One part motorcycle dealership, one part vintage motorcycle museum and one part online/mail order new, classic, vintage and used motorcycle parts store, Bob’s BMW located in Jessup, Maryland, adds up to a 100 percent successful dealership.
Store owner Bob Henig started out modestly by selling used BMW motorcycle parts from his garage in 1981 (the days before e-anything). Now Bob’s BMW is one of the largest, most respected BMW dealerships in North America with nearly $10 million inannual sales.
Bob’s BMW has won numerous awards for overall excellence, merchandising, customer satisfaction and community service. The dealership’s recipe for success is Bob’s careful combination of sales and service of new and used BMW motorcycles, complete refurbishing and restorations on any year BMW built since 1950, great service and a passion for the BMW brand that Henig has parlayed into a world-class collection of BMW motorcycles and paraphernalia.
San Jose Harley-Davidson
San Jose Harley-Davidson has unique opportunities and challenges. The dealership is located just south of Silicon Valley in Central California, and a large percentage of the customer base either works in the tech industry or is tech-savvy.
Although the service department still spins wrenches like any other service department, communication with the customer has moved far ahead.
The service department has found that repeated video updates limits calls to service and interruptions to the technicians. Google Glass is another advantage for technicians because it works with head movements and voice commands – keeping greasy fingers off delicate electronics. The tech can also contact the customer by email from the glasses.
State 8 Motorcycles Medina
If you’re going to be a powersports dealer, it’s good to know how to sell used bikes. That is exactly what brothers Paul and Kirk Compton (and their father Gar) took to heart their first 10 years in the industry.
In 1995, the Comptons opened a retail operation on old State Route 8 in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, selling their pre-owned motorcycles. They decided to call the place State 8 Motorcycles and shortly after set up their first franchise with Suzuki and then Yamaha, and eventually added Kawasaki and Honda, too.
Fast forward to 2005, and the Compton crew opens a second store in Medina, Ohio, less than 20 miles from their original location. The dealership was built in 2003 by the original owner of Century Harley-Davidson.
State 8’s two locations are very different animals. The Falls store is close to Akron and is a much larger store that sells a lot of sportbikes and cruisers, as well as gear and accessories and everything in between. The Medina location is more focused on Polaris and Victory, as well as Vespa, which is just fine by Paul Compton who has been tasked to run this dealership.
Gary Lawyer, Bill Cameron and Pete Bangs bought Skagit Powersports in 1992, and soon started putting their innovative retail concepts into place. The thinking-outside-the box ideas of the three owners have caused Skagit Powersports to receive multiple industry awards, including Pro-Yamaha Sports Specialist. Skagit is one of only 25 dealerships to receive this award in the United States.
Starting out as a small Yamaha dealership, Skagit has expanded to sell Suzuki, Kawasaki, Kymco, KTM, Ducati, Gas Gas (a hand built trials bike from Spain – Gary Lawyer is a National trials champion), Oset (electric dirt bikes for young riders) and Husqvarna, while retaining and growing the Yamaha franchise. In 1996, after only four years in business, Skagit moved to a 14,000 square foot building, and has expanded considerably since then.
Las Vegas Harley-Davidson
In Las Vegas the operative word is “big.” Everything in this town is larger than life, built to grand proportions and bling is king. The only way to stand out from the crowd is to be bigger, glitzier and louder than the rest.
Well, Harley-Davidson dealerships aren’t generally known for Liberace-like décor, so when Don Andress and Tim Cashman, the owners of Las Vegas H-D, planned the new dealership’s design last year, they chose to focus on bluster,
not luster. But they certainly didn’t skimp on scale.
The first things you notice when entering the dealership are the enormous wall of glass and ceilings that run right up to the rafters. This translates to a vast, wide-open feeling that’s amplified by the conscious decision to keep sections of floor space uncluttered. This lets visitors take in the expansive space while offsetting another design element; gigantic signage around the interior.
Except for a few years in the early 1970s, there’s been a Harley-Davidson presence in Las Vegas since 1940.