Profile Motorsports Plus LLC – Gorham, NH – June 6, 2005

489 Main Street
Gorham, NH 03581

A Corporation

Founded in 2001 at the present location. Carries Arctic Cat snowmobiles and ATVs, Ski-Doo snowmobiles, Bombardier ATVs, Sea-Doo sport boats (but not PWC), Honda power equipment, Tracker boats, Mercury outboards, and John Deere products. Largest-selling powersports segment is snowmobile. The Profile Group owns 12 automotive and two powersports dealerships. Nine employees.

“Most of our products are very weather-dependent, particularly snowmobiles,” says Bill Krim, general manager, who came from the southern sister store in Conway, N.H. “We're coming off a couple of rather difficult years in the snowmobile business. But we're getting help from the manufacturers in moving inventory, and they seem to be more understanding about what they'd like us to order. Still, a lot of dealers are taking the hard goods' gross margin portion right out of the picture just to eliminate inventory and reduce floor plan interest. That's very dangerous; that's where the car business has gone, and it's just not good business. It shouldn't be a crime to make a profit.”

Krim says John Deere sales are “exceptional,” while the hot-selling ATVs include the Bombardier Outlander 400 Max and the Arctic Cat 650. Profile's customers predominantly use their ATVs for recreation. “In Winter, snowmobile parts and accessories sales are huge, and we sell a lot of parts for John Deere and boats. The lounger/relaxation seats for ATVs are very hot.”

“We have a strong customer base out of the Bethel, Maine, area,” says Krim. “That's primarily the gentleman farmer or large property owner who buys John Deere products and ATVs. Our local draw-the Berlin-Gorham area-is very strong for our ATV and our snowmobile business. More people are financing because of the unbelievable promotions that the credit unions and the manufacturers are offering. Customers are using the manufacturers' money and making interest on their own.”

“ATV issues are always a struggle,” says Krim. “It's a little better in our area than in Conway. The ATV clubs are doing what snowmobile clubs did 20 years ago: beginning to organize, create trail systems, and work on getting less bad press, because
they realize that if they don't, they're going to lose their sport. Our business and the fun all rely on generous landowners, and if we can't maintain good relationships, things just fall apart.” Profile Motorsports is an active member of the local ATV and snowmobile clubs, the Maine Snowmobile Association, and the New Hampshire Snowmobile Association.

Profile's service department includes a manager and two technicians, while parts has two dedicated staff members. “One of our techs works on a flat rate and the other works on salary; they're both equally productive,” notes Krim. As a general manager who has only recently moved from the Conway store to the existing Gorham dealership, “I monitor what has happened and do subtle things to hopefully groom them to be the way I'd like them to be. If a general manager goes into an existing dealership like a bull in a china shop, he ends up working by himself.”

“Advertising is tough; you don't know if it works or not, unless you have tools in place to monitor where your customers are coming from,” says Krim. “Radio and newspaper advertising seem to be very good for us. We don't do any TV at this point because it is very expensive. In December we held a huge open house sale. We will be creating some off-site John Deere commercial displays this summer: one at an alpaca farm, the other at a campground.”


“Dealers as a whole need to look at the additional income they could make,” advises Krim. “F&I is a huge portion, yet a lot of dealers don't even consider it. They tend to go right for the areas that are easiest, as opposed to working a bit harder to make the additional income. And consider pricing structure: If we go the way of the car industry, we're really moving in the wrong direction.”
- Julie Filatoff

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