Power Profiles

D&S Kawasaki/Honda – Arlington, TX – Nov. 17, 2003

3636 South Cooper Street
Arlington, TX 76015

The Mansell Family

16,000-sq.-ft. dealership just southwest of Dallas. Originally founded as an independent parts, accessories, and service shop in 1978. Became a franchised Kawasaki dealer in 1985; at present location, three blocks south, since 1990. The Mansell family includes father Rex (President), mother Jean (Secretary), and brothers/Vice Presidents Randy and Ricky. Carries the full lines of Kawasaki and Honda vehicles (except Honda PWC). Largest-selling segments are cruiser and ATV. 18 employees.

“There is more education today, but we need to continue that trend — to urge people to take the rider safety courses, including advanced classes,” says Randy Mansell, who has been with D&S since its inception. Mansell says that the dealership has sent “hundreds” of people to the local motorcycle training instructor. “As long as we can keep it safe, we won’t have any powersports bans.”

The best-selling cruisers at D&S include the Kawasaki Mean Streak and the whole Honda VTX series. Hot ATVs include the Kawasaki
KFX 400 and the Honda Rancher, while the Kawasaki Jet Ski STX 12F watercraft takes the lead. “When 9/11 happened, it pretty much shut us down for the rest of the month,” notes Mansell. “But it picked right back up in November, and my business has been the same if not better.” In PG&A, the Mansells move hard chrome, Vance & Hines exhaust products, and hyperchargers for the cruisers. For ATVs, “We sell a lot of Big Foot kits, winches, and luggage.”

Mansell estimates that his professional-occupation customer base has a household income of $80,000 on average. Women used to comprise a small portion of the target market, but now make up 20% of purchasers. More customers are adding on accessories at time of bike sale — helmets, jackets, gloves, exhaust systems, etc.

Mansell says that they are not facing any anti-powersports issues in his portion of Texas.

Parts Manager Scott Tennyson oversees four parts salespeople, while the service department consists of Service Manager Richard White, Service Advisor Nigel Boyle, and five technicians. “Any time a training school comes around, they’re going,” says Mansell. “Our service department was in a shambles, so about a year ago we hired Richard. He turned it around. In 30 days, there was a noticeable difference in attitude and work ethic.”

D&S does some radio advertising, but focuses on newspaper plus quarterly flyers. Once each month there’s a dinner ride or similar event. On July 4, 2003, D&S celebrated its 25th anniversary with an open house that attracted 300 attendees.

“Maximize every sale,” advises Mansell. “Add on the GTTP and HTP extended warranties, a custom exhaust, a helmet, a jacket. We start at MSRP, but I’m flexible because each deal is different. I ask, ‘In this instance, is it easier to replace the motorcycle or the customer?’ If a vehicle is in limited supply, I’m more likely to stick to MSRP.”

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