From the Editors

An astounding change in the retail sector

Neil PascaleTo this day, the most powerful message that resonates with me regarding the volatile economic period we’re in was this simple thought: In a time such as this, there is no standing pat. Either your business grows or it shrinks. There is no middle ground.

That message came courtesy of Paul Leinberger, who many of you know as a speaker at some of the industry’s largest events.

It’s a message that struck home again last week when I attended the grand opening of National Powersport Auction’s San Diego-area facility. Before the auction, I spoke with a number of dealers and their message was virtually the same: Our sales ratio of new bikes to used bikes has changed. And it has been a dramatic shift.

Consider in 2006 Powersports Business took a national dealership poll and found that dealers were selling four new bikes to every one used bike. The following year, in the fall of 2007, that ratio moved closer to three new bikes to every one used bike.

At the NPA auction, the message was astounding: For some dealers, their ratio is closing in on one-to-one, one new to every one used.

Talk about your shrinking and growing businesses.

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  1. The good U.K. dealers have been selling 3-4 used per new for years. Why not, the margins are better, customers can’t shop me for a better discount at a neighboring dealer or the Internet and I get along fabulously with the sales rep (me). Our used product is a big reason why we’re down as little as we are. Now is the time to prepare to expand.

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