1178 University Blvd.
Rexburg, Idaho 83440
Jared Burt and Allen and Brad Ball
Rexburg Motorsports started about 10 years ago, but it grew radically in size last year in the wake of several buyouts. A couple years ago, Jared Burt, Rexburg’s owner, took on partners Allen and Brad Ball with the intention of purchasing smaller stores in the area. The trio did exactly that, buying out three stores and in October moved into a 50,000 square foot facility. “We took dealerships in four facilities and put them into one,” Burt said. That dealership now carries six lines of ATVs, four lines of snowmobiles, three lines of motorcycles and two lines of scooters. OEMs include Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, Polaris, Ski-Doo, Can-Am and Arctic Cat. The dealership has 58 employees, 12 of which are part time.
The effect low-cost, low-quality Chinese imports is having on the industry is Burt’s greatest worry. “The frustrating thing about the Chinese imports for us is a lot of people buy them because they’re cheap” and so their first experience with the industry is on a poorly made vehicle. “They have such a bad time with service and parts, they get out of (the industry) instead of giving us a chance,” he said. “That’s the biggest threat. That the consumer will have a poor ownership experience and choose another form of recreation to spend their money on.”
The dealership’s proximity to the St. Anthony sand dunes, a 10,600-acre area in eastern Idaho, means the sport ATV market has been hot, Burt said. A couple of the hotter selling ATVs includes Honda’s TRX450R and Yamaha’s YFZ450.
Customer buying trends
“They’re trading in their ATVs for UTVs,” Burt said of his consumers. “They’ll take their big bore 4x4 ATV and replace that with the UTV in some cases. Or they want both.” Consumers’ preference for youth dirt bikes rather than youth ATVs, something that’s been common for several years, is only increasing with the Chinese imports, he said. “I think the Chinese product has taken away from some of the youth ATV sales,” Burt said.
Parts and Service
Rexburg has shifted how its helps customers in an attempt to drive more parts and accessories sales. Parts salesmen will now assist the consumer by making a list of the parts they need. That list will then be printed out and given to an inventory staff person, who will then fill the order and bring the necessary parts to the cash register. “That’s worked really well for us,” Burt said, “because the parts expert is there to stay with the customer, to help them look at other accessories or continue to talk about their vehicle needs or to they sell them a case of oil.” The latter has happened quite a bit more now — along with other PG&A sales — because of the new customer-service system. “We don’t think it’s a lot faster” system, Burt said. “But somebody stays there with the customer or in some cases when it’s really swamped, they (the parts salesperson) can go and help somebody else.”
Promotional home runs
Rexburg recently held an employee contest that drew its consumers to the dealership’s Web site. The competition pitted a father and son — both Rexburg technicians — against each other to see who could make the best customized motorcycle. Both father and son were given identical budgets of $5,000 for parts and accessories and 15 hours of labor. After they finished, the public was invited to pick its favorite customized bike either by casting a vote at the store or online. (The son ending up winning.) When consumers did the latter, they also could ask for information on Rexburg products, including new bikes. Burt said about 100 voters asked for information on new bikes.
Words of advice
“I’m not really smart,” Burt said, “but I’ve surrounded myself with really great people that are a lot more experienced and a lot more smart than I am. Assembling a great team that really cares about the customer and the industry has always worked for me.”
— Neil Pascale
Rexburg Motorsports – Rexburg, ID – Sept. 25, 2006