Chicago Cycle – Skokie, IL – April 24, 2006
April 24, 2006
Filed under Power Profiles
3450 Touhy Avenue
Skokie, Ill. 60712
Giant Motorsports, Inc.
It has been a busy couple of years at Chicago Cycle. It has changed names, from Chicago Cycle Center to Chicago Cycle. The dealership also has expanded dramatically in size, going from a 25,000 square foot facility to a 100,000 square foot one. These changes come at the heels of Giant Motorsports’ acquisition of Chicago Cycle in 2004. Andrews Cycles, of Salem, Ohio, is also a Giant Motorsports wholly owned subsidiary. Brothers Russell Haehn, CEO, and Gregg Haehn, CFO, head the dealership just outside of downtown Chicago, which carries motorcycles, ATVs, scooters and utility vehicles. Chicago Cycle has Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, Ducati and Kawasaki products and employs just more than 100 people.
Customer service is a top concern at Chicago Cycle, said Scott Haehn, manager. “That’s what brings people back in the door,” Haehn said. “If we don’t treat them well, they might not come back.” Inventory is key, Haehn said. Having multiple colors and models available makes it more likely customers won’t leave empty handed.
“During the peak season (spring and summer), sport bikes are the hottest sellers in this area,” Haehn said. “But we still sell a lot of cruisers and scooters.” Lots of people come in during the fall for ATVs to use while hunting and the store has all kinds of parts and accessories - it stocks $2 million-worth of them. “When you come in, we pretty much have anything you need,” Haehn said.
CUSTOMER BUYING TRENDS
Manufacturer statistics show that the sport bike market is strong in Chicago, Haehn said. There are a lot of riding clubs that do weekend activities together, which may contribute to sport bikes’ popularity.
PARTS AND SERVICE
“We’ve got over 20 five-star certified techs and they’re continually going to ongoing training with different manufacturers,” Haehn said. “Getting into peak season, I’ve never seen so many bikes in the back getting tune-ups for the season. Having so many people, 24 to 48 hours is the usual turnaround time. We’ve recruited service techs from all over the area.”
PROMOTIONAL HOME RUNS
While Chicago Cycle has sponsored Toys for Tots rides and held open houses, the dealership is eager to do more. “We can’t do as much as we want yet,” Haehn said. “We’re still catching up because we’ve been tripling in size and volume for the past year.”
WORDS OF ADVICE
Haehn is not one who gives advice to competitors freely, but he does say it’s good to discuss the business with others sometimes. “We’re all interconnected, in competition,” Haehn said. “We can go to dealer meetings and talk.
“We do a lot of the same things the smaller dealers do, we just do it on a bigger level.”