Zachary Materne, general manager of sales for The Transportation Revolution European Motorbikes in New Orleans, reflects back on 2010.
Dealernews: What is your gameplan for taking on 2011? What specific changes are you making?
Materne: 2011, hopefully, is all about leveling out. We have finally finished moving our stale 2008/2009 inventory and are now able, once again, to take advantage of OEM incentives for our 2011 annual orders.
For 2011 we are making two big investments. The first is a new website. It will include e-commerce as well as expanding the social networking scene we’ve begun to create this past year. It’s our goal to use our online presence to increase interaction with present customers as well as attracting new customers.
We are also opening a speed shop at the new NOLA Motorsports Park in New Orleans. This world class facility, designed by Alan Wilson, is currently under construction and due to open this spring. We see this as growth potential for us on both a local and national level.
DN: What missteps, if any, did you make in 2010?
Materne: I think our misstep in 2010 was being too conservative on ordering certain models. I feel that cost us some sales.
DN: Based on those experiences, what are you going to do differently in 2011?
Materne: We based our 2011 ordering on the new products. Between Triumph and Ducati we will have some of the most talked about bikes coming out in 2011!
DN: 2010 wasn’t a great year for most of our industry, but how did the market or economic conditions specifically affect you or your business?
Materne: Our sales for 2010 were starting to pick up in March and we were very optimistic about the 2nd quarter. Then in April we had the BP oil spill and the resulting drilling moratorium in the Gulf. That had a tremendous impact on our sales for this year as many of our customers work in oil field, seafood and hospitality related industries.
DN: What would you have done differently in 2010 if you had possessed a crystal ball?
Materne: I would have ordered more Ducati Multistradas! Seriously, I wouldn’t have done anything differently. We made a lot of changes in 2009 that allowed us to keep our doors open through 2010. We invested in our staff through education, we continued to investigate and implement opportunities to increase revenue in all departments and we started watching our numbers even more closely and made reductions where we could.