310 N. Dysart Road
Avondale, Ariz. 85323
Wade and John Jenkins
Being a little fish in a big lake hasn’t stopped MotoCity from taking on the big guys. Five years ago, a used car lot was turned into a powersports dealer when Arctic Cat came on board. It wasn’t long after the 900 square-foot facility was home of the No. 1 Prowler dealer in the country. About a year and a half ago, the dealership moved to a location that has 10,000 square feet. The additional space allowed the dealership to take on KTM, KYMCO and Genuine Scooters. The single-location, family operated business, which has seen double-digit growth for the past year and a half, says Geoff Cardoza, general manager. “We’ve lost half a dozen big shops over the last six-eight months. Everyone that closes, it helps our business,” he said. “We certainly felt some growing pains as a result, but for the most part, it’s all been positive. We’re one of the last standing little guys around here. We hold the honor of being the largest Prowler dealer in the country. We’ve far and away out-sold every other KTM dealer with the four-wheel products in the country.”
“The manufacturers, for the most part, don’t have a lot of regard for the little guy,” Cardoza said. “We get very concerned when we start seeing programs based on how much inventory you’re going to buy. If you get buried in inventory, sooner or later the interest is going to bury you. It’s a fine line to balance. We’ve done it well so far, but it’s getting increasingly more difficult. We’re feeling a lot of pressure from the OEMs.”
KTM’s two-stroke bikes are “hands down our best sellers,” said Cardoza. “In Arizona, we don’t have any restrictions yet on the two-stroke bikes. KTM still has a full assortment of two-stroke machines. We sell more KTM two-stroke bikes than any other single product here.” In addition to those vehicles, the dealership sells a lot of Arctic Cat UTVs.
CUSTOMER BUYING TRENDS
Being located in a “Ready to Race” area, Cardoza says the strongest segment in their area is the two-stroke product and the weakest has been the larger-displacement ATVs. “The two-rider utility market has been good,” he said, “but the single rider utility market has been horrible.”
PARTS AND SERVICE
Being one of the last little guys in the area, Cardoza says they give their customers an extra personal touch when it comes to parts and service. “We make sure that if a bolt needs tightening or a tire is low, we go ahead and take care of it,” he commented. “We do it to make the customer a little happier.”
PROMOTIONAL HOME RUNS
MotoCity’s promotional tactics have helped the dealership take a large chunk out of the KTM market share in its area. The little fish plays up the fact that it’s a family owned dealership and it cares about the riders. “Ninety-five percent of our budget goes to the local market as far as supporting the local tracks, local riding clubs and the local rider in general,” said Cardoza. “We’re here to support the local, little guy. It’s paid off. Just last night I went to a local off-road club meeting to introduce ourselves. We brought them some T-shirts and hats and product flyers and said, ‘Hey, come see us. We’re the good guys.’” The dealership is also keen on field demos. They do demos for everything from Prowlers to KTM off-road bikes to KYMCO and Genuine scooters.
WORDS OF ADVICE
“Keep it small, keep it simple and keep it lean,” said Cardoza. “I’ve seen guys build these palace-like dealerships, and it puts such a burden on the cash flow. A properly run small shop right now has an opportunity to thrive in this business, but again, it has to be done with caution. You have absolutely got to do it better than the other guy.” PSB