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New Study Ranks Ducati Dealers Highest For Third Straight Year

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Ducati dealerships were the top ranked brand in the recently released 2016 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index (PSI) U.S. Motorcycle Industry Benchmarking Study, which marks the third consecutive year that Ducati finished at the top. The study measured dealership treatment of motorcycle shoppers, with rankings by brand determined by the patent-pending Pied Piper PSI process, which ties “mystery shopping” measurement and scoring to industry sales success.

[pullquote]Harley-Davidson and Polaris’ Victory brand and finished tied for second, while BMW and dealers selling Polaris’ Slingshot three-wheeler finished tied for fourth.[/pullquote]

2016 marked the tenth year of the Pied Piper PSI motorcycle industry study, and ten years of results show that the sales process used by motorcycle dealers is more effective today than it was ten years ago. For example, compared to ten years ago, dealers today are almost twice as likely to offer motorcycle test rides, to ask about trade-ins and to request shopper contact information to allow follow-up. One of the few areas which declined over ten years was salespeople offering printed materials for the shopper to take with them, which dropped from 67% to 49% of the time.

Electric motorcycle brand, Zero, included in the study for the first time, finished with a PSI score of 109, right on the industry average. Areas where Zero salespeople were most likely to outperform the industry included offering a test ride, mentioning maintenance program and discussing features unique to brand.  Areas where Zero salespeople were likely to underperform the industry included asking about trade-ins and asking for the sale. Zero salespeople were also more likely to suggest that shoppers consider a different brand instead of Zero.

Brands showing the greatest overall improvement from 2015 to 2016 were Polaris’ Indian brand, Aprilia, Honda, Victory, BMW, Moto Guzzi and Yamaha.  Brands with declines from 2015 to 2016 were Husqvarna, Kawasaki, Can-Am and Triumph.  In total, improvement by twelve of the nineteen brands generated an industry average PSI score of 109, a two-point increase from 2015, and the highest score Pied Piper has measured for an annual motorcycle industry study.

[pullquote]From 2015 to 2016, the most pronounced improvement industry-wide came from the “ask for the sale” portion of the sales process. [/pullquote]

Salesperson suggested sitting down at a desk increased from 41% to 49% of the time; Salesperson did anything at all to attempt to forward the sale increased from 62% to 69% of the time; and salesperson mentioned availability of financing options increased from 62% to 65% of the time. Salesperson asked for shopper’s contact information hit a record of 59% in 2016, up from 57% of the time in 2015.

Performance varied considerably from brand-to-brand, including the following examples:

• Offered a test ride – either immediately or in the future. Dealers selling Can-Am, BMW, and Ducati offered test rides either immediately or in the future more than 75% of the time. In contrast, dealers selling Husqvarna, KTM, Suzuki, Honda, Star and Yamaha offered test rides of any type less than half the time.  Industrywide, salespeople offered an immediate test ride 31% of the time, and a future test ride 30% of the time, compared to 19% and 20% of the time three years ago.

• Immediacy – Giving Reasons to Buy Now. Dealers selling Polaris, Victory and Suzuki provided reasons to buy now more than 50% of the time. In contrast, dealers selling Can-Am, KTM, Honda and Husqvarna provided reasons to buy now less than 40% of the time. Industrywide, salespeople provided compelling reasons for a customer to buy now 42% of the time, compared to 39% of the time three years ago.

Dealers have little immediate control over many aspects of selling motorcycles. The product, dealership location, financing and floor traffic are difficult for dealers to change in the short term. However, the sales process is completely within a dealer’s immediate control.

“Pied Piper has found that on average, when motorcycle dealerships are ranked by their PSI score, dealerships in the top quarter sell 22% more motorcycles than dealerships in the bottom quarter,” said Fran O’Hagan, President and CEO of Pied Piper Management Co., LLC. 

The 2016 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index U.S. Motorcycle Industry Study was conducted between July 2015 and April 2016 using 2,140 hired anonymous “mystery shoppers” at dealerships located throughout the U.S.

For more information about the Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index, and the patent-pending PSI process, go to www.piedpiperpsi.com.

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