25160 Redlands Boulevard
Loma Linda, CA 92354
Bob, Rich, Glenn, and Gordon Quaid
20,000-sq.-ft. dealership founded by four brothers in 1996; at present location in the Loma Linda Auto Center since 1999. Carries Harley-Davidson and Buell. “The Quaids run this as a family business, and a few of their sons work here,” say owners’ assistant Jayme Shelton, who has been with Quaid for 10 years and has stepped down from general manager while going to college. 40 employees.
“At some point the supply of Harley-Davidson motorcycles is going to meet demand,” says Shelton. “When that happens, we won’t get the prices that we are getting right now for the bikes.”
As is the case with many Harley dealers, “The brand-new Softail Deluxe is a hot bike, and the Fat Boy models always sell well for us,” says Shelton.
CUSTOMER BUYING TRENDS
Shelton says that since Quaid moved to its present location in southern California’s San Bernardino county, there isn’t really a “typical” customer. “When we were at our old location, we had more of the hard-core biker types, but at this store, we get all walks of life — every ethnic background, doctors, lawyers, dentists, and kids who just want a bike to go to work, so they buy a little Sportster as their first bike.”
PARTS AND SERVICE
Quaid’s parts department includes four countermen, one parts manager, and “three people helping out in the back,” notes Shelton. “Service includes eight technicians, one manager, one assistant manager, and two lot porters who wash the bikes and so on. All of our technicians go through Harley-Davidson’s training, and many of them graduated from the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute. The rest have been in the business for so long — a few have been doing this forever.”
PROMOTIONAL HOME RUNS
Quaid hosts the San Bernardino HOG chapter and advertises in Thunder Press (an enthusiast publication), Cycle Trader, and on a billboard. “We also have a website, and Powersports Network is going to redesign our website soon to enable e-commerce,” explains Shelton. “Twice per year we have a big open house, and we collect about $7,000 annually for the Loma Linda Veterans’ Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House. These events promote awareness of our dealership among people who are not our normal clientele. At the last event, held three weeks ago, there were 5,000 people. I noticed a lot of attendees just wearing regular clothes; they weren’t the typical bikers. We had a DJ, vendors, free food, and raffle prizes. The donations collected go 100% to the charities. At our recent open house we had a flag-dedication ceremony for our new 50-foot flagpole. The VFW came to perform the ceremony and raise both the American and POW flags. It was neat and brought out a lot of people.”
WORDS OF ADVICE
What the Quaid brothers have instilled in Shelton: Never judge a book by its cover. “Always treat your customers well; never assume that they can’t afford the bike, just give them your full attention,” she says. “I’ve been in dealerships where I’ve been judged and have been given terrible service. But they really don’t have any idea what I can or can’t afford.”
Copyright 2004 Powersports Business