Biker Lifestyle

Insane Throttle hitting the road to explore issues facing Harley-Davidson by talking to the Dealerships. Send your questions in so they can be answered. Dealerships looking for other revenue

By James “Hollywood”Macecari

James

It’s no secret that Harley-Davidson has found itself in quiet the position the last couple years. Sales are declining and interest in motorcycling is starting to hit the bottom of the barrel. Insane Throttle will be hitting the road starting a new Youtube Series “The Harley-Davidson Dealership Tour- The Customers Speak Out.”

This series will take place at multiple dealerships. We will go in and talk to owners, GM’S, Mechanics and salesman to get their take on whats going on. Most importantly we will be armed with the questions of our readership and followers on Youtube. We will be asking the tough questions that the mainstream media will never ask.

This is your chance to become a part of the story. The episodes start shooting the first week of April and will premiere on Insane Throttles Youtube Channel April 23rd. Priority for asking questions are giving to our followers on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. The questions we will be using will be pulled from those who post on those social media platforms. When you post a question make sure to leave only your first name and state your from. Kind of like we do on the Thursday Night “Lives” on our Facebook with Big Pete.

We will be addressing why some dealerships like Black-Diamond Harley Davidson is now trying to find new ways of raising revenue. They have recently announced that they will be selling RV’s. Take a look at the story and news video below and you can see just what some dealerships are resorting to to make extra income because bike sales are down.

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Source: Abc 3

By Hannah Gebresilassie

MARION — Black Diamond Harley-Davidson leaders plan to expand, which could mean additional revenue for the City of Marion.

Black Diamond President Rodney Cabaness presented the new business opportunity at a Marion City Council meeting Monday.

“We really think $10-20 million in extra revenue in the year and I know it’s a big swing but we really think we’ll get to $10 million pretty quick,” Cabaness said.

That revenue would generate additional tax dollars for the City of Marion. The expansion will also create job opportunities.

“Immediately we’re going to hire ten people and we already have forty units that are inbound,” Cabaness said.

The RVs can cost anywhere from $10 thousand to more than $100 thousand.

“There’s everything from an 18-foot trailer all the way to a 45-foot trailer,” Cabaness said.

City leaders look forward to bringing the new business to town.

“It’s a real turnaround for the city getting it back to where we want to be headed back,” Marion Mayor Anthony Rinella said.

Black Diamond Harley-Davidson will kick everything off at their grand opening on April 20th.

“We’re really excited about it and glad to get started,” Cabaness said.

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3 comments

  1. It’s not just Harley Davidson that is feeling the crunch. All of the manufacturers are, it’s just that HD is far more high profile than the others so that’s where the focus is.

    The problem is the buying public has no interest in buying motorcycles. I recently covered this on one of my podcast episodes. The buying public is funneling their funds elsewhere and there is no public effort by any manufacturer to advertise on mainstream media and print outside of motorcycle related publications. A fine example would be that I have seen one single TV commercial on regular TV for Honda’s new Goldwing. Where’s Harley Davidson? Why aren’t they putting their faces on TV? I was recently told that Harley advertises a lot on TV, that they were on every commercial during the X-Games and a MotoGP race. So what!! Who watches that stuff? People who already ride! Ridiculous. Like trying to sell sand to someone who lives in a desert, really? Progressive insurance does more to advertise motorcycles than HD does, what’s up with that?

    The buying public also is being inundated with bad information, bad promo and vibes from the riding community. Things like crash videos on youtube and facebook, comments from riders saying things like “…it’s not if you are going to crash, it’s when” or “Every rider is going to crash”. Comments like that, videos like those, scare off the would be rider. Those comments should never be uttered in the public arena. Instead, positive comments about the comradery, the rides, the funny stories, the people, the places and the adventure should be what the public hears about. Things like that will attract the would-be rider.

    Perception is everything. Here is what HD needs to address. The current public perception is that the people who ride HD’s are fat bearded 55 plus retirement aged relics and RUB’s who are just trying to fit in and be cool. No young millennial wants to ride with their father or grandfather. So the perception that HD needs to modify is that. Ads and TV commercials of a young urban, suburban male or female getting off of work in some yuppie environment and getting on a Low rider, Fat Boy or Sportster and taking off is what the buying public needs to see. Hell, even local dealerships should be advertising on TV and in newspapers, but they are not. So what we are left with is the social media fueled misinformation and bad perception of what a Harley Rider and a motorcyclist is.

    Then you add in the 1% and that kicks in the fear factor and again, perception takes root. We all joke that SOA was a complete farce and not representative however during the run of that show, HD saw an increase in sales.

    Here’s an actual stat that will give some clarity. In 2016, over 500,000 RV’s were sold in the US. More than half, MORE THAN HALF of those were purchased by people under 40 years old. 2017 through January 2018 saw a 25% increase in those sales. 60% of homes sales last year where by people under 35 years old. Who are these people? They are the buying public. They are the people who should be buying motorcycles, but they are not. They are starting families and a home life. What does this tell us? In 15 to 20 years there will be a resurgence of guys and gals getting a motorcycle because “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do” and didn’t while they were beginning their family lives.

    So let’s get HD on the airwaves, on the TV and in non-motorcycle related magazines and newspapers and let the circle of life begin.

    Great blog, keep up the good work.

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  2. This should be an interesting and important them to explore. I will just offer my local perspective from Taiwan and leave it for you to decide if there is any carry-over to the States.

    Last year I went to the HD dealer in the capital city, Taipei. I had made an appointment for a set time to see a specific bike. On arrival I was given a coffee and told to wait. No one offered to show me around or to speak to me. After 20 minutes a young female sales assistant came over and told me the bike I had an appointment to see was in their underground carpark. Already I was thinking “REALLY?!”. She took me down and their was row after row of customers bikes, and this was in one of these lines, not even the front line. I could barely sit on it due to the proximity of other bikes. It was dimly lit, hot, and there was no offer at all to get the bike out for me to see it. She made me feel that she was doing me a favour! Still when we went back to the main showroom there was no attempt to show me anything else. Unbeknownst to her I had cash with me fully with the expectation to buy a bike that day, for hard cash. I walked out the door instead, thinking that if that is how they treat customers when they are trying to sell them a bike, what would it be like for after-sales service!

    I didn’t like the boutiquey feel to the place either – ok, it is nice to see all the gear, but there had not been one iota of feeling that here were knowledgeable motorcycle enthusiasts, keen to talk to another enthusiast, whether I bought or not.

    I then tried to contact one of other (few) HD dealerships, prepared to believe that I had just been unlucky. Several unanswered emails later I wrote to HD Asia and asked if they could help. They gave me details of a specific email to use. I wrote a brief, carefully worded, but specific email to say what I was looking for. They replied “Are you wanting to buy a HD?” Literally, that was the reply to my specific details! I replied again. This time they didn’t answer.

    So sod it, I went and bought a Victory.

    Now this having been said, yesterday I visited HD Guanyin, which is actually closer to where I live. This time it was chalk and cheese. I met several staff members, all very friendly, all enthusiastic, made me feel welcome, happy to show me the whole range, even looked at my Vic with interest. Fantastic. Their location is also good – on the junction of two freeways – and they have a cafe/restaurant above the showroom. At first I was sceptical – I was there to see bikes, not eat! But actually I now think it is a great idea. It gives bikers somewhere to meet and talk and a reason to go to that dealership, and whilst they are there who knows, I am sure they will look at any new bikes that are in and maybe some will be tempted to buy one. Certainly if the staff are as good as they were with me yesterday they just may well do so. Heck, even my wife said she will go there with me! I wish them every success.

    So, I guess what I am saying is that maybe, just maybe, if more attention was paid to training good, enthusiastic, knowledgable young sales staff it could really make a difference. If last year I had received the service I enjoyed yesterday I would be riding a HD now instead of my Vic. I have no regrets – love the Vic, but that’s not what I am here to comment about!

    Mark “Llama” Vickers
    Taiwan

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