Power Profiles

Pro Power – Anoka, MN – Aug. 14, 2006

Pro Power Sports & Marine
6781 Highway 10 NW
Anoka, Minn. 55303
Todd Amar and Mike Worthington
Business Profile
Pro Power Sports & Marine is a recent consolidation of two, competing dealerships that once were located across the street from each other. Owners Todd Amar and Mike Worthington are friends that come from the printing industry. In 2004, Amar retired from that industry — a move that did not last long. By September of 2005, he and Worthington had purchased the two Anoka dealerships. About nine months later, they combined them into one, remodeled 35,000-square foot facility. The store carries Suzuki and Kawasaki motorcycles, Polaris, Arctic Cat, BRP, Suzuki and Kawasaki ATVs, and Sea-Doo and Kawasaki PWC. The dealership also has boats and power equipment. The store has about 33 employees.
Greatest concerns
“My greatest concern is general economy and consumer health,” Amar said, citing limited financing options as the biggest culprit. Amar does not have a local benchmark number to compare the number of consumers that are turned down for credit, but he knows it’s high. “That’s a pretty discouraging indicator of the overall general consumer health,” he said. “They want to purchase something we sell, but they don’t have” the necessary credit background or rating.
Amar also is concerned how dealers respond to competitive pressures “by simply reducing their pricing, hoping customers will do business with them because they are the low bidder. This is a recipe for disaster. We have way too much investment risk in our business to settle for a poor return on investment simply because of lack of an alternative sales tactics,” he said.
What’s hot?
“Personal watercraft is doing really well,” Amar said, citing Sea-Doo specifically. “In the motorcycle and ATV segments, the sport bikes segment is doing pretty decent right now. The cruiser segment is off a little bit.”
Customer Buying Trends
Aftermarket parts for cruisers and sports bikes “are down dramatically,” Amar said. “Our parts and accessories manager is very surprised how poorly chrome and aftermarket upgrades are (doing), particularly the cruiser market.”
Parts and service
Knowing parts and service are among the dealership’s biggest margin makers, Amar said the dealership has strived to reconnect with consumers. “We’re really trying to reach out to our market,” Amar said, “and say, ‘Hey, we’re here.’ We intend to be a contributing member of the community and consequently, we want to be your dealership of choice. In the past, neither dealership really had a focus on the customers. They just took what was there and didn’t really mine” for more consumers. Amar and Worthington plan to use open houses and other consumer-focused events to reach their market.
Promotional home runs
Pro Power’s grand opening featured local media celebrities, professional athletes and appearances by manufacturers’ officials. The result — an attendance of 2,000 people. The goal of the event was to “introduce ourselves to the customer base and hopefully foster long-term loyalty,” Amar said, and not just a spike in sales. The event, however, did produce elevated receipts that day and “the following couple of weeks were fairly heavy,” Amar said.
Words of Advice
“Pay attention to your customer base,” Amar said, noting, “it can be a frustrating business with the margin pressures and some of the things going on.
“Never lose sight of your customer base. A lot of people tend to get too diverse and try to be all things to all people. But if you’re focused on your customers’ wants and needs, you’ll be successful.”
— Neil Pascale
Dealers interested in having their dealerships become Power Profiles should contact Editor Neil Pascale at npascale@ehlertpublishing.com

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