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UTV UPDATE: Sportsman Country

Retailers and the media were brought deep into the heart of Texas for the first Sportsman Country National Dealer Meeting. CEO Johnny Tai played host as the group saw the assembly lines, spare parts inventory and massive 325,000 sq.-ft. facility with their own eyes.

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Photo by Patrick Saunders

Retailers and the media were brought deep into the heart of Texas for the first Sportsman Country National Dealer Meeting. CEO Johnny Tai played host as the group saw the assembly lines, spare parts inventory and massive 325,000 sq.-ft. facility with their own eyes. Presentations by leading lenders like Wells Fargo, Sheffield and Roadrunner – plus a 10-year track record – confirm that everything is bigger in Texas. But this is only the beginning!

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Sportsman Country was formed as an umbrella for multiple brands, according to Tai. “In 2009 I set up Bennche, and my partner David Shan had founded Massimo Motor in 2008.” Despite being located mere miles apart, the two operations stayed at arm’s length for a few years. In fact, it took until 2016 for them to begin serious discussions about a joint venture.

“Then in 2017 we decided to utilize the resources of each side to our mutual advantage, so that is why we founded the Sportsman Country umbrella.” In one short year, Massimo Motor and the Bennche brand were not only able to integrate, but expand. “From the beginning we wanted to make this company available to more overseas manufacturers.”

Tai believes it is a win for everyone from the dealers to the manufacturers. “They can utilize this platform to bring in good products and use the assembly lines right here in Garland, Texas. We can all use the same well-trained sales force, share sales and marketing efforts, warehousing of parts
and technical support.”

Linhai was the first brand to come under the umbrella, benefiting from PDI, quality control, distribution and everything else required to better reach the American market. In turn, Sportsman Country gained access to machines that were missing from Bennche and Massimo’s respective product mixes.

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Shan founded Massimo on a dream and three pillars: “Good Price, Good Quality and Good Service.” However Sportsman Country is taking it one step further with full warranties on everything. “In the past we used a third party to handle extended warranties, but there were some misunderstandings and unnecessary issues on the dealers’ side,” explains Tai. Not only was warranty work not being done nor the dealers getting properly reimbursed, but critical information wasn’t being relayed back to the manufacturer.

 “We started to implement our own software and we are able to track all the VIN information. We created our own in-house extended warranty called BEAST… our guys know the products, we know what’s going on and we can better assist the dealers and the consumers if there was a problem.” Bottom line: “We believe in our products enough to self-insure them,” says Tai confidently.

Not only does Sportsman Country know if there is a problem with units in the field, they make sure there is added quality control on the assembly line before a unit ever leaves the factory. There is even a dyno right next to the assembly line and random units are dyno tested to make sure everything is up to spec. “One thing that makes us unique is that we ship the units fully assembled to the dealers. We are in a very competitive business today and many dealerships are shorthanded, plus it is not easy to find a very qualified or experienced builder to handle PDI.”

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“We fully assemble our products because we can do it more efficiently and consistently so we can save the dealer a lot of time. When the dealer unloads the product, it is ready to sell!” Not only does this ensure the units are up to snuff, the dealer keeps the PDI money as a little wiggle room. Sportsman Country also offers free freight for minimum orders, which means a bit more profit on every unit sold.

Once the final assembly and QC is done, an extra step is that the sales team gives every single unit a full visual inspection for any possible cosmetic concerns before it goes out to their dealers. “We are proud to have that kind of relationship with our dealers and they trust us. Accountability and dealer support are more than just lip service for Sportsman Country.”

Adding to the legitimacy and credibility of the operation is the fact that they have flooring from Wells Fargo Commercial. “Bennche and Massimo have been doing business with Wells Fargo to offer dealers financing for a long time. We have also worked with Northpoint for years,” explains Tai. “On the retail side we have Sheffield and for consumers with less than great credit, we also have Roadrunner for financing down to a 580 credit score.”

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Representatives from both the wholesale and retail institutions were on hand to update the couple dozen dealership personnel on the latest financial features, but the real fun was out behind the massive 325,000 sq.-ft. building (a former Sears catalog facility). The test track gave dealers a chance to get some saddle time on the full array of ATVs and SxS vehicles from all three brands. We are just trying to figure out how to wrangle a couple long-term test units for the MPN team.

“Dealerships today are facing a lot of challenges,” says Tai. “The market is totally different than 10 years ago. Everything is getting more expensive when you are doing business so the dealer really needs to make enough profit from each transaction… in the past they may have been able to make it up in volume, but no more. With the market today, there is a lot of competition so you have to maximize your profit.”

The brands assembled under the umbrella are intended to make a real difference at the dealership level. “I think with Sportsman Country products we offer good quality control, good features and support dealers with the financial tools you need to sell the product, and also our parts are in stock and ship from here in Garland, Texas. We can provide you a good business solution and help revive your business. If you are looking for good margins, good features, good quality and financial and technical support, then Sportsman Country is a good solution for you.”

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Sportsman Country, LLC

3101 W. Miller Road

Garland, TX 75041

phone: 972-271-0888

e-mail: [email protected]

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