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OEM offers Pensacola a family-owned and operated dealership

“We grew up traveling,” says Jordan Otwell, part owner of OEM in Pensacola, Florida. “I was home-schooled and so was my baby brother.” His father, Chuck Otwell, has laid pipelines all his life and when Jordan was around 14 years old, he bought a dealership in Pensacola.

“We were in Pennsylvania at the time, and it was a used motorcycle shop for sale,” Otwell says. “We ended up purchasing it. Me, mom and my brother moved down here and started running it. We found out that the reputation of the business was not all that great, so we decided after eight months to a year of running it under the business we bought, that we were going to stop that business.”

OEM was established in 2018 by the Otwell family and is fully familyrun today. Photos courtesy of OEM

In 2018, the dealership was rebranded as OEM, an acronym for Otwell’s Extreme Motorsports and a play on the original equipment manufacturer term. Otwell says the name has been received well, attracting people searching for OEM-related things and drawing the curiosity of others who come across the name.

His mother, Ashely Otwell, helped get the dealership started until her two sons were old enough to run the business themselves, then joined her husband on the road again. The dealership is still fully family-run.

Otwell, his wife Bentley and his brother Blake run the dealership today. “Me and my brother have a great relationship,” he says. “We both love to come to work. It’s awesome to spend all the time with my wife. She doesn’t have another job, she’s here with us all day and she’s in sales.”

His grandfather, Billy Otwell, also works at the dealership. The only non-related employee at OEM is Tim Bottomly. “Mr. Tim has been with us so long now that he might as well be a grandfather to me,” Otwell says. “He’s our Harley mechanic. We have people who, back to when Harley-Davidson was a bicycle with a motor in it, send us old Harley stuff from across the country for him to work on. He’s very good at what he does.”

Mechanic Tim Bottomly is the only non-family member of the OEM team, and Jordan Otwell says he’s like family to the dealership owners.

The dealership is about 6,000 square feet and Otwell expects a location change and hopes it will be in the near future. “We met with a real estate agent yesterday. We’re actively searching for the right move and the right deal. It’s just a matter of when we can make it happen.”

There’s no doubt the dealership will need more room as it continues to take on lines. In 2021, the Otwell family partnered with its first OEM, CFMoto. Otwell says working with the company has been great and the dealership has sold a lot of CFMoto units. He explains the company was finally able to build up its reputation during Covid.

“You walked into a Can-Am dealership about that time, and they had no inventory and there was this massive waitlist. Same with Polaris, Suzuki, Kawasaki,” he says. “But when you walked into a CFMoto dealership, they were prepared. They had plenty of inventory in the States.

“Even though they’ve always been a quality product, nobody gave them a chance,” he continues. “It was a very hard sell up until that point. Once there was no other inventory, people were buying it just because it was the only thing they could buy. Then word got out that this isn’t some cheap junk, it’s a quality motorcycle, a quality side-by-side. It’s been a fun ride with them.”

Entering cross-over markets

In December of 2023, OEM took on Bad Boy. Otwell says he has always been in the toy business and wanted to sell necessity products as well to combat the continuously changing economy.

“We decided to break into the necessity market,” he says. “There’s always going to be a need to cut grass or a tractor is something that’s always going to be needed. We sold a little over half a million dollars worth of them so far this year, so they’ve been great too. We’ve found our niche, and we enjoy it.”

He says about 70 percent of his powersports customers also need outdoor power equipment. “Bad Boy is primarily focused on larger lots of land for residential people, that’s how they’ve always been, and most of those customers with large plots of land also want a side-by-side to work their land. It’s a scary thing to step into a market you have no knowledge about, but it’s the same clientele.” He says the dealership is also looking to branch into the automotive industry at some point later this year.

Most recently, the dealership has taken on Segway Powersports and is currently waiting for inventory. “They’re very focused in the aftermarket segment, which is where I believe CFMoto has struggled in the past,” Otwell says. “There’re very few clients who buy a side-by-side and leave it fully stock… What’s really cool to see with Segway is that they sent units to SuperATV and Evolution Powersports and Mooread Offroad and all these companies to build parts.”

Community and marketing

OEM promotes itself mostly through sponsorships and its involvement in local events. “We used to do TV and radio and billboards, and I found that we have seen more return on our investment by going out and hosting an event and being in touch with the community far more than screaming at them in their car,” Otwell says.

“In Navarre, they bring in several of the police teams, they bring in five from each precinct, and they’re given paint filled, they almost look like pantyhose. And local businesses bring in five people and make teams and it is essentially dodgeball with paint filled pantyhose,” he laughs.

The dealership also sponsors the Grand River Motorsports Park and the Boggs & Boulders off-road park and attends most of the park’s events. OEM hosts bike nights and is a stop for the Autism Awareness Poker Run and the Wild Thangz Autism Poker Run. The dealership also sponsors the ARCA NASCAR race held at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola. “Anything that we can do, as far as an event, we’re down. We’re event people and we love hosting events.”

OEM sponsors Presley Sorah, pilot of the number 12 Toyota Camry in the ARCA Menards Series East at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola.

OEM is consistently connecting with its community as it adds lines and taps new markets. Otwell shares the company is up for the first quarter of this year and three times as many units have been sold compared to last year.

“I don’t believe it’s been a bad year, and I don’t believe it will be a bad year going forward,” he says.

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