928 North Winstead Avenue
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
While there has been a dealership in Rocky Mount since 1952, it has been under the cur
rent ownership only since 1997 and at the present location, 60 miles east of Raleigh, since 2000. The 16,000-sq.-ft. H-D Designer Store carries Harley-Davidson, Buell, and Big Dog motorcycles, and has 20 employees.
“My biggest concern is that the market is getting saturated,” says General Manager Mike Jury, who has been with the dealership for four years, another shop for two years, and has been a Harley enthusiast for three decades.
“The customers keep coming in, but we have more bikes than we have demand. We’re going to have to actually start selling them instead of taking orders and shooting them out the door.” Jury says Rocky Mount sells one used bike for every two new motorcycles.
“That’s a pretty good ratio.”
“Touring bikes are selling really well this year,” says Jury, “and traditionally — for the last 10 years — Softails have sold really well.” He adds that there are no standouts in the Buell lineup. In aftermarket accessories, “Anything shiny chrome” is flying out the door, as are Screamin’ Eagle big-bore kits and other performance items.
CUSTOMER BUYING TRENDS
Jury says that there isn’t a typical customer for the shop anymore. “We get everything from hardcore bikers to doctors and lawyers,” he says, “although the touring-rider segment is becoming bigger. We are selling more accessories at the time of bike sale, then including it in the financing. The majority of our customers do finance — and nobody cares about the price of motorcycles — or cars, for that matter. It astounds me, because I never thought I’d be paying as much for a car as I used to for a house.”
PARTS AND SERVICE
Jury says roughly half of his employees are devoted to parts or service — “seven people in service and four in parts.” All the service technicians are fully trained via Harley-Davidson’s programs. “We’re in the throes of installing a new computer system — Harley’s Talon II — right now. We’ve been working on this all week. It is running, and we’re in the training phase now, so we have it pretty well under control.”
PROMOTIONAL HOME RUNS
Rocky Mount typically holds several open houses each year, and one this autumn will be devoted to the Motor Company’s 100th anniversary.
WORDS OF ADVICE
“Keep on selling,” advises Jury. “You have to keep the customer happy.” He should know — for the last three years, Rocky Mount has been a recipient of Harley-Davidson’s Gold Bar and Shield, awarded to the top 25 dealers in the United States. Jury and staff are hoping for a fourth honor this year. “It all comes down to customer service. The customer satisfaction surveys are what really determines this circle of excellence award, so you must always be aware of your customer — his wants and needs — and satisfy them.”