No flooring units, but still a potential profit center
For dealers who have space on their showroom floors for a 2-foot-by-3-foot poster, Air Ride Corporation is offering an additional profit center with its line of Air Ride trailers.
Originally targeted to a market that includes smart cars, ATVs and trikes, Air Ride now has its growth sights set on the powersports market. Many dealers are already familiar with the brand, according to company president Jim Kuzara.
“For years, we set up motorcycle dealers to sell our trailers,” he said. “Quite a few of them did it. Some would even buy 20 trailers. But over time, those dealers all disappeared. They absolutely loved our trailers and they made a nice profit in addition to the powersports units they were selling.”
Quite simply, dealers eventually had less and less space on their property for sizable units such as trailers. As most dealers heard from their OEM district managers, three bikes fit nicely in the space of a trailer.
So Kuzara circled the wagons, and came up with a plan to allow dealers to continue to sell the trailers, but without taking up the valuable floor space.
“What I’ve come up with is a plan that overcomes every objection I’ve ever got from a dealer for selling our products,” he said.
Kuzara currently sells direct to customers, but dealers are already involved in the sales process.
“When we sell a trailer, we ask the customer to provide us with their recommended dealership that we can send it to,” he said. “So I call the dealer and let him know that we just sold a trailer, and one of his customers recommended him as a referral dealer.”
If the dealer agrees to take shipment and spend “less than 60 minutes” assembling the trailer that comes shipped upright on a semitrailer, he receives a referral fee $300 for his service efforts.
The next step allows the dealer to expand the business even more. Air Ride provides the dealership with a 2-foot-by-3-foot poster to be placed on a showroom wall.
The poster will include images all of the powersports units that the dealership sells loaded onto an Air Ride trailer. Each poster also will include a QR code unique to the dealership.
“When you sell a powersports toy to a customer, just ask him if he’s interested in a trailer to haul it,” Kuzara said. “If the customer says ‘Yes,’ take him over to the poster.”
The dealer would then scan the QR code, which leads to a mobile landing page. The customer’s contact information is entered into the Air Ride database, and if the customer purchases the trailer, Air Ride ships it to the dealership for assembly and pays $300 for the service.
“The dealer’s going to make to make $600 on the trailer, with no inventory, no floor planning, no showroom space and we do all the sales efforts, so you can focus your sales people on selling the powersports units,” Kuzara said. “It just takes a little space on the walls.”
Kuzara has tried a similar program with his current customers, whom he refers to as “‘our unpaid sales force.’”
“Wherever they go with our trailers — motels, restaurants, gas stations — they get stopped. People come over and say, ‘Where did you get that trailer? I’ve never seen anything like that.’”
Alas, Kuzara has implemented another mobile campaign for Air Ride trailer owners. Each trailer comes with a decal on the fender. The decal has a QR code unique to the owner.
“So the owner has the interested party scan the QR code, and if that guy at the gas station or restaurant purchases a trailer, we send $100 to our customer who referred him,” Kuzara said.
Kuzara had already signed up about a dozen dealers less than a month into the promotion.
“Two of them sell well over 200 Can-Am Spyders a year,” he said. “And the Spyder riders love our trailer because it’s got real low ground clearance.”
With dealers able to collect $600 for “basic” assembly, Kuzara believes the Air Ride poster could lead to bottom-line enhancements.
“I sold a trailer to a guy who is a motorcycle safety instructor, and he travels all around the country teaching people how to ride,” Kuzara related. “He was getting ready to buy a trailer, and the minute I told him about the customer referral thing, he wrote the check. He’s going to pay for his trailer with $100 referral checks. I don’t care. Think of how many trailers he’s going to sell for us.”
The company’s air lowering and air ride trailer come in a variety of configurations, with no ramp required as the rear of the trailer lowers to the ground for one-person ride-on loading. The suspension and aerodynamics allow for smaller vehicles to pull them without affecting fuel mileage, Kuzara said. The trailers are manufactured at the company’s Denver facility.
The AST1 trailer is for a single large touring motorcycle and features an automatic air-lowering system that activates at the flick of a switch. A capture wheel chock and tie down straps are other features. The AST2 is for two mid-sized motorcycles or most trikes; and the AST3 is for two large motorcycles, a Spyder, a large trike or a smart car. The suggested retail price ranges from $2,500 to $3,995.
“We focused on everything to make it really, really simple to haul your powersports toy at an affordable price,” Kuzara added.