Suzuki: Several models make sales headway in March

BREA, Calif. - Suzuki dealers in March recorded year-over-year sales gains for a variety of motorcycles, scooters and ATVs, the OEM reported. Bright spots were in the dual sport and enduro segments, said Steve Bortolamedi, communications manager, in a monthly press update. From Suzuki: In the dual sport segment, the new DR200S proved to be a popular price-point motorcycle, while the

Indian, Victory sales rev up first quarter for Polaris

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Sales were up across all categories for Polaris Industries in the first quarter of 2015, with domestic motorcycle sales up a whopping 74 percent from the same quarter last year on new vehicle introductions, the company reported today. Polaris stock rose 3.7 percent in early trading on the news, even though Polaris’ chairman and CEO Scott Wine noted room for improvemen...

How to sell it: Airbag safety gear

CONVINCING CUSTOMERS to spend money on safety technology is tough. Case in point: airbags for automobiles. John Hetrick, a U.S. Navy engineer, designed one of the first airbag systems based on his experience using compressed air for launching torpedoes from submarines. His 1951 patent is a good example of an invention with a great deal of“safety value but no economic value, as the patent expire...

Dothan Powersports adding off-road showroom, doubles space

DOTHAN, Ala. – Spreading out around the middle when you turn 65 is pretty commonplace, so no one should be surprised: that’s what longtime Top 100 dealer Dothan Powersports is doing now. The dealer built and moved into its current 22,000 sq. ft. space (see image, right) back in 2000. A lot has changed since then, not least the size of the vehicles on the lot: Dothan carri...

Polaris fuels snow bike market with Timbersled acquisition

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Polaris Industries has acquired Timbersled Products, a Sandpoint, Idaho-based company that develops and sells kits to convert off-road motorcycles for snow use. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. “We are excited to add the Timbersled brand and team to Polaris’ strong snowmobile business. Timbersled has created a compelling product and revolutionized the spor...

Harley-Davidson reducing 2015 shipments following soft first-quarter sales

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Harley-Davidson will scale back motorcycle shipments and growth projections for the rest of the year after a decrease of 1.3 percent in worldwide sales during the first quarter of 2015. Wall Street negatively reacted to the announcement on Tuesday, with shares of Harley-Davidson (HOG) falling 9.7 percent to $55.59 In early trading. Dealers worldwide sold 56,661 new Harley...

Building Your Business

Planning

DOTHAN, Ala. – Spreading out around the middle when you turn 65 is pretty commonplace, so no one should be surprised: that’s what longtime Top 100 dea
WYOMING, Mich. - Fox Powersports is seeking city approval for a new 56,000 sq. ft. store near U.S. 131 south of Grand Rapids, with plans to open it early next yea
BRP/CAN-AM DEALERS remain optimistic about the market but identified a hole in their offerings in the latest Dealernews/Baird Research Survey. A total of 128 deal
TUCSON, Ariz. – Riders here will have a two Harley-Davidson dealerships to turn to, once construction is complete on Old Pueblo Harley-Davidson. Owners Tyle
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – New York’s first Indian Motorcycle dealership of this century will continue of a family tradition that goes back further than mo
MORGAN HILL, Calif. - House of Thunder Harley-Davidson has re-opened under new ownership, but why change a name that shouts from the heavens? New owners Bret Irvi

Vehicles

Dealer (survey participant) comments from the Q1 Dealer Sentiment Index survey on Polaris. Comments may be edited for clarity and to  protect anonymity. COMM
DESPITE reporting sales increases across the board during its first quarter earnings call, Polaris CEO Scott Wine indicated that there is room for improvement, es
WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. – Five-store owner Jim Snyder is adding to his stable with the opening of BMW Motorcycles of Shreveport, offering a complete line of BM
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Polaris Industries has acquired Timbersled Products, a Sandpoint, Idaho-based company that develops and sells kits to convert off-road motorc
This is one in a series of profiles of Asian powersports brands that sell machines through U.S. dealers under a franchise arrangement. The profiles are summaries
ATLANTA, Ga. - Triumph Motorcycles America says it is now the top-selling European brand in North America. The statement comes after the OEM revealed a record-set

Aftermarket

CONVINCING CUSTOMERS to spend money on safety technology is tough. Case in point: airbags for automobiles. John Hetrick, a U.S. Navy engineer, designed one of the
JANESVILLE, WIs. - Parts Unlimited announces the availability of its 2015 Watercraft Catalog.with 14 product categories and nearly 1,000 individual product listin
ACTION SPORTS CAMERAS are a big deal right now, with riders of all types recording their two- and four-wheeled adventures. At the most simple level, mounting an c
SWANWICK, England – Technical riding jeans company Bull-it has reclassified its product range in time for the launch of its 2015 collection.  The move
ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Rinehart Racing, manufacturer of high-performance exhaust products for Harley-Davidson, announces the purchase of the company by its current CEO
RICHMOND, Calif. - SpeedMob has added Ariete goggles, grips and motorcycle accessories to its lineup. Ariete, founded in 1947, is a three-generation, family-owned

Top 100

DOTHAN, Ala. – Spreading out around the middle when you turn 65 is pretty commonplace, so no one should be surprised: that’s what longtime Top 100 dea
O’FALLON, Ill. – A Top 100 dealer in southwestern Illinois is partnering with a local classic car shop to host the Midwest Motorcycle Expo, a new two-
BREA, Calif. - Southern California Motorcycles will celebrate its 15th anniversary year with a Spring Open House from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 11. Attend
PICKERINGTON, Ohio - AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame legend Malcolm Smith’s 1970 Husqvarna 400 Cross from the iconic motorcycling movie, "On Any Sunday&quo
ELMHURST, Ill.  – iMotorsports has added the Can-Am Spyder's four model lineup to its business and will be an authorized parts, accessories, and cl
BELLEVILLE, N.J. - Motorcycle Mall is the 2014 Top 100 Dealer of the Year. Here is their story.

Customers

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – If optimizing a website for mobile users seemed like an abstract concept before, it’s about to get real. Search engine behemoth
KANSAS CITY, Mo. and RHINEBECK, N.Y. – A new report for the automotive market finds that vehicle recalls can hurt brands long after they stop making headlin
MEDINA, Minn. - Indian Motorcycle is teaming with the United Service Organizations (USO) as an official partner, a yearlong commitment that includes a $100,000 do
LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. – Harley-Davidson has rolled out a tech company's global lead and demo ride system that speeds the process of authenticating riders
MASON CITY, Iowa – More than a dozen riders took off from Mason City Harley-Davidson on a more than 100-mile ride to the Okoboji Harley Davidson March
LONG BEACH, Calif. - MotoQuest is partnering with Long Beach BMW Motorcycles for the second annual Death Valley Campout April 17-19. The weekend event will bring

Market Forecasts

Q1 Dealer Sentiment Index: Polaris must resolve inventory imbalances

DESPITE reporting sales increases across the board during its first quarter earnings call, Polaris CEO Scott Wine indicated that there is room for improvement, especially with regard to dealer inventory. And the latest Baird/Dealernews Dealer View survey bears witness: our research study confirms...

Running Your Business

Administration

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – It’s too soon to tell what impact GE selling of most its financial business will have on the powersports industry, with several ban
ATLANTA, Ga. – Selly Sales wants you. The company is looking for 10 small- to midsized dealerships to beta test a new version of the Selly mobile sales tool
RICHARD WALKER joined Zero Motorcycles as CEO in July 2012, marking his first foray into the motorcycle industry. Walker spent much of his career with Hewlett-Pac
DEALER EXPO, CHICAGO, Ill. - Dominion Powersports' DX1 dealership management platform, being showcased this weekend at the 2014 Dealer Expo, was recently feat
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. – ADP Dealer Services has officially become CDK Global Inc. following its Sept. 30 spinoff from Automatic Data Processing Inc. CDK Rec
THE PRESSURE’S ON for Tom Hannum III - but not for the reason you might think. Hannum’s grandfather and father started the family dealership 60 years

Financials

OXNARD, Calif. -  CalAmp (NASDAQ: CAMP), a provider of wireless products and services, announced it will integrate its CMF-1175 telematics device i
DEALER EXPO, Chicago, Ill. – Is your business market-driven … or marketing-driven? That’s the question Tory Hornsby, executive vice president o
DEALER EXPO, Chicago, Ill.— Seeking the secrets of enlightened financial management, motorcycle dealer owners and managers crowded into Dealer Expo Manageme
CHICAGO, Ill. and SANTA MONICA, Calif. - Every powersports business makes use of an attorney, an insurance agent, an accountant, a real estate agent, a financial
BUFFALO, N.Y. - Equipment financing provider Blue Bridge Financial says it is beefing up its national sales and management team as it develops offerings in s
WHEN WE FIRST STARTED Dealership University in 2004, before the creation of Powersports Marketing, we focused exclusively on training dealers in all aspects of op

Inventory

CHICAGO, Ill. - GE Capital, Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF) has launched Dealer Insights, an online portal designed to give powersports dealers information
CARMEL, Ind. – Floorplan financing provider Automotive Finance Corp. (AFC) has promoted Johnny Shroyer to vice president of operations, west division. Shroy
LAUREL, Md.—Auction prices for used snowmobiles are up slightly, but by less than expected, according to the latest analysis by Black Book. Snowmobile price
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.—Arctic Cat's new chief executive officer, Christopher Metz, told financial analysts the company plans to “wrap our arms around
GAS GAS faces challenging days ahead as its chairman announced the manufacturer is suspending production as it waits for banks to approve a debt restructuring pla
ARCTIC CAT dealers say the company's new CEO, Christopher Metz, is cause for optimism, but he’ll have his work cut out trying to repair a relations

Legal/HR

INDIALANTIC, Fla. - Former MMI employment advisor Amy Beyer has joined Lonski and Associates LLC. During her seven-year tenure with the Motorcycle Mechanics Insti
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – A Southern California dealer’s lawsuit against Harley-Davidson can proceed, despite the Motor Co.’s contentions that the d
WANTED: Motorcycle mechanic. Must be experienced, reliable, bondable, and an ex-con. Bet you’ve never written that ad. But before dismissing the idea, remem
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A.D. Farrow Co. will be hosting hiring events at its locations as the dealership group looks to hire several positions in sales and service. The
INDIALANTIC, Fla. -- A multi-line metric powersports dealership group based in the southeast is seeking a human resources/insurance specialist. Candidates should
MILWAUKEE, Wis. – A Wisconsin appeals court has upheld an employee’s claim that Rice Lake Harley-Davidson engaged in wage discrimination on the basis

Training

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Just in time for helping your employees sustain the heat during weekend parking lot events and rallies, Ergodyne introduces three redesigned Chi
MILWAUKEE, Wis. - ARI Network Services Inc. (NASDAQ: ARIS) will conduct its first HelpFirst Live webinar for dealers at 4 p.m. Eastern time on Monday, Feb. 23. &q
DEALER EXPO, Chicago, Ill. – If you’re in the powersports business because it’s sexy, get over it. The powersports business is sexy, but just li
DEALER EXPO, Chicago, Ill. - Once technicians enter the workforce, the dealership world quickly proves they can never stop learning. The huge amount of new techno
SANTA MONICA, Calif. and CHICAGO, Ill. - More than 4,000 retailers have already registered for the 2014 Dealernews International Powersports Dealer Expo, to be he
Mark Rodgers started at Hannum’s Harley-Davidson near Philadelphia, Pa., before moving to The Motor Co. in 1990. In 1998, he and his wife, Amy, started thei