Longtime DSM and powersports veteran Mike Hancock takes the helm
Mike Hancock didn’t take long to get hooked on powersports. In fact, he chalks up his passion to the first dirt bike he received as a 3-year-old.
“It was game over at that point,” the 21-year industry veteran said. “I was predestined for the industry.”
Last month, Spartanburg, South Carolina-based KYMCO USA announced that Hancock had been selected as its new national sales manager, a position that had been vacant in recent years.
Hancock earned the nod after having distinguished himself at every level of the powersports industry, from pre-delivery inspector, certified service technician, service manager, and sales and general manager at the dealership level. For the past 10 years, Hancock has been a district sales manager for KYMCO, handling as many as 98 dealers throughout Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and North Carolina.
There’s no doubt he’s in familiar territory with the new position. He accepted his first job with KYMCO USA on the eve of the company’s 2006 launch of its mass dealer development and brand awareness program. Before joining the KYMCO team, he worked for 11 years at Jim Bennett Yacht Sales in Iuka, Mississippi, a dealership specializing in yachts, sport boats, personal watercraft and powersports.
As national sales manager, he is committed to the current dealer network’s development as well as expanding the dealer and retail customer base through the “KYMCO Cares” mantra first articulated by CEO Victor Tsai. Hancock and the rest of the KYMCO USA management team plan to visit all of their dealers in the coming months to show their commitment to the U.S. market.
“The message is that we’re not just another OEM pushing product down your throat,” Hancock said. “Ultimately, we want our dealers to be successful, by profiting from each sale and growing each year with our brand.
“We launched in the U.S. at a time when so many other brands were trying to break into the market, which diluted us and made our efforts much more laborious,” Hancock explained. “Through the tough times of the industry we have stayed the course. Our message is pretty clear: We are a rock solid brand delivering quality products and service through a quality dealer network, and we’re here to stay.”
Hancock established strong dealer relationships that led to impressive growth in all three KYMCO segments — ATVs, side-by-sides and scooters.
“In establishing those relationships that I had, I was getting a better understanding of their markets,” Hancock said. “But one thing I always tell dealers is that I can study your market all day long, but no one will ever know your market better than you do.”
In some markets in his four-state territory, Hancock helped KYMCO ATVs control upwards of 40-50 percent of the market. He’ll remain based out of Nashville.
“The features and benefits of KYMCO vehicles are huge with the dealers,” he said. “We’re not basically building a frame and moving suspension components. We’re actually developing functionality within our products, providing longevity and quality.”
Hancock began his new position in February and is eager to be able to showcase to dealers the results of a heavy focus on R&D over the past few years. Dealers also are capitalizing on a dramatic price structuring change that has lowered both the dealer invoice price and the MSRP.