At Greenville Motor Sports, Hunting and Farming Vehicles Thrive

Family-owned and -operated, Greenville Motor Sports is the go-to destination in the Mississippi Delta for powersports needs.

Mississippi is a state full of land to hunt and farm on. In the heart of the Mississippi Delta, people need powersports equipment to help get their jobs done. For some, it’s a means of making a living. That’s where Greenville Motor Sports can help.

Greenville Motor Sports has a deep history that’s rooted in the Mississippi powersports industry. Owned and operated by the Tarver family since 1978, the store in Leland, Mississippi, is now managed by Keith Tarver.

Greenville Motor Sports

“I was racing motocross in high school and graduated high school, and this store came up for sale,” Tarver says. “My dad and a couple of partners bought the store, and I’ve been here since I graduated high school.”

Tarver explains that his dad’s business partners got out of the business within the first year. Ever since then, his family has been the sole operator of the store. Tarver and his mom, Glenda, initially ran the business. After she retired, he now runs the business with his brother.

When Greenville Motor Sports first opened, the store was quite small. When Tarver bought it, they had $5,000 in parts, 11 motorcycles in inventory, and the rent on the building was $500 a month.

“It was pretty easy to get into business back then,” Tarver admits. Now, the store has 20 employees and multiple lines, including OEMs like Honda, Suzuki and Polaris, just to name a few. With hunters and farmers alike across the greater Mississippi Delta, Greenville Motor Sports sells lots of ATVs and side-by-sides to help customers travel over the state’s rugged terrain.

Greenville Motor Sports

On top of making travel on rough ground easier, farmers buy side-by-sides from Greenville Motor Sports to help make their jobs easier too.

“I’ve got one farmer with eight side-by-sides, and his men show up in their company trucks every day and get in the side-by-sides,” Tarver says. “They stay gone all day. They don’t use their trucks for much at all.”

Accessories are also a big part of the store. A lot of the accessories that Greenville Motor Sports sells are cab components for their ATV and side-by-side inventory, such as doors, roofs and windshields. The store also sells its fair share of bumpers, winches and wheel tire kits. Tarver says the accessory market is currently a good space to be doing business.

“There’s a lot of opportunity to accessorize these, and it’s almost like no two are alike,” he emphasizes. “No two that we sell go out alike, so it’s a good market for accessories. You got a base model, and then you just equip it as needed.”

Like the rest of the powersports industry, Greenville Motor Sports has faced some challenges in recent years. Tarver admits inventory was tough to come by during the pandemic. The bright side of that challenge, however, was that each vehicle in Tarver’s inventory was being sold at full retail price. Nowadays, he’s seeing the opposite issue.

Greenville Motor Sports

“Everybody has too much inventory,” he says. “The pipeline was full, and then things slowed down a little bit and inventory came piling in here, so now we’re trying to get our inventory back in line with what the market needs are.”

Since there is too much inventory currently, space is limited on the dealer floor for Greenville Motor Sports. That means floor-plan expenses are high for the store. With a dealership full of ATVs and side-by-sides, Tarver says he’s thankfully been able to sell a lot of inventory.

“Selling the inventory is not a problem,” Tarver notes. “We just have to be patient and work through the excess inventory that we have, and I don’t want to end up having to discount everything at fire-sale prices to try and get the inventory out of here. I’d rather be patient, hold our margins and sell the inventory without destroying our market in the process.”

To overcome this, Greenville Motor Sports has transitioned to showing off the store’s inventory through advertising instead of ordering new inventory.

Greenville Motor Sports

“If you draw a circle 100 miles around us, there’s only one other dealer in that area, so we’ve got a pretty big area that we can draw from in order to move that inventory,” Tarver says. “We just need to let people know what we have, and we’re trying to sell the units on the features and the benefits, not so much price, to attract people.”

This was normal before the pandemic, Tarver explains, and now that advertising is back to being a main mode of business again, it’s allowing Greenville Motor Sports to reach the surrounding area of Leland more strategically. Greenville Motor Sports has several metropolitan areas within 100 miles of the store, such as Jackson, Mississippi; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Memphis, Tennessee, that provide a lot of potential customers.

Greenville Motor Sports is also overcoming its current challenges with pre-owned sales. It’s another good market for the store, and it works with a wholesaler to bring in trades that Greenville Motor Sports can add to its floor plan.

“The nicer stuff we’ll keep for ourselves and resell, and all that stuff turns over really quickly,” Tarver says. “We don’t have any trouble moving new stuff.”

To help drive sales, Greenville Motor Sports puts a lot of focus on its displays, which Tarver says makes for a positive sales environment. Having a 50,000 square-foot facility under a roof helps with that, not to mention all the fully accessorized vehicles that sit on the floor.

On top of that, Greenville Motor Sports’ service department is a major part of the business. Tarver says the store’s service department is used as a sales department, where its focus is exceptional customer service. He adds the service department is the primary driver for the sales department to get people to buy from Greenville Motor Sports over other dealerships.

“It’s rare for customers to go to a service department and get really good service and be happy with it,” he says. “If you can offer that, then those customers are going to want to buy from you the next time they get ready to buy our product, because if they’re like me, they want to buy from somewhere they know they can get good service.”

Greenville Motor Sports spends a lot of money on its service technicians to help drive sales. The service department will do routine maintenance on powersports vehicles, but with the store’s primary customers being hunters and farmers, the off-road environments they work on typically lead to lots of wear and tear repair.

Greenville Motor Sports

“It leads to a lot of maintenance and a lot of repair work because of the number of hours that they put on the equipment, and they don’t want to work on it themselves,” Tarver says. “They want to bring it somewhere and get it repaired right the first time, and quickly, so they can get it back in the field.”

A unique aspect of Greenville Motor Sports is its employees. There are decades of experience across each department of the store, from office management to the service department. It’s a stable group that has built meaningful relationships with its customers, which Tarver says leads to more sales dollars.

“People want to buy from us, and they’re willing to pay more because they know us, they trust us, and they know we give good service,” Tarver notes.

Greenville Motor Sports is constantly working for the future. In the summer of 2023, the store added to its showroom and warehouse space with a new 10,000 square-foot building, which showcases some of the store’s new powersports inventory.

As mentioned before, displays are a big part of Greenville Motor Sports. The dealership has recently invested around $70,000 in a Polaris display that will be installed in June of 2024. Tarver highlights these additions as things that will help Greenville Motor Sports stand out among its competitors.

“When people think about where they can go to see product and see a lot in one location and see accessories and anything that they’re needing from powersports, we want them to think of our store first before they think of anyone else,” he says. “We’re really focused on doing everything right and doing it better than anybody else. I think if we do that, price is really not an issue.”

Greenville Motor Sports
3802 Hwy 82, Leland, MS 38756
(662) 378-3479
OEMs: Honda, Suzuki, Polaris, Can-Am, CFMOTO, SSR Motorsports, Benelli
Number of employees: 20

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