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Part of the process: ‘Don’t sell yourself short’

By Kate Swanson

Dealership delivers parts for discontinued brand

After XY Powersports shut down in late September, many dealers were left with unresolved problems, including outstanding warranties and no parts. AP Venture, a multi-line dealership based in Plover, Wis., has found a way to not only support the dealers cast aside by XY, but also to offer customer service to those who previously bought the discontinued vehicles.

For many who did business with XY, including Cory Coulthurst, AP Venture’s parts manager, the shutdown was unexpected and rapid. “It happened pretty quickly. We received letters in August, and they were gone in September,” he said. “Everybody got a bad taste in their mouths when XY just kind of cold turkey cut everybody off.”

The letter explained that XY was no longer in business, the dealer franchise was no longer valid and neither were the warranties. “We still have a few of their vehicles on our floor, and we didn’t have any support from XY. There’s no warranty support or anything,” Coulthurst said. “XY subsequently had [thousands of dollars] worth of parts that just vanished into thin air.”

Coulthurst began looking into Chinese contacts that could provide the same parts as XY and now says that he has secured about 85 percent of the parts. The dealership acquires parts on an as-needed basis. The parts are shipped via FedEx. Although the cost is a bit higher for shipping, it takes less time to arrive, and parts do not need to be ordered in bulk.

“When we first started doing this, it was first and foremost for our own vehicles, and then we found that we could sell them to other dealers. There was nowhere for dealers to get parts from,” Coulthurst said.

He explained that before XY’s website went down, Coulthurst copied all the information from its dealer list and has been cold calling to see if any of them have interest in getting more XY parts. “It’s been 100 percent receptive,” he added.

AP Venture, a multi-line dealership in Plover, Wis., carries KYMCO ATVs, UTVs and scooters, and Tao Tao and XY Powersports parts.

AP Venture, a multi-line dealership in Plover, Wis., carries KYMCO ATVs, UTVs and scooters, and Tao Tao and XY Powersports parts.

Coulthurst explained that XY Powersports, in addition to its own units, built vehicles for six other brands in North America and two in Canada. Subsequently, five of the seven companies have completely shut down after XY stopped selling vehicles. Tennessee-based Trail Rover, one of the companies who bought smaller UTVs from XY, is now directing all of its parts traffic to AP Venture and its wholesale website Dealer Supply International.

“Trail Rover sold nearly 1,000 units in three years. … I’ve worked with these companies, and the former people who held those companies, and they’re now directing all of their parts traffic to us,” he said.

On the supplier end of the situation, Coulthurst explained that although XY vehicles are not being produced anymore, parts used for them are so common that they’re not going to run out.

“Most of the parts manufacturers I’ve talked to make these parts for multiple vehicles other than XY. They have supply runs on those parts that are going to be extended for the next 7-10 years,” he said.

“Our message to other dealers is ‘Don’t sell yourself short.’ If you have a XY vehicle, or you were an XY dealer, and you have these customers that were loyal to come to your dealership, don’t alienate them,” Coulthurst said. “We now have availability in XY parts. You can get your vehicle maintained or upgraded. It’s going to be a continuous thing. We don’t have to worry about the factory anymore.”

AP Venture sells the parts through its retail consumer website apventure.us and its wholesale DSI site at dsiwi.com. Dealers interested in getting XY parts can contact Coulthurst at apventuresales@gmail.com or call 715/952-7077 for more information.

 

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