Power Profiles

Hilton Head Motorsports – Bluffton, SC – Sept. 26, 2005

Hilton Head Motorsports
1286 Fording Island Road
Bluffton, SC 29910-6523
(843) 837-3949
South Carolina Motorsports, corporation Owner Scott Fischer
Dale Hoffbauer, GM of Hilton Head Motorsports
Hilton Head Motorsports aquired specialty motorsports January 1, 2004.
Fischer owns three Harley dealerships and two other import dealerships.
18,000-20,000 square feet. 6-7 in showroom 2 in parts and accessories 3 in service and the rest is storage. The business had been there about 20 years starting out as a welding shop that then incorporated power equipment then powersports. Honda, Kaw, Suz, Bombardier, Yamaha PWC, Eton ATV. 25 full time and 3 part time.
Price discounting and falsifying the actual margins of a unit. From what retail is, and what some dealers choose to sell the unit at, falsifies the sense of the amount of margin has to make on the product. Those dealers who choose to be a volume dealer who choose so sell at cost or below cost from a normal standpoint, my concern is the relationship, that along with the influx of Chinese products that may not be to the standards that the Japanese producs is at today. So the false security of the people going to Pep Boys and buying a 499 dollar piece of junk that then they get a false sense of what our whole environment is about. It’s not a commodity that you use and then throw away if the product is an upstanding product. We have those issues on a day to day basis on a scooter, you know a $1,000 scooter versus a metropolitan $1,800 scooter.
We’re a sportbike dealership. With the influx of military bases, Paris Island, MCAS, which is the airspace local here, then Savannah has an airfield, Hunter Air and Fort Stewart. It’s a sportbike place, cruiser and then ATV. PWC is up 25% this year. It is perdominantly a four-stroke industry, but we put in a marketing campain and advertising over the previous dealership. We added Bombardier, we had Yamaha and a little bit of Kawasaki. Suzuki GSX-Rs, Honda CBRs and Kawasaki ZXs.
In parts and accessories, Icon sells great, Thor is doing well. Obviously Yosh pipes, any of our helmet lines, whether it be Arai, Shoei, Fulmer, KBC, all of those are doing well.
18-25 year old is a good portion of our business. Probably 15% of our business is related to that military presence. They want a great customer experience. From that aspect we want to provide an exceptional customer experience so that they will continue to come back and refer more and more people to us.
Land use, you know where to ride is of issue. The less and less availability of land, the less and less tracks and ORV parks to go to. The in and out of those frequencies of ownership. It’s 2.5-3 hours away for places to ride. There’s places in Florida and there’s places on the other side of Augusta, GA in Durhamtown.
We’re growing the business. We doubled the business in the first year and we’ve grown 50% over last year. We’re really focused on moving the units out into the public and then capturing that service and parts business later on. Service and parts business would be 25-30% of our over business in terms of a retail dollars standpoint.
We have 4 techs and two service writers and service manager. 4 people on parts. A training process for employees on customer experience, proper inventory, open to buy processes.
We do an array of things. We use a marketing company to market. We’ve held 5 tent sales with a barrage of radio and TV and made a strong presence of “We’re new, were different from before, come and see us.” And a used bike superstore. Earlier this year we did a four day tent sale, which is basically an open house. They are brand oriented, utilitxing the maximum amount of co-op that we can, and imaging the store with the brand. (so one week, it’s all Honda, another week, it all Suzuki.)
And an awareness around the customer experience, having the products and an experienced sales staff, answering any questions that they have and properly fitting them onto the appropriate vehicle.
Site has been up since opening. It’s internal. It’s primarily an acknowledgment of who we are and what we have. People over in Savannah may not know were physically here. And a Used bike store. Someone works on is as time is available and the sales staff updates the used bike inventory.
We do a small amount of race support for a couple of local racers and we have some staff that race, but we don’t have an ongoing team.
Training. Making sure that you are empowering your employees to maximize the greatest opportunity available. Working in a fun environment and providing an exceptional customer experience. psb
—Blake Stranz
If you would like to share your story with the readers of Powersports Business, please contact Blake Stranz at bstranz@comcast.net.

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