Bob Starr, general manager of communications at Yamaha Motor Corp. USA, on what he gleaned from 2010.
Dealernews: How did 2010 affect you the most?
Starr: It was a cleansing year. I don’t mean that term negatively (as it is often used), but instead we took the opportunity to cleanse our inventory and clear out older stock. In terms of both our inventory and our dealers’, inventory levels are more balanced than they’ve been in years. Obviously, retail sales were off in every way but instead of scaling way back on everything, we worked to keep moving forward.
Dealernews: How would you have changed your 2010 if you had possessed a crystal ball?
Starr: Honestly, I don’t know. It’s hard to say because you’ll never know how changes could have altered things. If we had foreseen some of our competitors’ significant price discounts, we maybe would have reacted to that knowledge, but again, it’s hard to say. Given where we are now, we probably wouldn’t have done anything different overall.
Dealernews: What are you going to do different in 2011?
Starr: Our new product for 2011 includes several models that hit the sweet spot for their respective markets. We’ve got a utility ATV in a sweet spot, the new Stryker is sitting in the sweet spot for the cruiser buyer and we’ve launched the Super Ténéré into the Adventure-Touring category that is on fire right now. We’ve got lots of reasons to get excited going into 2011!