For the first time, Freedom Powersports, a 14-store dealership group based in Fort Worth, Texas, was named the No. 1 dealer among the 2017 Power 50 by the editors of Powersports Business.
Sarah McVean, chief marketing officer for Freedom Powersports, was present to accept the award during the fifth annual Power 50 awards dinner at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio, held during AIMExpo. The announcement wrapped up the ceremony, which honors the top 50 dealerships in North America and celebrates their successes over the past year.
The Powersports Business editors selected Freedom Powersports based on its commitment to the overall success of the powersports industry.
The dealership’s dedication to community support and dealership events continued to grow in 2016. Freedom Powersports began working with the Ronald McDonald House, a non-profit that helps supports families in need while their children are receiving medical attention. By increasing its charity outreach and non-profit work, the dealership was able to donate more than $125,000 to local charities and organizations in 2016.
Freedom Powersports increase its revenue by double-digits in 2016 and increased new unit margins by a full percentage point. As a group, they sold 35 percent more new side-by-sides, 16 percent more PWC units and 4 percent more ATVs than in 2015. Service technician efficiency was another success for the dealership, hitting 108 percent in 2016.
Top 10 Ranked
In addition to announcing Freedom Powersports the No.1 dealer for 2017, Powersports Business expanded its ranking system in 2017 to include the top 10 dealers in North America.
At No. 2 was Calculated Risk Motorcycle Group, based in Bedford, Texas. The dealership maintains an exceptional staff by operating by the motto: “Train them well enough to leave, treat them well enough that they don’t want to.” In 2016, the dealership group hosted a three-day off-site training session with every manager from each store.
No. 3 was Lake Shore Harley-Davidson, of Libertyville, Illinois. The dealership hosts a new customer party each month to welcome people to their family and celebrate. Lake Shore’s two largest events are its annual bike blessing, which brings in a couple hundred people who spend up to $30,000 in product, and the Loop the Lake Ride, which had 90 local H.O.G. member meet for a four-state, four-night, 1,000-mile ride.
Ranking fourth in the top 10 was Huntington Beach Harley-Davidson of Westminster, California. In 2016, the dealership added sales summits for intensive training on processes and procedures, as well as leadership and management. With these summits in place, the dealership saw a triple-digit percentage increase in revenue and a double-digit net profit last year.
Hattiesburg Cycles, of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, was No. 5 on the list. The dealership launched a technician-mentoring program last year, which led to increased efficiency and fewer comebacks. In addition, Hattiesburg Cycles also increased its profit margin by 22 percent.
No. 6 was Black Jack Harley-Davidson of Florence, South Carolina. The dealership aims to take care of its employees and keep them happy through weekly rides and storewide breakfasts, held at least once per week.
Named No. 7 on the list, Moto Illimitees of Terrebonne, Quebec, doubled the dealership’s square footage in 2016. With the larger space, Moto Illimitees was able to create lifestyle boutiques by brand. The dealership also added 73 TVs and a bistro and lounge in its new showroom.
Eighth on the list was America’s Motor Sports of Madison, Tennessee. After promoting its marketing director in 2016, the dealership creating a role specifically focused on digital marketing. Each of this group’s stores has its own SEO and SEM focus that changes monthly, and the dealership develops a new in-house video each week.
No. 9 was Ray Price Inc. of Raleigh, North Carolina. Known for its annual Bikefest, this dealership added a New Rider Boot Camp free of charge to all customers. Ray Price staff offers one-on-one training opportunities for riders who would like additional help with their skills and gain riding confidence.
Rounding out the top 10 was The Transportation Revolution of New Orleans, Louisiana. The dealership offers its Winner’s Circle Ultimate Ownership Experience, which includes three years of scheduled maintenance, priority service scheduling, exclusive invitations to promotions and events, and a free loaner bike or one-way tow.
Best in Class
Three dealerships were selected to receive Best in Class awards in three areas: Best Place to Work, Best Service Department and the Ray Price Community Service Award.
Alamo Cycle Plex, of San Antonio, Texas, was named Best Place to Work. The dealership made a concerted effort to improve its company culture in 2016. It implemented its first-ever storewide competition that brought team members together to compete against each other in a points-based competition. These tactics have led to a positive change in the staff’s attitude.
Chicago Harley-Davidson, of Glenview, Illinois, earned the Best Service Department award. To fill the need for upcoming technicians, the dealership added a two-year, regimented training program for entry-level technicians. Even with this entry-level program in place, the dealership averaged a 94 percent proficiency rate.
The Ray Price Community Service Award in 2017 went to Cole Harley-Davidson of Bluefield, West Virginia. When several areas in West Virginia were affected by major flooding in June 2016, Cole Harley-Davidson staff donated cleaning supplies and served as a collection center for anyone to donate to the cause. A team of the dealership’s employees then delivered the supplies and served meals to volunteers and those affected by the flooding.
Hall of Fame
Logan Powersports Group, of Logan, West Virginia, accepted their award as the second dealership to be inducted into the Power 50 Hall of Fame. Dealerships that are named the No. 1 dealer twice are inducted into the Hall of Fame. Logan, No. 1 in 2015 and 2016, joins GO AZ Motorcycles, of Scottsdale, Arizona, in the Hall of Fame.
Mike Ratz, owner of Logan Powersports Group, thanked his team for all their hard work and the Logan community for their support.