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Dealer hunkers down for Isaac, worries about lost sales

The staff at The Transportation Revolution in New Orleans has dealt with hurricanes in the past, and they recovered with strength and perseverance. So when Hurricane Isaac hit Tuesday, they were prepared.

“Since Katrina, we are much more prepared for events like this one,” general manager of sales Zach Materne told Powersports Business. “We communicate with the staff via text and being able to stay at the dealership gives us peace of mind.”

TTRNO was hit hard by Katrina seven years ago this week, forcing the Materne family to relocate their business to Baton Rouge until New Orleans began the rebuilding process.

But this time was different. Hurricane Isaac didn’t pack the punch of Katrina; the city was more prepared, and during the storm, the Maternes hunkered down in a condo within the dealership’s facility.

Despite the fact that the dealership and its staff made it through the storm safely, Zach Materne is still concerned about the effects of the storm on his business.

“Everyone is spending their motorcycle money preparing and living through the storm,” he said.

The dealership had been on track to have a great fall, but an expected dip in sales in the near future could divert that progress.

“I do foresee some economic impact with this in the way that we’ll probably have a pretty dismal September,” Materne said.

However, not all customers are turning away. TTNRO’s phone system went out during the hurricane, but the dealership’s IT professionals diverted the number to a Google voicemail system that has gotten a few messages. The dealership, which was closed during the storm, will reopen Friday.

“Just to get some normalcy back, we’ll open tomorrow, and whatever employees can come, can come,” Materne said.

His hope is that a return to a regular routine will help his staff recover from the storm and prepare to boost sales.


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