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The Best of ‘Unknown Dealer’: Some Say Our Hero Has Struck a Chord

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Who’s Got a MAP? (May 2015

Map-PolicyThere has been talk recently about more manufacturers invoking MAP policies, which is Minimum Advertised Pricing. They set a price which they think is fair, and anyone who advertises their goods at below that is cut off from supply of said goods. I give kudos to those manufacturers who have made this step. I recently was sent a list of those manufacturers who have done so, and I try to sell their goods as often as I can.

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I can hear many people (mostly those offenders whom we are talking about) saying that this undercuts competition and is against the American way. To them I say “Poppycock!” The American way is being able to build a business and a life on a level playing field; working together to make us all prosperous.

This does not mean selling goods at an unfair price because you’ve told the manufacturers of these products that you are a wholesaler, then start to sell direct to the public.

If the manufacturers of the goods we sell the most of would just establish a MAP policy, with a good markup for all of us, that would go a long way to making all of us on the same level, and maybe we, as dealers, could have a little more coin in our pockets, and the manufacturers would still sell the same goods at the same profit.

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WE are the reason that they are here. WE are the ones who have built this industry over the last 100 years. WE are the ones who have supported the distributors in that time. Now it’s time for us to stand and make some noise. Who’s with me?

We’re All Fed Up! (February 2015
Having been in the industry for 40 years, and a dealer principal for the last 21, I’m pretty much fed up with how we’ve been treated by the major motorcycle manufacturers. It seems that every few years, one or another motorcycle manufacturer gets some sort of ego driven idea that, in their mind, the particular brand they sell entitles them to push the dealer network around. Personally, I think it’s because of too many four hour lunches with either too much Guinness, Sake, Limoncello, or Schnapps involved.

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To be fair, every single OEM goes through this process at one time or another. Lately, it seems to have been Triumph who has decided to abuse its dealer network to such a degree that it has lost dozens of dealers over the last two years or so.

Indian requires a new dealer to spend a vast amount of money on a new showroom, and to order a large amount of units to start. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of takers, and I fear for those who have signed on the dotted line. Of course, many of these are new dealers, and they do have the choice. They also may not really know what they are getting into.

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Honda and Yamaha have also been guilty of this; pressuring a dealer to order more units than they can easily sell, or they will punish them. I recently heard of Honda putting in a new dealer within a four-minute drive from an existing dealer.

FOUR MINUTES… While I understand that they are in the business of moving their product, by forcing dealers to take too much of this product, or placing too many dealers in a small geographical area they weaken the dealer network, and ultimately, it works against them.

Let’s Do The Wave! (October 2015
One of the things I have always done is wave at fellow motorcyclists. Most of them wave back. Some of them so subtly that it’s hard to catch it, but they do return my wave.

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However, I’ve noticed that one set of riders on one brand; who shall go nameless, but whose initials are Harley-Davidson, are waving back less and less. This has always been a trend over the years, but I have noticed it more and more lately.

I have also noticed lately that another set of riders on another brand are waving less and less, and that is those who ride BMWs.

The point to all of this is that we represent, in our entirety, three percent or so, of the population, and it seems to me that we should be more than happy to be one cohesive group, rather than a splintered group with no real voice or ability to lobby for any rights or legislation that would protect us when we are being treated poorly.

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Yes, it’s a small thing, this waving, but as dealers, I believe that it’s our responsibility to encourage our customers to treat all riders as comrades. It is up to us to get them to realize that we are all in this together. How many of the riders who refuse to wave started out on small Japanese dirt bikes?

Instead of being Harley riders, or BMW riders, let’s be RIDERS. And let us, as dealers, show the way. t

Some say his tears are adhesive and that he’s scared of bells. All we know is his identity is hidden for various reasons. Send us an email if you have a topic for him to cover at: [email protected]. To read the entire year’s worth of Dealer Anonymous, click here.

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