Dealers, vendors report strong turnout in Texas
Industry folks will be glad to learn that the Tucker Rocky | Biker’s Choice Dealer and Brand Expo wasn’t just a one-off event to celebrate the distributor’s 50th anniversary last month in Frisco, Texas.
No, the Tucker Rocky brand appeared alive and well in front of a reported 800 dealers on a pair of splendid Texas February days, and president Eric Cagle announced that the show will once again become an annual event for dealers, after it was last held in 2014. Anyone on hand in Frisco would have to surmise that’s a great move.
One vendor representative said it was the most excitement he’s seen from dealers at a show in years. Similarly, dealers were equally eager to get prepared for the imminent start of the riding season throughout much of the U.S. Sales orders were being written in abundance thanks to the show specials being offered.
Tucker Rocky, of course, has not been without its share of news in recent months. Former company president Dan Courtney stepped aside in February of 2016. His replacement, Eric Cagle, has been on board only since October, and since then the company has tendered pink slips to dozens of staffers. But if those moves were made to right the ship, it appears that smoother sailing days will be ahead for the company. Dealers in large numbers commented on the fact that Tucker had ended its dealer show hiatus; many remarked on the timing and the appeal of the show specials. With the Supercross race at AT&T Stadium the day after the show in nearby Arlington, it all combined to give Tucker Rocky dealers in attendance an ideal setting.
That Tucker even opted to bring in dealers for the show was a big step forward for many dealers we talked to.
“It’s great that Tucker is back doing a show — and it did not disappoint,” said Chris Jones, president of Iron Pony Motorsports Group, Inc., with two powersports dealerships in the Columbus, Ohio, area. “They went above and beyond on food and entertainment for their dealers. We had enough time to interact with many vendors and learned about a variety of new products that will immediately increase sales in our dealership and e-commerce.”
Jones has been a longtime customer of Tucker’s, dating back to almost the entire 50 years of the company’s history.
“That was back when it used to be Ed Tucker — and their competitor, Rocky Cycle,” Jones recalled. “So it was fantastic to see so many great Tucker employees and so many great vendors and vendor representatives. The timing of the show was good — just in time for the upcoming season. Our Tucker sales representative was extremely helpful with his time as were his regional managers. Tucker had good deals for those who attended — and topped it off with an Ogio Tucker 50th anniversary backpack for each dealer that made the trip.”
Matt Maschmann, general manager of Power 50 dealership Maxim Honda Yamaha in nearby Allen, took an extended lunch break to check out the new vendor offerings. Even better, the proxemics allowed him to send his staff to the show also.
“It’s great to have the Tucker show in my backyard,” Maschmann said. “We really benefit from that because we send all of our parts and service employees to it. It makes them feel good to go, and they get to see a lot of neat stuff that opens their mind. A happy employee is a good employee. I think they did a very good job of timing because it’s right before the spring kicks, so we can all order our programs now, and they come in when we need them.”
Maschmann found the lineup of 2017 parts and accessories from Tucker Rocky vendors intriguing, and even made a point to add about half dozen new products to the store that he saw at the show.
“We feel like that’s very important — to have new stuff in the store. The customer does not want to come in and see the same old things all the time. All the programs at the show were very aggressive, and we got some very good margins on the product. That will help us deal with online shopping much easier.”
Even better, Maschmann liked the enthusiasm his parts staff brought back from the show.
“All of our parts personnel came back with their own ideas on different things to sell, so we would order their products to see how it works,” he said. “And you know if they suggested it, they will push it and sell it.”
Steve St. John, owner of Dreyer South Powersports in Whiteland, Indiana, found the show to be an ideal time to create and build on relationships with vendors and Tucker staff.
“The vendors did a good job of presenting their products or services,” St. John said. “Lots of shows have those who would rather not be there. Overall it was an uplifting and encouraging show. Coming back I was energized for business. As a business I think that sometimes we try to be too many things with too many products to the customers. This show gives us an opportunity to engage companies and find a better fit for our stores to maximize profits and improve customer satisfaction. I did enjoy the show and feel that we benefitted from attending. And we took advantage of several of the deals that were presented.”