860 Lancaster Avenue
Devon, PA 19333
“This building has been a motorcycle shop since 1923, and BMW is the 20th brand to be sold here,” says General Manager Amanda Wetherill, Cortie’s daughter. The Wetherills opened in January 2002. Exclusively BMW. Eight employees.
Wetherill says she has no big concerns. “BMW makes a great product and has great financing right now. I just want to get our product and our name out there. People don’t know that BMW makes motorcycles or they think the motorcycles are really expensive because of the cars. It’s not true — a college student can afford a bike.”
With just one year of sales to analyze, Wetherill says the hot model “varies from month to month, but RTs and LTs seem to be pretty popular for touring and two-up riding, and we’ve sold a lot of GSs. My father, myself, and two other women who work here went through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation RiderCourse and we’re close to a class site, so we get a lot of beginning riders here after they finish. We’ve gotten to know the instructors very well and they’re kind to mention that BMW makes a great intro bike, the F650.” Main Line carries BMW riders’ apparel exclusively, and Shoei, Arai, and Shuberth helmets, plus a wide range of BMW accessories.
CUSTOMER BUYING TRENDS
“They call this area the ‘Main Line,’ after a train that ran from Ardmore to Paoli,” says Wetherill. “It’s a wealthy population. Our average buyer is a businessman in his 40s, usually brand-loyal — he may have a BMW car and bike. I’ve also sold to a few women in this first year.”
PARTS AND SERVICE
Main Line has three BMW-certified Technicians, including the Service Manager, plus a full-time Parts Manager and a part-time staffer.
“Our philosophy is first-class service,” says Wetherill. “We try — and I have to say we succeed — in making our customers happy and fulfilling their motorcycling needs. I worked on and off in the car industry, and it’s different. People would dropp off their cars and say, ‘Fix this now.’ When it’s a motorcycle they say, ‘Could you just get my baby perfect?’ They’re calm, because it’s not like they’re taking the kids to soccer practice on the back of the bike.”
PROMOTIONAL HOME RUNS
For its first Christmas Main Line shot photos with Santa for its customers. “We provide a free lunch on Saturdays,” says Wetherill. “We’re a destination stop for the Pony Express, benefiting the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, in August. We try to hold four open houses a year. We send out a calendar, two months at a time, and do a lot of direct mail about upcoming events. This month we’re also holding a college night on a Wednesday. Seven colleges are around our dealership, so we’re hanging posters to publicize it. What do college students wear most? T-shirts. So we’ll give away free T-shirts and have refreshments. They’ll be advertising to their parents and professors.”
WORDS OF ADVICE
“If you build it, they will come,” says Wetherill, though she’s worked hard to let her customers know what’s going on in her dealership. “We’re in this together — let’s help each other out,” she advises. “We’re all here to support the same great product. If you believe in it, you can sell it.”