The Turning Wheel Sport Center
10005 US Highway 441
Leesburg, FL 34788
Armando “Mandy” Alonzo
18,000-sq.-ft. dealership founded in September 2001 (formerly Yamaha of Leesburg). Carries all Yamaha products (except snowmobiles), Bombardier ATVs, and Sea-Doo jet boats (but not Sea-Doo PWC). Largest-selling segment is ATV, followed by cruiser motorcycles. 35 employees.
“I really don’t have any major concerns with our industry — it seems to be very strong,” says Brett Singer, general manager, who owned the dealership for 10 years prior to selling it to Alonzo.
“Trail closure is a big issue, though. I just participated in the Parts Unlimited Rocky Mountain 300 in Colorado. I didn’t realize how big of an issue trail closure was until I talked to the guys from Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition.”
The Turning Wheel’s sizzling sellers — all Yamahas — include the Road Star cruisers, the Kodiak and Grizzly utility ATVs, and the YFZ 450 and Raptor sport ATVs. “In personal watercraft, we’ve had good success with the WaveRunner FX 140,” says Singer. “We deal in a lot of cruiser and ATV accessories, and off-road/motocross gear.”
CUSTOMER BUYING TRENDS
Singer says the typical Turning Wheel customer is 25 to 45 years of age, and has an annual income of $30,000 to $50,000. “Yamaha’s financing incentives are working very well for us, driving a lot of the purchases. We probably have 70% financed versus 30% cash.”
The Florida State Legislature and the National Forest Service are enacting regulations and trail closures in the Ocala National Forest. “The Florida Motorcycle Dealers Association does a lot to combat that issue, as well as the Blue Ribbon Coalition,” says Singer.
PARTS AND SERVICE
Singer calls parts and service “one of the main driving forces in this dealership, accounting for about 25% to 30% of total revenue. They are hugely important portions of what we do here.”
Turning Wheel has six employees in parts and 12 in service, including six technicians.
“We’ve really shifted our focus to customer service and customer satisfaction,” says Singer.
“When we went from the old facility — which was 5,500 sq. ft. — to this new, 18,000-sq.-ft. dealership, our sales went up about 300%. It was very difficult to keep everybody happy while keeping up with that volume.
“Now that we’ve gotten to this point where it’s leveling out, we are really shifting our focus to taking care of our customers. We do training twice a week; we sit down and discuss our customer situations and how we’re going to handle them.
“The biggest thing has been to just get our systems and procedures in place. Prevention is the best medicine for anything.”
WORDS OF ADVICE
“Take care of your customers and take care of your employees,” advises Singer. “Listen to their needs and try to meet them to where it is a win-win situation.”