Joe Klosterman, former national sales manager for Arctic Cat, has been appointed as general manager of the USA ARGO Sales Division.
Klosterman, who worked at Arctic Cat for 23 years, 16 of them as the company’s national sales and marketing manager, will be in charge of developing a wider network of ARGO dealers to increase the company’s market share in the United States’ recreational, industrial and government sectors. He’ll also be responsible for developing programs to increase sales and profitability through dealer development and training.
When asked why he decided to leave Arctic Cat after being there for 23 years, Klosterman says it was a matter of being the right fit at the right time.
“I wasn’t looking for a change, and although there’s a lot of stress in the snowmobile industry right now, that wasn’t a key factor in my decision,” Klosterman noted. “But this opportunity came up, and when I look at ARGO it reminds me very much of what Arctic Cat looked and felt like back in the 1980s.”
Klosterman says the company has set some lofty and aggressive goals for expansion in the United States, including doubling its dealer network from 90 to 180 and increasing sales 15-20 percent.
He says one of his biggest challenges will be finding the right dealers to promote ARGO’s products.
“The president of the company made it very clear to me when I first started here that the dealers at ARGO are profitable, and we’re not going to stack them,” Klosterman stated. “There’s never been an ARGO dealer, nor will there ever be one that goes bankrupt because of high interest costs due to our company. Our dealers can make between $2,000-$3,000 per unit if they accessorize them, and you’re not fighting against any competition because the closest ARGO dealer will be 100-150 miles away. It’s a business model that has worked for ARGO, and we’re just going to fill some holes. The existing dealer base for ARGO will not be affected, nor will the new incoming dealers.”
When asked if ARGO had plans to move into more traditional powersports dealerships, Klosterman says it all depends on how dedicated a dealer will be to promoting ARGO’s products.
“Powersports dealers might be a good fit and they might not be,” Klosterman said. “Being that ARGO offers a real niche product, if somebody at a powersports dealership ‘champions’ it, the end result can be very successful. If it sits in a corner and they keep selling normal 4-wheelers, it won’t be successful. Our main market is the hunter who wants to get into the bush, through the swamp where a boat or 4-wheeler can’t take you, and ARGO covers both grounds. There are traditional powersports dealerships that cater to the hunting/outdoor market, and we feel we certainly can be a good fit there.”
Klosterman says another goal in the next year is to tackle the American industrial or commercial sector, a market he feels has a great deal of potential.
“There are a lot of fire departments and search and rescue teams that use ARGOs, and we do have electrical utility type customers that use them,” he said. “But we’d really like to get our foot in the door with FEMA or any national association like the Fire Chief Association. Those are really untapped resources that we feel would be a good fit with our product.”
Although he faces some tough tasks in the coming months, Klosterman says he’s excited to be a part of a company that’s looking to position itself in the U.S. market for years to come.
“I think the industry will be hearing a lot from ARGO in the near future, and you’ll be seeing our products in more dealerships across the country. This is a very exciting time for us, and I’m happy that I’ll be aboard to help ARGO succeed.” psb
Copyright 2007 Powersports Business