Polaris Industries recently said it expects to lose less than 5 percent of its dealers this year as a result of the economic downturn. It was really the first official notification I've seen that relates to powersports dealership closures or bankruptcies. Oh sure, we do hear about such closings here and there through our contacts but rarely is there an official number or even percentage given out.
We have tried to correct that. But our reporting efforts with the federal government or companies that process bankruptcies have been a wild goose chase so far. The reason: Companies that file for bankruptcy indicate whether it's a business or individual filing, but do not provide industry-specific data. An official with a prominent bankruptcy-processing company told me there is "simply no reliable way to get that data."
Isn't that crazy?
In today's technology-crazed society, we can't tell accurately tell how many small businesses are closing up shop in a specific industry.
What a shame.
By the way, curious how closures have impacted your business. What type of dealership - metric, European, V-twin? - has closed down in your area?
Good topic Neil!
Given that you have a better 'dealer mailing list' then almost anyone else; wouldn't the returned PSB magazine be a decent indication of the number of dealers that actually closed? I realize that won't cover the 'terminated' franchise dealers that decide to stay open as independants; but I would imagine that you have better data than almost anyone.
How about a comparison with the Honda Dealer Locator List from 2007 with the one now on the site. . Did anyone else notice there is no Honda Dealer in Orlando Florida now?