Cascade Moto Classics Inc.
13705 SW Farmington Road
Beaverton, Ore. 97005
Kelly and Janice McCarthy
Husband and wife owners Kelly and Janice McCarthy had no intentions of opening a motorcycle dealership when they began business in 1991. At that time, they had opened a weekend-only store selling magazines, T-shirts and similar items, while their friend sold Triumph parts. Customers asked the couple to take on Moto Guzzi, which they then did. However it involved the business moving to a two-bedroom home with a detached garage and opening five days a week while Kelly continued working as a paramedic. Eventually, the McCarthys took over the Triumph parts sales and renamed the business Cascade Moto Classics. In 1994, the couple added Triumph to their dealership. In 2001, the business grew out of the home, and the couple moved it to an old Harley-Davidson dealership. What keeps customers coming back to the store is a homey atmosphere and the full attention of the staff of five. “Because we’re mom and pop, we’re on site all the time, so it matters a lot how people perceive us, so we bend over backward,” Janice McCarthy said.
“My biggest concern is that the manufacturers try to expand their dealer network to the extent that they make it hard on the dealers,” Janice McCarthy said. “In this economy, they should not be expanding the dealer network, except in places where they don’t have dealers currently. I don’t think they should put dealers within 20 miles of each other.”
Cascade’s most popular line is Triumph, which sells well across all models. “Typically we sell Bonnevilles really well, and part of that is probably my husband’s affection for the Bonneville,” McCarthy said. The dealership focuses heavily on new learners, helping motorcycling hopefuls sign up for safety classes, reimbursing them for the classes if they buy a bike from Cascade, offering new riders PG&A discounts and introducing them to local clubs. The Triumph Tiger 800 is also receiving a lot of buzz.
CUSTOMER BUYING TRENDS
Cascade has seen some sales drop as customers struggle to get retail lending. “What we’re seeing is people with good credit history, but not enough credit history,” McCarthy said. “We’re finding the younger people are not able to buy the bikes as before.” Because of the credit issue, the demographic of the customer has changed slightly. Besides losing some of the younger customers, Cascade has seen those with certain professions be more easily approved than others.
PARTS AND SERVICE
With a staff of two, one service manager/tech and another tech, the service department is busy, but it’s also quite successful. “This year our service hasn’t slowed down,” McCarthy said. In fact, customers have been bringing in more projects than before. “We’ve had some bigger jobs than usual too, like big engine tear-downs, that have had the techs working longer on big project,” McCarthy said. The service department is promoted through a mailed newsletter, an e-newsletter and through ads on the dealership’s website. Customers also get a personal introduction. “My husband always offers them a tour of the service shop and talks about it and introduces them to the techs,” McCarthy said. The P&A department is doing well too, especially since an area Triumph dealer closed. Cascade hosts three open houses a year in which customers can spin a wheel and win up to 50 percent off accessories, and everyone receives at least 20 percent off. “Those are our biggest days during the year when people wait and buy accessories typically,” McCarthy said.
PROMOTIONAL HOME RUNS
One of the biggest assets for the dealership has been running a Rider’s Association of Triumph (R.A.T.) club. The McCarthys started the club as requests from their customers came in. Moto Guzzi had a local organization, but Triumph did not. When the couple heard about Triumph starting R.A.T. clubs, they immediately started their own chapter. About six people showed up to the first breakfast. The club now draws 40-60 people to monthly Saturday morning breakfasts. Not only do the meetings give the dealership a chance to tout its business, but the club members also have become fully invested in Cascade because of it. “They’re fantastic,” McCarthy said. “They’re walking billboards for us, and they’re just so enthusiastic for (Triumphs).” Along with hosting the club, the couple also serves an annual banquet dinner to customers who still own their Cascade-purchased motorcycle.
WORDS OF ADVICE
“I certainly tell other Triumph dealers that they should start and nourish a R.A.T. club because I certainly believe starting and having a club that associates with your dealership is essential,” McCarthy said. “Dealers that don’t have regular customers don’t build important relationships,” she said. PSB