Hot Rod Harley-Davidson

Dealer Website: 
http://www.hotrodhd.com
149 Shoreline Drive, Muskegon, MI
View on Google Maps:Google Maps
Type of Retail Business:
Franchised (selling new vehicles), Used Vehicle Dealer
Owner(s): 
Clyde Whitehouse, Dr. Mark Campbell
General Manager: 
Clyde Whitehouse
Days of Operation: 
Monday
Days of Operation: 
Tuesday
Days of Operation: 
Wednesday
Days of Operation: 
Thursday
Days of Operation: 
Friday
Days of Operation: 
Saturday
Years in Business: 
9
Gear, Apparel and Helmets: 
Harley-Davidson, SGI Kids, Vega, Stamper, MOD, ACE
Accessories: 
Harley-Davidson, Drag Specialties, Custom Chrome
Parts and Tools: 
Harley-Davidson, Drag Specialties, Custom Chrome
Distributors: 
Custom Chrome
Distributors: 
Parts Unlimited/Drag Specialties
Male: 
85%
Female: 
15%
Average Age: 
45
Total Facility: 
40,000 sq. ft.
Showroom: 
20,000 sq. ft.
PG&A Departments: 
8,000 sq. ft.
Service Dept: 
13,500 sq. ft.
Total Acreage: 
10

Mission Statement

"A passion for God's will and the open road." For our staff, this means treating customers the way we would want to be treated, always doing the right thing and remembering that we are not just selling motorcycles but we are selling fun, dreams and the thrill of the open road.

Showroom Design and Layout

Customers are greeted with motorcycle displays in the lobby and near the front entrance followed by separate and fully staffed counters for the parts and clothing department and the motorcycle show arena.

A large aisle painted to resemble a road runs the length of the showroom floor and separates the departments. Motorcycles are displayed in front of a large glass wall overlooking the business route and Muskegon Lake. Specialty displays include a Hot Rod Race car, a Harley-Davidson gas truck, and over a dozen museum-quality vintage motorcycles. The lounge area features comfy seating, a television, and a great motorcycle video game to keep the kids entertained. Free coffee and water is always available and a few times a month, and so are donuts, cake or bagels.

The lower level includes the Zoom Room (an all-purpose room) that is used for store events and HOG chapter meetings. It includes a large seating area with banquet-style tables and chairs. There's also half of a school bus with a service kitchen on the backside which allows food and beverage to be served through the bus windows. This space also includes replicas of the original Muskegon Harley-Davidson storefront as it looked in the 1920s, and a gas station with fully restored retro gas pumps.

Also on the lower level are the Rider’s Edge new rider’s classroom (the range is located just outside the classroom in the parking lot), our large motorcycle storage facility, dyno tuning room, machine shop and service department.

All the walls and displays in our dealership including bathrooms and dressing rooms are filled with historical photos of Muskegon’s rich motorcycling history and other unique signs and show pieces.  The newest addition to our eclectic collection of fun items is a retired railroad caboose located on a patch of grass next to our building. It is a definite conversation starter. We tell people it is the original iron horse. It also ties in well to our Muskegon Bike Time Event in July when we host a five-acre concert venue and beer garden called Steel Horse Station. An estimated 100,000 people attend this three-day event.

Service Department

The service department can be accessed from inside the store or from separate entrances, including two service bay doors. Staffing includes a service manager, service writers, detailers, and Harley-Davidson-certified technicians. Each technician has two service bays with a mechanical lift, and utilizes rolling parts racks with all the parts designated for the specific job. Customers can see through to the service bays from the department waiting room and watch service being performed. A large window also allows viewing into the dyno room. The service area also includes a machine shop, a pick-up truck lift and two large delivery trucks to service the needs of our customers.

Training and Employee Motivation Practices

Employees are required to complete bi-annual online Harley-Davidson training seminars to learn about new product features and benefits. Service technicians also travel to seminars for hands-on training. We also practice departmental cross training to ensure a better understanding of processes among staff and a smooth end result for the customer. All training is done on company time and all travel is paid for by the company. Hot Rod also provides a private training room so employees may concentrate and complete their training free from distractions.

Each department has weekly staff meetings to discuss new products, events, promotions and strategies. Monthly staff meetings with all employees and a monthly staff newsletter keeps everyone in the loop. All employees are encouraged to share concerns, ideas, or triumphs in monthly staff meetings. These meetings are always ended in prayer and include thoughts for staff, families and customers.

Each department has monthly sales goals tied to individual bonus incentives. Employees are also motivated to work hard because they do not want to let their team down. The entire store has a common goal each year, which is to keep all team members working all year long, even during the much slower winter months. This helps us keep our average employee tenure of four years.

An employee appreciation event is held once per year for staff and their spouses. It includes dinner and drinks and a chance to relax and get to know and appreciate the team members outside of work.
 
Full time employees are given two weeks per year paid vacation, paid holidays, and health insurance (partially funded by the company). Hot Rod also pays 50 percent of the membership to a local YMCA for staff to help keep them healthy.
 
During the Christmas holiday employees are given extra paid days off and/or a cash bonus depending on the year.
 
At Hot Rod we believe all these practices lead to well-adjusted happy employees who enjoy their jobs and feel confident they have the skills and knowledge they need to serve their customers. 

Commitment to Customer Service

Our goal is always 100% customer satisfaction. Our customer service philosophy is the means to meet our goal and is “Treat every customer the way you would want to be treated”. This applies to every customer and not just the “big spenders”.
 
We have a large store but still try to maintain that small town feeling. We get to know customers and use their first names whenever possible. Every customer is greeted when they enter the store and offered assistance and a cup of coffee. 
 
When a customer purchases a motorcycle they are given the grand tour and introduced to all the department mangers and staff so they feel comfortable asking questions and making purchasing in the future. They also receive a free dealer T-shirt, Rider’s Edge Class and are entered into our Loyalty Rewards discount program. 
 
Our Harley-Davidson CSI score for the 1st quarter of 2014 ranked us as the #1 dealer in the country. Our overall Harley-Davidson CSI rating is 95 (out of 100), which is in the top 10 percent of all Harley-Davidson dealers in the country. We are also a Harley-Davidson Bar & Shield Award of Excellence recipient.
 
Twice a year we have a private VIP night for our top 100 customers to make them feel special. They are treated to food, drinks, and special discounts throughout the store.
 
In 2010 we started a Customer Loyalty Program where customers receive discounts based on their shopping frequency and habits. This program has been well received and helps us maintain our loyal customers from year to year.
 
Our Riding Academy program includes a new riders safety training course and a skilled riders advanced riding course. Classes run on premises every week-end from spring until early fall.  This service is offered to our customers because it is important to us that they have a place to learn the skills they need to keep them safe on the road and to get the most out of their riding experience.  The program is offered at no charge to new motorcycle purchasers.
 
We offer free storage to military personal serving overseas and also offer discounts on our Riding Academy program.
 
All service bikes are washed before being returned to the customer.
 
To help our customers decide what product may serve them best, we have and Seat and Wind Splitter demo program. They can borrow a demo seat and/or wind splitter to try out before purchasing. This helps take some of the guess work out of their decision. We also allow demo rides on new and used motorcycles.
 
All winter storage bikes are inspected, washed and battery tended after drop off and before pick up for one low price. Storage discounts are given to any customer that has service work done during storage. All new bikes purchased during winter months are stored for free until spring. 
 
Our service department makes follow up calls/emails to every service customer to make sure they are happy with the work that was performed. If for any reason they were not 100 percent satisfied, the service manager and/or the general manager works with the customer to make sure all issues are resolved to the customer’s satisfaction. 
 
Every customer that purchases a motorcycle (new or used) receives a thank you letter from the dealership which includes a web link to useful information regarding regular service & oil changes, maintenance & storage tips, warranty information, H-D extended service plan. 
 
Each new motorcycle purchase qualifies for our Loyalty Rewards program and 10 percent off general merchandise and parts purchases for the year. All new motorcycle purchasers receive a congratulations packet which includes a pocket ID card with their name, a photo of their bike, VIN, make, model and warranty information. We continue to communicate with these customers throughout the years with service reminders, anniversary cards, birthday cards, holiday cards and trade in offers.
 
We maintain an email database of customers that want to receive communications from the dealership and send them weekly store specials and event information. This information is also optimized for viewing on tablets and smart phones. We also maintain a Facebook page/Twitter feed and post community events, benefits and rides that may be of interest to our customers.

Involvement in the Community

Our community involvement philosophy is “what’s good for our community is good for Hot Rod H-D." Our goal is to promote the sport of motorcycling while supporting our community and our customers. We achieve our goal through sponsorships, events, and donations.

Our biggest event is Muskegon Bike Time, a three-day motorcycle event started by Hot Rod H-D in 2007. The event was established to promote motorcycling and tourism in downtown Muskegon. Vendors, entertainment tents, stunt shows, concerts and a motorcycle-only Main street draw crowds from all over the country.

Today, the entire city is involved, as an estimated 135,000 people and 75,000 motorcycles attend the three-day event, resulting in an estimated $25 million impact on the community. During the event, Hot Rod offers free or $5 concerts (which have included Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Bad Company, Mitch Ryder, The Marshall Tucker Band & Molly Hatchet). Partial proceeds from beverage sales at the concerts are donated to the American Red Cross. To date, this event has raised over $155,000 for the Red Cross. The event is promoted across a multi-state region contributing to the growth of the event and the exposure of the community to tourism dollars.

Hot Rod H-D has sponsored and/or donated prizes for many charitable rides and events including the MDA, Every Woman’s Place, The James Fund, The ALS Association, Hospice, Rolling Thunder, Pioneer Resources, American Cancer Society, Moose on Bikes, Habitat for Humanity, National Outdoor Women, Bethany Christian Services, The Child Abuse Council, Wings of Mercy, Women On Wheels, and the American Legion. Hot Rod H-D also donates to numerous private individuals raising money due to tragedies and hardships. One of our owners is also an oncologist, so we take a special interest in all cancer-related fundraisers.

Hot Rod H-D has partnered for the last 5 years with Dune Drummers of the National Wild Turkey Federation to provide turkey dinners complete with all the trimmings to over 200 needy families in the Muskegon area. Hot Rod provides a financial donation, plus manpower and a truck to help package and deliver the food. 
 
This year Hot Rod was also a major sponsor of the "Here's to the Heroes" event honoring our local veterans. This was a 4-day celebration in downtown Muskegon which included the Budweiser Clydesdales, music, fireworks, military exhibitions, a parade and a free lunch for over 4,000 current military, veterans and their families. Over $20,000 was also raised for local veterans organizations. 
 
Hot Rod H-D sponsored the Unity Festival this year. This was a 4-Day Christian music festival in downtown Muskegon. The event promotes unity and Christian values that are in-line with the philosophy of the dealership.
 
For the 3rd year in a row Hot Rod H-D is supporting The United Way of the Lakeshore with a raffle bike for their yearly campaign. Hot Rod delivers the bike to different businesses all over county during their campaign. In the last two years the raffle bike as raised over $435,000 in NEW campaign pledges for the United Way resulting in a yearly revenue of over 2,689,000 which is put right back into the local community. 
 
Hot Rod H-D is a major sponsor for the Muskegon Motorcycle Club, the National Pro Hill Climb, and a sponsor of ABATE region 5 so they can continue to support motorcycling awareness in our community.