Yamaha would have given Seltzer some variety, and it would have made him a one-stop shop for metric products.
But he’s not looking back; he tells Dealernews he really likes the Honda-Kawasaki-KYMCO lineup that he has. “Kawasaki is an on-the-gas company,” he says. “It’s a good company to work with, and it has good programs to support their dealers. We’re excited about Kawasaki and we’re excited about KYMCO.”
As a Honda-only dealer, the big question for Seltzer in dealing with a prospect was, “Which Honda can we sell them?’ Now, it’s, “What product is right for them?” The two lines work together well.
HAPPY PRODUCT FAMILY
The owner of this Top 100 Dealership is pleased with the way the three lines work together. Honda has its 1300 sport touring bike and Kawasaki offers its nice Vulcan series at 1700, he notes. Then there’s the huge Gold Wing at 1800-plus.
And Kawasaki’s SxS Mule and Teryx offer excellent alternatives to Honda’s Big Red utility SxS, he says. Plus, Honda’s little 49cc scooter, the Ruckus selling at about $2,700, is really hot.
“We sell everything we can get our hands on,” Seltzer says. (continued)