You may have read in our news that J&P Cycles is relocating to a more centrally located warehouse so it can get parts out to customers sooner. This means the race is on for many dealers, who are continually losing out to Internet retailers, to step up their game.
After talking to many readers (including some manufacturers as well) about MAP policies, it seems clear that there is no simple solution. Our “Anonymous Dealer” columnist has been covering this issue over the past couple of months and he’s generated a lot of response both good and bad about what should be done, if anything.
The race is also on for the OEMs that recently released new lines of ATVs and UTVs. Last month we were invited to the top-secret press reveal of Yamaha’s new line of Kodiak and Grizzly ATVs. Around the same time, Can-Am released several new ATVs, and Kawasaki unveiled a new Mule, which to me shows that there’s definitely a race for this recreational-utility market. This is a customer who uses his or her machine for both work and play.
Although I wasn’t invited to Can-Am’s intro, Yamaha at least has taken a different approach to the market. They have identified customers not by demographics, but by specific price points and have built products to fit into these categories. For instance, 24 percent of Yamaha customers spend between $5,500 and $6,400 for an ATV mainly used for hunting and utility purposes. Yamaha is confident it has figured out what products this customer will want for that price point. It is a reversed engineered approach, but it seems to make sense.
Finally, you’ll notice our theme for this issue is vintage. The market for vintage has never been better, and we want to help you take advantage of the opportunities. A big part of doing this is by becoming a resource for the classic bike crowd, according to Margie Siegal who wrote our cover story about “Tapping Into the Vintage Market.”
One thing she says is key is that many classic bike owners will tell their friends about a good dealer and they will also buy a new bike from said dealer because they can’t always ride their vintage bike. It’s just not always practical.
As many of you know, I ride a vintage bike and I can’t tell you how many times I wish I had a new bike to hop on when I want to go for a ride. My bike is not comfortable for long distances, and I don’t have enough confidence that it won’t break down somewhere and leave me stranded. A new bike would not have this problem in my mind.
I enjoy riding my cafe racer, but it’s a different mindset than riding something with modern fuel injection and turn signals, and things that work as opposed to worrying about what is going to fall off or break next.