9750 Clark Drive
Rossford, Ohio 43460
Long involved in the automotive business, Mark Moses had an engineering background and a deep appreciation of Indian Motorcycle that dated to childhood. When he heard the company was getting back into the business in the late 1990s, he paid attention. He was drawn to the alternativeness of Indian and thought perhaps he could start a dealership. North Coast Motorcycle opened in suburban Toledo, Ohio in March 2003, but within months, Indian Motorcycle was out of business again. The dealership had expanded into a few other lines and was forced to speed up the process in order to stay afloat. They currently offer American IronHorse, Big Dog, Triumph and Vengeance motorcycles. North Coast’s 16,000 square-foot facility is located at the intersection of interstates 75 and 80. The dealership employs 12 people.
“I want to have the right people, the right brands,”?Moses said. “Motorcycling people are very passionate and very entrenched in tradition. We offer nothing but alternatives. You’ve got to pay attention to the details. Customer service is a culture around here. Long-term customer retention is a focal point of the entire business.”
“Triumphs are incredibly hot,” Moses said. The entire product line is in demand because of the diversity available among its 15 current models. Big Dog and American IronHorse products also are highly sought after, Moses said.
Visual performance parts, such as exhaust systems and air cleaners, have been popular with chopper owners. They want something that not only adds to their bikes’ performance ability, but is also pleasing to the eye, Moses said.
CUSTOMER BUYING TRENDS
Selling motorcycles that can range in price from $7,000 to $50,000 brings in a diverse crowd of customers, Moses said. “We get blue collar to white collar and everybody in between,” Moses said. “Pleasantly, we have a product that will fit each one of them.”
PARTS AND SERVICE
Service is so important to the dealership, Moses operates the dealership out of the department, he said. “As far as we’re concerned, service retains customers for many years; with a sale you have a customer for a day,” Moses said. “Our goal is to provide outrageous customer service (in the service department) so we can sell (product) without trying.”
PROMOTIONAL HOME RUNS
With its alternative offerings, Moses says one of the North Coast’s best promotional strategies is to place the dealership in a position that stands out among the rest. To that end, the dealership holds charity promotional events. All of the money raised at dealership events goes to charities, usually children’s charities such as the Make a Wish Foundation. The dealership gets exposure and is able to raise money for worthy causes. North Coast’s annual Thunder at the Crossroads is always a big draw, Moses said. Held in mid-July, there are hot rods, stunt shows, vendors, bands and food. Last year, he said it drew 26,000 people.
WORDS OF ADVICE
“Think long term,” Moses said. “Long-term strategy requires a different mindset than thinking short term. The sale today isn’t the most important thing, but how you treat a customer today is what will determine your tomorrow.”
Copyright 2006 Powersports Business