Blue Moon Cycle
752 West Peachtree St.
Norcross, Ga. 30071
BMW motorcycles are not just a part of this suburban Atlanta dealership; they ARE the dealership. Blue Moon Cycle is a single-line BMW dealership and owner John Landstrom wouldn’t have it any other way. “I like the brand and the exclusivity that comes with selling a brand that’s less than 10 percent of the market,” Landstrom said. “I always appreciate their technology and engineering advancements, from ABS brakes to traction control to unique suspension systems. We have knowledgeable and demanding customers. It’s always a challenge to meet their expectations.” Landstrom grew up riding motorcycles, but in 1974, BMW’s R90S caught his attention. “I bought one and thought [with] the combination of high-quality German engineering, performance and comfort, there was not a better motorcycle.” And so Landstrom’s passion for BMWs, and the seed for Blue Moon Cycle, began. He eventually opened up a small repair shop that worked primarily on vintage BMW motorcycles, which morphed into more restoration work and a mail order parts business. The actual dealership was established in 1994. Blue Moon is housed in an 18,000-square-feet facility and has 15 employees. There is a museum dedicated to European motorcycles of the past on the second level. The company still does mail order parts, covering BMW bikes from 1950-2007. Nearly half of yearly sales are in used and vintage units.
Customers’ “Wal-Mart mentality” that it’s all about the price is one of Landstrom’s frustrations. People are price shopping like never before, using a wider sweep of potential dealers. Thanks to the Internet, the practice is becoming increasingly prevalent. “Dealers need to try to hold to a manufacturer’s suggested retail price and follow that with excellent service to their customers,” Landstrom said. “I’m constantly trying to convince my customers that the best deal isn’t always the best price.”
In the past, BMW has built roughly the same basic motorcycle year after year, but recent model years have offered a lot more excitement, Landstrom said. The company offered seven new models for 2006 and more in 2007. Blue Moon is anticipating the F800 and F650 in particular. The dealership hopes the two new models will attract a younger buyer to the brand.
CUSTOMER BUYING TRENDS
Patrons are using the Internet and e-mail to shop for their next powersports purchase, Landstrom has observed. To stem the out-of-territory buying and selling that sometimes results from the practice, Blue Moon has made a concentrated effort to focus locally. The dealership focuses its marketing on its own region. “We try to give customers good follow-up service that can only come from servicing people in your locale,” Landstrom said. “We’ve not been tempted to wholesale discount through the Internet.”
PARTS AND SERVICE
Blue Moon’s mail order program dominates its parts sales. BMW owners also can find obsolete and other parts at its Web site or eBay store. In house, the dealership sells riding apparel, accessories, helmets, boots and BMW active apparel, which is popular with customers. BMW’s service CSI standards directly affect the dealership’s bottom line in the form of manufacturer holdback, keeping Blue Moon’s service department on its toes. However, it is in the top 10 percent in national CSI standings, Landstrom said.
PROMOTIONAL HOME RUNS
Since BMW dealers are somewhat few and far between compared to other prominent powersports brands, Blue Moon uses its events to draw in as many riders it can for fellowship. Its biggest event is a fall swap meet and open house that brings together about 400 BMW aficionados from five states. The dealership also holds a BMW Club breakfast six times a year and occasional group rides. To publicize its special events, Blue Moon utilizes the branded advertising venues available to it, like BMW club newsletters and its own newsletter, Moonrays.
WORDS OF ADVICE
“Treat your customer and employee fairly and don’t try to get rich overnight,” Landstrom said. “Perseverance will pay off.”
— Lisa Young
Copyright 2007 Powersports Business