350 West 800 North
Orem, UT, USA 84057
Family owned corporation
Monarch Honda recently moved into a brand-new 37,000 square foot facility after moving out of the building it shared with Monarch Harley-Davidson. (see p. XX) The two stores share grounds. The building has a main floor, with warehouse located below. An upper level serves as lunch room, break room and rider lounge. Monarch is the first Honda Powerhouse dealer west of the Mississippi, meaning they carry a full line of motorcycles, ATVs, PWC, scooters, outdoor power equipment and generators. The Honda shop employs 17 full time and three part time employees. “We’ve only been split for a year and a half,” says owner Rob Morgan. “It was all under one roof, just tight and packed. Now we can show products that both stores push in their entirety. I can show every 750 Shadow in all the color options and still have room for my VTX1300s and 1800s.”
“There’s always the competition out there from model X,” says Morgan. “The Chinese machines that are coming in to the marketplace for both stores are making impact. Scooters, we’re seeing a large increase on these Chinese scooters, so we’re not selling the numbers of scooters I think we can because of the price points.”
“CRF450R and CR250R always do well, obviously for dirt bikes,” says Morgan. For streetbikes, VTX1300 and V-twin 750 sales are strong. Monarch as even been moving some of Honda’s watercraft line. At the parts counter luggage, street and off-road exhaust and rider apparel have all been selling well.
CUSTOMER BUYING TRENDS
“It depends on the season,” says Morgan “We’re one of the bigger street bike dealers, but we also sell several dirtbikes and ATVs because the mountains around Utah stare every customer in the face and it makes those guys prompted to get something that will go off road.”
“The land closures are always a concern,” says Morgan. “But we’ve done a pretty good job of keeping some possibilities that were going to be closing open. We support the Utah Shared Access Alliance (USA-ALL). I have a program right now where I advertise in the USA-ALL newsletter. A portion of a sale of an ATV or dirtbike includes a membership to USA-ALL that we [submit] for the customer so that they are automatically enrolled. If the customer is a repeat customer that has been enrolled, we make sure that these additional dollars go to be a contribution in their name to their USA-ALL membership or just a contribution to the program.”
PARTS AND SERVICE
“They are at least half of everything we do,” says Morgan. “You can please your customer on the sale, but if you can’t have the service department please them, you will never see another sale. The sales department will sell the first one for you, of course, but the service or the parts counter will sell every motorcycle for you from there on out.” Monarch employs five service techs, two service writers a service manager and a lot technician that handles bike pick up and delivery, bike washing and general facility maintenance such as lawn mowing. “We offer free pickup and delivery in a specific mile radius with anything we sell,” says Morgan. “Especially if they buy prepaid maintenance.” In parts there are four people, plus a shipping and receiving clerk because of the volume of Honda parts and accessories arriving at the store.
PROMOTIONAL HOME RUNS
“Between the two stores, we have something going three out of four weekends a month,” says Morgan. “We do mini moto with Honda CRF 50s once a month. You know, they cost about 1,200 bucks, but mine’s probably worth about $11,000 right now. We’ve got bales of hay and flags and we’ll put a little baby track out there. Mostly 50s and some 70s, though you could do it with a CRF150. But the guys that are winning are the ones with 50s on steroids. Mine’s punched out to 124ccs and a Marzocchi front end and graphics, all sorts of happy crap going on there. I’ve got 12-inch wheels with slicks on there.” Monarch also does a monthly customer appreciation party. “I’ll buy a van that has Cokes and Sprites,” says Morgan. “I have a BBQ [caterer] come in and cook the food. We don’t have just hot dogs, we put nice pork chops or steaks or hamburgers, good stuff. And I also have a live band that comes on the barbecue day.”
WORDS OF ADVICE
“Growing pains are hard,” says Morgan. “You have to stay in control, but you cannot control every little fine detail. You have to empower your staff enough to where they feel comfortable with the decisions that they make. It’s a lot easier and life is a lot more productive and fun because from the seat on the bus they have, things might not look the same.”