1714 Freitag Drive
Menomonie, Wis. 54751
This Wisconsin dealership has sales of about 600-700 units a year, says General Manager and Vice President Jason Zwiefelhofer. Airtec Sports employs nine full-time and three part-time employees. That number has grown over the years as Airtec Sports started in 1997 by purchasing an existing Polaris dealership. In 1998, the corporation added an existing Arctic Cat dealership to its product lineup. Later in March of 2000, the dealership picked up Honda ATVs, and most recently, added Yamaha to its inventory in March of 2005.
“My greatest concern in the industry right now is motorcycles,” said Zwiefelhofer. “I’m asking myself, ‘When is this market going to come back?’” Airtec Sports has had a significant amount of used motorcycles traded this year, which Zwiefelhofer says they turned rather easily. Despite that, the dealership is anxious for the demand on new motorcycles to increase.
Airtec Sports attributes its booming Polaris Ranger sales to a law Wisconsin passed. The law allows UTVs to travel on some ATV trails, depending on the county. “Our side-by-side business has more than tripled in one year’s time,” said Zwiefelhofer. “Two years ago, I would have never thought that we would be selling the numbers of Rangers as we are today.”
Customer buying trends
Despite the increase in UTV sales, accessory sales have fallen off the past few years, says Zwiefelhofer. “Customers aren’t asking so much anymore of what they need to put on their machine for accessories,” he said. “You need to make sure you have a well-trained sales and parts staff who can sell accessories after you have the initial machine sale.”
Parts and Service
Airtec Sports has a master tech/service manager and two service technicians. “One of our service technicians is full-time doing setups and installs for sold machines,” noted Zwiefelhofer. “Our service manager and other tech cover all of the other day-to-day repairs in our shop.” In addition to the service department, the parts department is “on their A game at all times,” said Zweifelhofer. “We have contacted many local businesses that have used our products, and we set up accounts for them. This is a must to growing your parts business. If they know they have a good relationship with one place in town, they’re not even going to think about another dealership.”
Promotional Home runs
Events are one of Airtec Sports’ main marketing focuses. Every year, the dealership holds three promotions: a truckload sale in the spring, Yamaha Star poker run in the summer and a snowmobile swap meet the first weekend in December. “I do catch sales off all these events,” said Zwiefelhofer. “You still have to figure your cost of promoting for these events, but in the end, every person just got a huge reminder that you’re in their back yard. When they need to buy, they’re coming to talk to you.”
Words of Advice
“Watch where you’re spending your dollars,” said Zwiefelhofer. “Inventory control is a major player this day in age. When you can’t sell your product for premium dollar, you can’t afford to pay premium interest. Watch your advertising. As an owner or general manager, you’re getting hit once every 15 minutes with someone who wants to sell you advertising. Make sure you’re getting $2 worth out of every $1 you spend.” PSB