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Broward Motorsports maintains reputation as hangout spot in Miami

Broward Motorsports expanded to its sixth location on the Southeastern Coast of Florida on August 1, 2023. “This store brings a robust culture with it,” says Anthony Bruno, general manager of the dealership. “We’re in the city of Hialeah within Miami, and it truly embraces the Cuban culture.”

He says the atmosphere within the dealership is energetic, music is always playing, the coffee pot is always on and there is even a “gang of chickens” outside the store. “Wild chickens,” he laughs. “There are probably 15 or 20 of them out there. There’s one we call Rocky; he hangs out at our front door. It’s funny, the majority of the people that come in here are so used to it.”

The Broward team named one of the chickens that hangs out just outside of the store Rocky. Photos courtesy of Broward Motorsports

The dealership, formerly Palmetto Motorsports, has become a place for customers to hang out. “It’s such a different environment here… We have customers that have been coming here forever. Palmetto Motorsports was opened in ’78 and was held by the same owner. It was a father-son ordeal/family ordeal and the father ended up retiring and leaving it to Todd [Sandoval], the previous owner, and a lot of the staff here have been here for a very long time.”

The dealership employs about 31 employees, many of whom have worked long-term either at Broward Motorsports or at the former dealership. “We had our first employee to truly retire, and he came from here,” Bruno says about Eddie Martinez, who retired in his mid−70s.

“He loved it. He still comes by all the time,” Bruno says. He shares that Martinez is still creating deals within the powersports industry in his retirement. “He’s an asset,” Bruno says. “We have a lot of those employees here. We have Billy, he’s our parts manager and he has been in the industry since the early 80s. We have Mario, he’s a parts guy and he’s been here forever. What’s cool about this store is that the majority of the employees that are here are ones that were working for Palmetto and have been in the industry for a very long time.”

A sales manager and a finance manager have been hired under Broward Motorsports’ ownership and the building has been painted to modernize the business. “We came in here bats swinging and ready to get this place cranking,” Bruno says.

The dealership hosted a grand opening in October. “It was a huge event and a tremendous success. We didn’t have enough staff here to deal with it,” he says. “It was a lot of fun. We had a D.J., we had food trucks, we had a champagne truck. It was definitely a party. And we had a massive turnout. We had probably 500 or 600 people show up.”

Business as Broward

While most Broward Motorsports locations cater largely to the off-road and marine markets, the Miami location mostly sells motorcycles. The dealership originally sold KTM, Husqvarna, Kawasaki and Suzuki, and Bruno says more franchises will be added as they become available. Most recently, Kodiak golf carts and Scarab jet boats have been added to the dealership. He says on-road products are popular because the city is dense, and ATVs and side-by-sides are sold less because there are few places to ride in the area.

“We had a scooter brand when we first came in, but they weren’t at a good price point,” Bruno says. “My goal this year is to find another scooter brand… We take a lot of pride in what we do here and what we sell, and our service team takes significant pride in the vehicles. I don’t want to challenge them with a no-name scooter that has the potential to cause a lot of problems for us… we don’t want to tarnish the reputation here.”

The dealership’s team is made up of about 31 employees, many of whom have worked long-term either at Broward Motorsports or at the former dealership.

Bruno says the original dealership had a great team of employees, but outdated processes. Broward uses modern apps and data and a CRM tool so all customers are reached online or in the store.

He says the parts department was run well, but the service department didn’t really exist. “We had to hire more technicians and place a manager in the department, hire advisors, enforce processes and policies.” Employees were taught how to engage with customers and to prioritize the customer’s best interest, then the sales department during the sales process. He says Broward Motorsports operates similarly to an automotive dealership.

Bruno’s outlook for this year is optimistic and he says he wants to make an impact within Hialeah. He is focused on promoting the dealership through social media and marketing tactics. “You’re going to see us putting a lot of videos out,” he says. “There’s going to be a lot of stuff that we’re doing with the mayor. [We’re] trying to get a lot of community involvement and just really making a dent in Miami and letting people know we’re here and what we’re about. We’re not just here to sell bikes. We’re here to provide an experience… We’re cranking right now. This is a great month so far,” he says about February.

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Miami is ready to work

Hiring technicians is an industry-wide challenge, but Broward Motorsports of Miami is one exception. “For whatever reason, we have an abundant number of people applying here. It’s a great problem,” Bruno says. “There’s probably three or four people that apply for a mix of positions throughout this place every single day.”

He says applicants are not typically trained in powersports brands, and unfortunately cleaning the carburetor doesn’t do the trick like it used to, but “We’re plenty staffed on technicians. We’re putting them all through training. We have a shop foreman who teaches them and guides them throughout the day to make sure nothing leaves with any problems.”

Connecting with riders

Two businesses host bike nights on Wednesdays and Thursdays and the dealership has participated in one of the events already. Bruno says the dealership will get involved in others as well. “I don’t think we’re going to host so much here,” he says, explaining that employees work Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. “I don’t want to ask them for too much.”

But that doesn’t mean that the dealership doesn’t basically host an event every Saturday during its open hours. “I have my staff giving out mimosas, we have music playing, we always have some sort of breakfast, either it’s donuts or croquetas. It’s a fun environment. Every Saturday we have the same clientele that comes here, and they hang out while also purchasing products from us, so it’s fun.”

17 years with Broward

Bruno has had fun at Broward Motorsports for 17 years and has worked at most of the dealer group’s locations. He shares that many of his friends had ATVs when he was a teenager so after getting fired from a restaurant, he decided to buy a four-wheeler from Broward Motorsports when he was 16 and worked at the dealership to pay it off. His coworkers called him a hustler. “I love working, I’m always working,” Bruno says.

Anthony Bruno has worked at Broward Motorsports since he was 16 and is now the general manager of the dealer group’s Miami location.

He started at the dealership when there was only one location and he swept the shop and worked in the service department. “It was fun. There were a lot of young guys that were salespeople and in 2006/2007 it
was booming.”

Like Bruno, CEO of Broward Motorsports Sam Nehme has also been in the industry since he was 16 years old and opened the dealership in 2002. He has brought in partners over the years and has overseen many mergers and acquisitions. “We only have six locations, but that is comprised of probably 15 mergers,” Bruno says. And he shares that Broward Motorsports dealerships are located in Florida, “For now.”

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