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Super Duper Mod Man
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To buy a dealership, it has to be appvoved by Harley corporate, and I believe you need a million bucks in liquid assets before they will even consider you as a buyer. Mom and Pop shops are dead. Harley is big business and they ran all the small-time operators out a long time ago.
 

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MODERATOR X
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What? I thought all you needed was an endless supply of bailing wire, and a few 50 gallon drums of 60 wt. oil.

Rats. Guess that Valmobile dealership is out now.
 

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The Toad
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To buy a dealership, it has to be appvoved by Harley corporate, and I believe you need a million bucks in liquid assets before they will even consider you as a buyer. Mom and Pop shops are dead. Harley is big business and they ran all the small-time operators out a long time ago.
BMW's doing the same thing. Ain't it the shyt when a corporation screws the very people who got them where they are? Especially HD which would have gone under without these "Mom & Pop" operations who carried them through the dark days of the 70s.

Looks like Harley and Beemer are racing to see which can become the biggest snobfest.

Ha! HD still has to deal with their own snobby dealers who don't like carrying Sportsters, much less Buells.
 

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BMW's doing the same thing. Ain't it the shyt when a corporation screws the very people who got them where they are? Especially HD which would have gone under without these "Mom & Pop" operations who carried them through the dark days of the 70s.
On the other hand, I met the people who sold the Broward County HD "franchise" to Bruce Rossmeyer. They were all upset that HD wanted them to invest in a decent showroom. The place they had was a tiny strip mall type building in a crappy neighborhood. The wife kept going on about how the building would have to have these "huge windows and cost a fortune in a/c." So Rossmeyer bought it, and now has 3 huge dealerships in the county. I'm guessing he's doing ok, he as a Lear Jet painted up with a "Screamin' Eagle" scheme and HD embossed leather seats.

I don't blame HD for upping the bar, and I think a lot of Moms and Pops missed the boat.
 

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The Toad
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Hallelujah!

On the other hand, I met the people who sold the Broward County HD "franchise" to Bruce Rossmeyer. They were all upset that HD wanted them to invest in a decent showroom. The place they had was a tiny strip mall type building in a crappy neighborhood. The wife kept going on about how the building would have to have these "huge windows and cost a fortune in a/c." So Rossmeyer bought it, and now has 3 huge dealerships in the county. I'm guessing he's doing ok, he as a Lear Jet painted up with a "Screamin' Eagle" scheme and HD embossed leather seats.

I don't blame HD for upping the bar, and I think a lot of Moms and Pops missed the boat.
I'm converting and getting right with Jesus because the end is nigh! Kenneth Moore is taking the side of a corporation against the little guy. Fire and brimstone will be raining from the skies within the hour.
 

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I'm converting and getting right with Jesus because the end is nigh! Kenneth Moore is taking the side of a corporation against the little guy. Fire and brimstone will be raining from the skies within the hour.
It's nothing that drastic. Bruce is letting me use the Lear to take some Hooters girls to Cozumel for Thanksgiving. What a swell guy!
 

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Super Duper Mod Man
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On the other hand, I met the people who sold the Broward County HD "franchise" to Bruce Rossmeyer. They were all upset that HD wanted them to invest in a decent showroom. The place they had was a tiny strip mall type building in a crappy neighborhood. The wife kept going on about how the building would have to have these "huge windows and cost a fortune in a/c." So Rossmeyer bought it, and now has 3 huge dealerships in the county. I'm guessing he's doing ok, he as a Lear Jet painted up with a "Screamin' Eagle" scheme and HD embossed leather seats.

I don't blame HD for upping the bar, and I think a lot of Moms and Pops missed the boat.
The Mom and Pop operations were service oriented. Now it's money based. If you come in with a problem at one of the 'New" Harley dealerships, they won't give you the time of day unless you have spent 20 grand with them in the past month. I could tell a few stories about Wildfire Harley that is 1 mile from my house that you couldn't believe. When it was a small dealer across the street, those people would do anything to get you back on the road. Now? Hell, the dealer wouldn't mount a tire for me that I bought there. I had a cut tire 20 miles down the road and I took off the wheel and bought the tire there and he said he was too busy to mount it because Sturgis was coming up. I couldn't f*cking believe it. Another time I went there looking for fuel line and they said they didn't have any! No fuel line? What the f*ck? Needless to say, I buy nothing there even though it's a mile from my house. Run by rich a$$holes that don't care about anything but making a buck. Times have changed.
 

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I'd bet the liquidity has to be closer to $5m. Honda, Yamaha start at $1m and go up. The guys that started Killer Creek HD in Roswell GA 9 yrs ago were into the investment for around $15m when it was all done. The building is modest (25k sq ft) compared to today's 50k sq ft dealerships. Imagine what Bruce spent in Daytona. Exposure is much greater than if you started a Euro Brands dealer. Triumph, Ducati, MV, Husky, Benelli along with a Asian Brand like Suzuki or Kawasaki would be much better for year around sales. Live on the ATV stuff during fall and winter and motorcycle sales will follow for spring and summer.
 

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The Mom and Pop operations were service oriented. Now it's money based. If you come in with a problem at one of the 'New" Harley dealerships, they won't give you the time of day unless you have spent 20 grand with them in the past month. I could tell a few stories about Wildfire Harley that is 1 mile from my house that you couldn't believe. When it was a small dealer across the street, those people would do anything to get you back on the road. Now? Hell, the dealer wouldn't mount a tire for me that I bought there. I had a cut tire 20 miles down the road and I took off the wheel and bought the tire there and he said he was too busy to mount it because Sturgis was coming up. I couldn't f*cking believe it. Another time I went there looking for fuel line and they said they didn't have any! No fuel line? What the f*ck? Needless to say, I buy nothing there even though it's a mile from my house. Run by rich a$$holes that don't care about anything but making a buck. Times have changed.
Times have changed, and it is all about the bucks. I'll never make excuses for HD or the dealerships. My point was there were a lot of small shops who could have transitioned into the new HD business model that didn't. Maybe if they had, the dealerships would have been better.

However, the Mom and Pop owners were making people around here buy Buells in order to get in line for a "real" HD back in the day people were standing in line to buy. They stopped supporting Shovels long before HD did... I remember the day I couldn't buy points for my bike. But I agree that it's all about the money. I've said in other posts the M/C biz is mimicing the car biz, much to my dismay.
 

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Aging Cafe` Racer
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That's why I generally don't have much to do with dealerships. If I want Gen-U-Wine HD parts, I buy online from Chicago HD, they do 20% discount on anything in the catalog for internet sales.

The rest of the time I buy direct or go to a local independent shop. The one dealership that was cool around here started out back in the day as a mom and pop BSA-Triumph dealership. They went to an HD franchise in the early 80's and supported them through the lean times then grew with it to become big time. They remained cool and family until the son who had bought it from the dad a few years ago sold out to a regional multi-line. The first thing the clown did was import his buddies from a Chevy dealership to run the sales dept. with pretty predictable results.

There's still a few old timers there but for the most part it's just another dealer now, the continuity and atmosphere is gone, the only thing I buy from them is used bikes and oil filters and that's because they're right down the road from my work and they're desperate enough to haggle.
 

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I feel sorry for the franchisees that have built their multi-million dollar facilities once real market forces take over. They have such a huge nut to crack, I wouldn't be surprised if you could find numerous dealerships for sale. The only ones to survive will be the 'old-timers' that paid their buildings off during the heyday. I have a new BMW bike store near me that is beautiful-but, the owner is struggling with a slow market and significant debt load. The manufacturers are pushing for these palaces, but as with the automotive, there will be many that simply fold or be bought out by the liquidators, er, consolidators like AutoNation and the like.
 

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To buy a dealership, it has to be appvoved by Harley corporate, and I believe you need a million bucks in liquid assets before they will even consider you as a buyer. Mom and Pop shops are dead. Harley is big business and they ran all the small-time operators out a long time ago.
That's for SURE. There was a really nice small HD shop here in my area for many years. The kind of place where you felt really welcome when you went in. Now, he was forced to sell and there is a new HUGE Harley Barn out by the interstate. Definitely not as good a shopping experience to be had there. Really a shame...
 
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