5784 Filview Circle
Cincinnati, OH 45248
10,000-sq.-ft. dealership founded in 1989; at present location for five years. Carries Polaris and Bombardier ATVs, Victory and Ducati motorcycles, and Polaris and Sea-Doo PWC. Largest-selling segment is ATV. Seven employees, with two more part-time in Summer.
Day says he has an issue with discounting dealers. “Other dealers are selling at wholesale or below. It’s really hard to make a buck. We try to meet prices, but it’s just crazy what they’re selling these things for. I don’t know how they stay in business. Luckily we have decent service — that’s where we make our money. Right now the service department is backed up for three weeks.”
JD Performance’s best-selling ATV line is the Polaris Sportsman. “ATV aftermarket hop-up items were really big for a while, but that has slowed down a bit,” says Day. “Gloves, helmets, and goggles are pretty popular. We do get some farmers — there are working farms 10 minutes away, since we’re on the outskirts of the city — and we pull from Indiana and Kentucky.”
Sizzling motorcycles include the Victory Vegas, the Ducati 999, “and the new Ducati 1000cc Multistrada is going to be hot. We sell some Ducati apparel — jerseys and leather jackets.” Watercraft that are whizzing out the door include the three-seater Polaris MSX and the Sea-Doo GTX 4-Tec Supercharged, and those customers are buying the basics, like life jackets.
CUSTOMER BUYING TRENDS
The typical JD Performance customer is single, age 25 to 45, with an annual income that ranges from $20,000 to $100,000, “since we sell ATVs and $30,000 Ducatis,” notes Day. A trend he has spotted this year: “I’ve been selling packages of two watercraft with a double trailer versus one with a single trailer.”
“We’re not really facing anti-powersports issues because ATVs are being ridden on private land,” says Day. “I’m not aware of them shutting down any riding areas. And here, all lakes are open to PWC. Nobody’s messing with us, and the river’s fine.”
PARTS AND SERVICE
JD Performance has three employees in service, two in parts, one in sales, “and I jump around and do a bit of everything,” says Day. “We’re always upgrading tools in service, and changing the showroom with new displays. We’re one of a select few dealerships that are getting high-dollar gondolas, helmet displays, and signage from Polaris. It’s based on PG&A orders — if a dealership sells X amount and represents the product the way Polaris likes.” Day says his CSI scores are consistently in the high 80s to low 90s.
WORDS OF ADVICE
“Try to hold your prices,” advises Day. “Then the consumer can’t go elsewhere and we all will be more profitable.” If a customer comes in with a low price from another dealership, Day calls the dealer to verify it.
“If he has a legitimate reason — like he has 10 of that model — I can understand. If I have 10, I might match the price. If not, I’ll let the customer walk.” But Day would rather be “shopped” on factors like the service department’s reputation or the parts and accessories inventory. “Let the customer do that, because I think we’d do fine.
“If a customer sees a dealership that has two helmets and a pair of gloves on the floor, he expects a discount. Those dealers need to stock more accessories and make their store presentable — then they might not get shopped like they are.”