Feb. 8, 2010: Dealer Q&A: More of the same expected

Powersports Business:?What are you budgeting for in terms of new unit sales for 2010? Do you believe will it increase or decrease in comparison to 2009?

Glen Myatt, dealer principal of Hattiesburg Cycle, said the dealership is budgeting on 2009 major unit sales numbers to repeat this year. “We’re hoping to stay flat, but we’re not optimistic about people coming back in droves,” he said. Myatt believes some uptick might be seen simply because some of the store’s competition has disappeared.

In your opinion, what department in your dealership stands the best chance to make sales gains in 2010 over 2009?

Hattiesburg is planning to drive more parts and service department sales by reconnecting with new unit buyers who purchased their vehicle a couple of years ago but largely stayed away from the store in the past year. “They own used two-, three-, and four-year-old units, but they haven’t been able to get out and use them,” he said, noting the effect of the economy. In driving parts and service department sales, Hattiesburg is seeking to get 100 percent absorption, which is when parts and service sales cover all fixed costs minus flooring and sales personnel salaries.

As you enter the spring and summer selling season, what is your plan for staffing levels in comparison to last year? If the economy picks up, what area are you likely to add staff to first?

Myatt said the dealership had deep layoffs during the past year, but is planning to build that number back up slightly before the spring. “We feel like we may not have enough,” he said, noting the new unit sales department in particular.

If the economy picks up, what would be the first action you would do outside of adjusting your staffing levels?

Myatt believes marketing would be first and foremost. “We’re not advertising at all,” he said. “We need to get back in front (of the consumer). This is our 25th year so whether we can afford it or not, we’re going to have a big 25th anniversary event in May.”

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