Darren Bajurin has worked at PCP Motorsports for about 30 years. His parents, Don “Badge” and Darlene Bajurin, opened the dealership in Florin, California, in 1972 with partners Doug and Carel Cohler. Bajurin’s parents are no longer involved in the day-to-day operations of the business, but Sr. Bajurin who is 83 years old, visits the dealership often. Today, Darren and his brother Donnie Bajurin co-manage the dealership.
Wendy Medich is the oldest Bajurin sibling and was the first to enter the family business. She started working at the dealership as a teenager, then temporarily worked for Ed Lemco, an industry professional who ran 20 groups.
“She worked for him for a few years and sharpened her teeth in the industry,” says Darren Bajurin. “She came back to work for us probably in the early to mid-90s and implemented a lot of processes into our dealership and advanced us from small mom-and-pop operations. [She] got our trajectory headed in the right direction. My brother worked at the store for a few years then left. He returned in 2004/2005 as my sister exited the business. He came back in to help me, and we run it together to this day.”
Another key leadership member at the dealership is Medich’s son, Kyle Medich. He began working at the dealership in 2010 and is currently the parts manager.
Accountability and 20 groups
“We have been a part of a 20 group ever since the early days with the former group,” says Bajurin. “The new group we’re with is Powerhouse Dealer Services, which is run by Bill Shenk. We’re more remote with them. We don’t go to the in-person meetings anymore, we just send in information.”
Bajurin explains that this is how departments are held accountable. Each department submits monthly reports on sales, productivity, labor, etc. “That sets the tone so I, as a manager, can see what’s going on in a department,” he says. “It’s a little more detailed than a profit and loss statement from your accounting software. You can really pinpoint where the weak points are.”
And as an owner, he shares that these practices are necessary to produce growth. “If you don’t have to compare your business and you’re just in your own little bubble, you don’t know if you’re doing good or not,” he says. So, he encourages dealers to get involved in a 20 group, compare sales and processes, and make commitments to improve.
“You go to these meetings and roundtable and talk about numbers, and you have to make commitments – two or three things you’re going to change when you go back to your dealership. You make commitments in front of the group and at the next meeting you need to answer to those, and that’s where the accountability comes in,” he says.
Performance and growth
PCP Motorsports is coming up on its fifth year as a Kawasaki Gold Ichibon dealer, ranking the dealership within about the top 25 Kawasaki dealers in the country, according to Bajurin. He shares that the dealership is consistently in the top 25 for Yamaha and Suzuki as well.
The dealership also took on Honda, KTM, Husqvarana, and GasGa after absorbing a dealership in 2021. During Covid-19, the combined 36,000-square-foot facility provided plenty of space for the brands while inventory was low. “As that inventory is starting to stack up now, it’s getting really tough around here,” he says. “We’re going to need more space, so that’s something we’re going to need to address here in the short term.” He shares that the current PCP Motorsports facility will either be expanded, or the dealership will be relocated in the near future.
PCP’s e-bike customer
In 2019, PCP Motorsports began carrying Specialized e-bikes. “At that time, they were looking for a way to expand their business and they figured motorcycle dealers were next because we deal with more high-priced vehicles. We have more means to capital where the bike shops have a little tougher time with them,” Bajurin says. “We took a chance on that and got involved with Specialized and we also brought on Giant, which was another bicycle brand.”
He says that Specialized e-bike sales were slow at first, but after COVID-19 took effect, the dealership sold out of its e-bike inventory almost immediately. “They generated good profit,” he says. “We sold maybe 30 or 40 bikes, then we ran out and couldn’t get resupplied. We were kind of empty on bicycles by the end of 2021.”
In early 2022, large bicycle shops in the area pushed to remove e-bikes from motorcycle dealerships. “I feel that we were kind of squeezed out at the time and they couldn’t supply us with bikes anyways,” he says about carrying e-bikes. “We got caught up in some politics of the movement of the industry I think.”
So, while PCP Motorsports no longer carries e-bikes, Bajurin got to know the market. “We did get some bicycle-only people in here, but a majority of them were customers that we already had that were motocross and off-road riders,” he says. “They did tap into that market by bringing them into the [motorcycle] shops. That’s what they were trying to do and that did work. I’d say 70 percent of the people who bought them from us were already dirt bike and off-road enthusiasts.”
He shares that e-bike prices were fairly high – at times surpassing the MSRP of a 450 dirt bike. “I have heard that they’re bringing the prices down on these things,” he says. “I think the market is saturated right now, so I don’t know what the future of e-bikes is in the motorcycle dealership going forward.” But he shares, “If I still had Specialized, I’d be selling them to this day. But the [e-bike] market has cooled down.”
Looking ahead and navigating change
According to Bajurin, the e-bike market isn’t the only market that he is seeing slow down. “A concern to me and a lot of dealers right now is, we’re slowing down,” he says. “There are challenges on the horizon. I think a lot of the challenges we’re going to see are going to be in 2024.”
He shares that unit sales and total profitability are dropping compared to 2020 and 2021, during Covid-19, and the economy is beginning to resemble pre-pandemic times. He is focused on interest rates, managing inventory, and keeping flooring costs down in preparation for the unknown.
He also shares that managing the business in a fluctuating industry is easier with the dealership’s great management and great employees. And he has learned that these two aspects build upon themselves. “Everybody is pulling in the same direction. That’s the culture that we have here,” he says. “We’ve been doing this a long time and it’s taken a while to get there, but once you do get all the key people in place, it makes it a lot easier.”