PowerSports Business

August 14, 2017

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POWER 50 Sales of custom bike parts, Indian pilot program spur growth BY KATE SWANSON ASSISTANT EDITOR While weather conditions and economic insta- bility have some dealers throwing up their hands, Vern Eide Motoplex of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is hard at work making 2017 another success. Within minutes of enter- ing the multi-line dealership, it's clear the "Eide Effect" is alive and well, from its smiling employees to the energetic atmosphere. Steve Nunn, Vern Eide Motoplex's general manager, said the dealership has seen overall growth in 2017, despite a late start to summer riding. "We've been really affected by summer seasonality in the first three months, but we have rebounded. Our motorcycle business, even during the first quarter, never missed a beat, and that's where we've had a lot of our growth," he said. The dealership's service department had a slow start with fewer riders out due to weather. The parts department has remained strong thanks in part to Vern Eide's partnership with Rusty Jones Customs. "Everything with RJC goes through our parts department. With the RJC growth and the unit sales growth that we've had over the last three years, that's been the biggest impact in that arena." Since news of Polaris' plan to shutter its Victory line spread in January, Vern Eide has sold all but two of its Victory bikes. Rusty Jones Customs continues to make aftermarket parts for both Victory and Indian, allowing the dealership to build on its relationships with Victory owners. "We just finished a Vic- tory build. We're not afraid; we know that the demand is still out there from Victory owners. Those bikes are still going to be out there being driven," Nunn said. "However, we know there is a shelf life. That's where our huge product of Indian motorcycle parts, which Rusty launched in Sturgis, is going to be exciting." Jones' recent custom build of a 2017 Indian Chieftain is debuting at the 2017 RJC display in Sturgis. The bike's signature look features a new fairing that Jones designed. "Indian has been a growth area for us, and the Rusty Jones parts have been a growth area for us," Nunn added. In fact, the number of authorized deal- ers who sell Rusty Jones Customs has grown to more than 40 in the U.S. Much like motorcycles, Nunn said the deal- ership's PWC sales have grown. Vern Eide car- ries all three major watercraft brands: Yamaha, Kawasaki and Sea-Doo. "We are slightly up from where we were last year. We've seen a longer hit as far as traffic," said Nunn. "It's been a good year for watercraft, but much like our motorcycles, we did have a slow start." Sea-Doo's Spark and Trixx models have been the top sellers among PWC. "The Spark has definitely been a hit, and the Trixx per- formance models — we just can't get enough of those." While Polaris remains the overall top-sold brand at Vern Eide, Nunn said other brands, such as Honda, Yamaha and Kawasaki have seen growth. "Polaris still outsells everything 2 to 1. But we've seen growth with other brands as well," he added. Vern Eide was ranked No. 2 in its region for Honda sales in June. Nunn said the company has plans in the works to purchase the building the dealership's housed in, so more space can be used for its growing inventory. "We can't modify the build- ing until we own it. The plan is to turn the entire showroom into an all-year-round motorcycle showroom and then do something additional for off-road. We'll have a warehouse, kind of Costco-feel, using the warehouse as a show- room with the ability to separate by brand." With the rise in internet research, cus- tomers are coming into the dealership more informed than in the past. "We treat everyone as though they have all the knowledge and that they are here to teach us," said Nunn. "It's really all about what happens once the cus- tomer shows up at your store. I think because of how we value that customer when they do show up, it really encompasses our business principles, our Eide Effect, throughout the whole building." The dealership works to remind custom- ers "where the fun begins" by hosting several events per month, including bike nights and motorcycle rider safety courses, and contin- ues to support numerous local community groups. In fact, Vern Eide partnered with the Bellator Titans Motorcycle Club to raise $50,150 for Children's Miracle Network and Camp Bring It On this year. Vern Eide Motoplex now serves as a pilot study for Indian. The dealership carries parts, like seats and windshields in different sizes, for customers to demo. Nunn said customers "can now walk over to the wall, take the demo seat off, ride it on the spot and know that it's going to work, rather than order it and hope it works. It's that convenience aspect, that's something we're excited about that Indian has provided for us." "The internet cannot give you the same experience as coming and trying it out," said Nunn. "Having that product on display and available for the consumer to utilize — we're hoping there will be big things to come from it." PSB Vern Eide weathers late start, sees sales rise 46 • August 14, 2017 • Powersports Business www.PowersportsBusiness.com A.D. FARROW CO. HARLEY-DAVIDSON • ALAMO CYCLE PLEX • AMERICA'S MOTOR SPORTS • AVALANCHE HARLEY-DAVIDSON • BEAR- TOOTH HARLEY-DAVIDSON • BLACK JACK HARLEY-DAVIDSON • BLACK SHEEP HARLEY-DAVIDSON • BLACK WOLF HARLEY-DAVIDSON • BOB WEAVER MOTORSPORTS & MARINE, INC. • BOSWELL'S HARLEY-DAVIDSON • BREWER CYCLES, INC. • CALCULATED RISK MOTORCYCLE GROUP • CENTRAL TEXAS POWERSPORTS • COLE HARLEY-DAVIDSON • CYCLE CENTER OF DENTON • FAY MYERS MOTORCYCLE WORLD • FREEDOM POWERSPORTS • GOT GEAR MOTORSPORTS AND INDIAN MOTORCYCLE OF JACKSON • GRAPEVINE KAWASAKI POLARIS • HARLEY-DA- VIDSON OF SCOTTSDALE • HATTIESBURG CYCLES • HIGH OCTANE HARLEY-DAVIDSON • IRV SEAVER MOTORCYCLES • KEN'S SPORTS, INC. • KILLEEN POWER SPORTS • LAKESIDE MOTOR SPORTS • LOGAN POWERSPORTS GROUP • MADDIE'S MOTOR SPORTS • MAXIM HONDA YAMAHA • MOSITES MOTORSPORTS • MYERS-DUREN HARLEY-DAVIDSON • RAWHIDE HARLEY-DAVIDSON • RAY PRICE INC. • REC-TECH POWER PRODUCTS • RIDENOW POWERSPORTS CHANDLER • RIVA MOTORSPORTS • RIVERSIDE HARLEY-DAVIDSON • ROCKY TOP HARLEY-DAVIDSON • SIMPLY STREET BIKES • SKY POWERSPORTS • SMOKY MOUNTAIN HARLEY-DAVIDSON • SOUTHERN DEVIL HARLEY-DAVIDSON • SOUTHERN HONDA POWERSPORTS • SOUTHERN THUNDER HARLEY-DAVIDSON • ST. PAUL HARLEY-DAVIDSON • TEAM CAROLINA POWERSPORTS • THE TRANSPORTATION REVOLUTION • VERN EIDE MOTOPLEX • WILDCAT HARLEY-DAVIDSON • WILKINS HARLEY-DAVIDSON POWERSPORTS BUSINESS POWER 50 AWARDS SPONSORED BY 2016 Vern Eide Motoplex, a 2016 Power 50 award winner, showcases a variety of brands, including Honda, Indian Motor- cycle, Kawasaki, Polaris, Sea-Doo, Ski-Doo, Slingshot, Triumph, Victory and Yamaha. Left: In an effort to keep customers engaged, the dealership hosts multiple events per month to bring customers into the store. Right: The Rusty Jones Customs shop is located on the second floor of the dealership. The partner- ship has led to an increase in Vern Eide's parts business.

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