POWER PROFILE – BMW Motorcycles of Cherry Hill


406 Route 70 East
Cherry Hill, NJ 08034

Michael DeSimone

6,600-sq.-ft. dealership founded in May 2002. Formerly RK BMW; the past owner, Rob Kiviat, is Cherry Hill’s service manager. RK BMW had been founded in 1985. “Michael DeSimone, who has been an avid BMW motorcycle enthusiast for years, approached BMW about purchasing the franchise,” explains general manager Keith Cramer, “then brought Rob onboard to help organize and run the service department.” BMW-exclusive. 11 employees.

Cramer has no concerns. “The motorcycle industry as a whole is still growing at a fairly good clip. While we have tightening government emissions regulations, BMW has always been a very ‘green’ company. The machines currently exceed the 2007 California standards and the 2010 European standards. As for imports as competition factors, the Chinese market seems to be growing, but it’s a different type of buyer.”

“The R 1200 C cruiser is always a hot seller for us, which is very unusual,” says Cramer. Also sizzling: the new R 1200 GS dual-sport and the K 1200 GT sport-tourer. “We sell a lot of BMW accessories and apparel, and are also are distributors for Jesse and recently, Gerbing electric clothing. Nolan is our number-one-selling helmet, followed closely by Shuberth.”

“Our dealership has customers from 19 years of age up to the mid-60s, from all socioeconomic backgrounds,” says Cramer. “This includes laborers, business owners, and everything in between. Our average rider is probably about 35 to 50, with a median income of $75,000. The BMW brand appeals more to an established rider, as opposed to the novice or entry-level. We sell a fair amount to new riders, but primarily re-entry or seasoned veterans.”

“Parts and service are integral parts of our dealership and its success,” notes Cramer. “The service department’s two full-time technicians have more than 50 years of motorcycle technical knowledge between them, including 40-plus years of BMW-exclusive experience. So the knowledge that they bring is unsurpassed. That provides us with a lot of confidence when we sell parts and accessories, knowing they’re going to be installed properly. The parts department employees provide our customers with a tremendous selection of what’s available–not just from BMM, but from the aftermarket as well.”

Cramer says he and his staff are trying to create a destination, “somewhere for people to hang out, and hopefully buy something. We serve lunch every Saturday for everybody in the shop, hold three open houses per year, have monthly shop-sponsored rides, and have a full demo fleet. Recently we’ve partnered with a local sportbike club and are offering track days for our customers. The racetracks include Pocono, Summit Point, Beaver Run, Nelson’s Ledges, VIR, Carolina Motorsports, and one in Canada. BMW is introducing a new sportbike — the K1200S — and part of the marketing strategy is finding out where current sportbike owners hang out, what they do — getting into that culture. Through our relationship with the sportbike club, I’m hoping to develop a presence in that market.” Also, the local New Sweden BMW Club, which is part of both BMWMOA and BMWRA, occasionally holds meetings in the dealership.

When asked the best advice he’d been given, Cramer says, “In an unfamiliar circumstance, sit back and observe. At dealer meetings I like to listen and watch. There’s a tremendous amount that can be learned. Visit other motorcycle dealers in your area. Talk to the owners and the salespeople. See what they’re doing right, then try to tailor that to your own needs.”

—Julie Filatoff

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