Florida dealership eager to provide new unit to market
When Dave Bamdas, co-owner of RIVA Motorsports, first saw a YouTube video of Gibbs Sports Amphibians’ Quadski, he knew he had to learn more about it.
Though the vehicles weren’t in production yet, Bamdas called the Gibbs Sports office in the United Kingdom and inquired as to whether the vehicles were going to be commercially available. Four years later, RIVA Motorsports is one of the first dealerships to carry the Quadski.
“Our dealership, RIVA Motorsports, is the largest watercraft dealership in the world, so when there’s a new watercraft product, we have to see if it’s something we want to work with,” Bamdas explained.
Bamdas had his first ride on the ATV/PWC amphibian vehicle about a year ago in Detroit. After that ride, he was sold on carrying the line in his store.
“Really, it’s an incredible machine,” he said. “The fact that it does both and it does it so well — the transition from watercraft and back — is what makes it so unique.”
Bamdas not only has been impressed with the machine, but he was also lured by the dedication of the company and its leaders. He met company founder Alan Gibbs and chairman Neil Jenkins during his trip to Detroit.
“[Gibbs is] very passionate about this project and amphibians all together, and it’s really important to me that I’m dealing with a company that they’re really passionate about it,” Bamdas explained.
Though the machines are priced at about $40,000, RIVA Motorsports already found a group of customers who are interested in the units.
“The customer base that we have for this is an affluent group. It’s a niche group, and the first group that’s really interested in this is the yacht customers,” he said, adding that yachters are looking to use the Quadski as a tender to carry them from the yacht to land while out to sea.
“It does things that no other machine can do, and if you’re a customer that can afford that capacity, this is the only machine that can do that,” Bamdas added.
To target the yachting market, RIVA had a Quadski displayed in a yacht outfitter’s booth at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show at the end of October, which generated interest in the vehicle. In addition to his own leads, Bamdas has also been given leads from Gibbs Sports, which the company has collected over the last several years.
“Is it going to be a high volume machine? Not compared to current PWC and ATV numbers, but I think it does have a unique niche,” he said.
Bamdas believes the Quadski won’t be appropriate for every dealer to carry, but then again, one of the reasons he picked up the line was the exclusivity of being one of the few dealers to carry it.
“For those dealerships, like ours, that deal with this clientele, we feel there’s a decent market for it,” he said.
Bamdas is also looking forward to the other powersports vehicles Gibbs Sports will bring to the lineup. From what he’s seen from the company so far, he’s confident he has picked up a line that’s in the industry to stay.
“They definitely have the financial resources to keep moving forward, and they’ve invested in people and facilities, and they seem to be very serious about this,” he said.
RIVA’s first shipment of Quadskis is expected to arrive at the dealership in late December.
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Copyright 2012 Powersports Business