4151 SW 47th Ave., Suite 4D
Davie, Fla. 33314
A one-man show, Shane Hildy last year opened his dealership that specializes in preowned motorcycles, ATVs and PWC. A unique addition to Rockstar Motorsports is its export business, which makes up about 50 percent of its profits, Hildy said. Even though area dealerships are struggling, Hildy said he has been successful since his opening. He said it’s because people don’t have a lot of disposable income right now, so they aren’t going to spend a lot on recreational products. Preowned powersports gives people another option that won’t put gigantic holes in their pockets. To also help people cope with the challenging market, he offers a financing program on all inventory 2001 and newer. As a result, he has seen an increase in his financing deals. Because he can’t compete with the larger dealerships, he prices his products lower than they do. “I work off of a smaller profit margin than everyone else,” he said. Because of this business strategy, he said he’s been busy when the big dealers have been slow.
“Right now it’s more along the lines of people aren’t spending any money. It’s slowed down to the point where there’s not as much disposable income out there, and the people who do have it aren’t spending,” Hildy said. “People in this business have to take it one day at a time. That way when they do decide to spend the money, hopefully they’ll come to you.”
Sport bikes in general have been the hot commodity the past couple months. They are rapidly becoming more popular, Hildy said. Although ATV sales haven’t been as popular as sport bikes, Hildy expects they will be what customers are asking for next month when hunting season starts up again.
Customer Buying Trends
Hildy has noticed what isn’t true for most dealers – continually selling ATVs – is true for Rockstar Motorsports. Even though sport bikes have been out pacing ATVs the past few months, ATVs have been pretty consistent for Hildy’s dealership. “I’m one of the few dealerships that actually concentrates on used ATVs here because all the franchise dealerships don’t like used ATVs,” Hildy said. Given that consumers aren’t willing to spend a lot of money on recreational products, Hildy believes preowned vehicles are what’s making the most money now.
Promotional Home Runs
Other than placing a few ads here and there and his Web site, Hildy doesn’t do a whole lot of promotional work. “I’m a small, small entity,” Hildy said. “I can’t go out and spend the big bucks on billboards and blow up radio spots.” However, he does go to events throughout Florida to get his name out there and meet potential or existing customers – put a name with a face, he noted. Two significant events he makes sure he gets to are the L-Cross Extreme in Okeechobee, Fla., and Holey Land near Big Cypress, Fla.
Words of Advice
“The key to surviving right now when it’s this slow is to really focus on the export market,” Hildy said. “People are buying bikes by the container load to take back to Europe because as the dollar goes down and the euro strengthens, by the time people get the bikes overseas, they are really cheap.”
Copyright 2007 Powersports Business