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Shocking dealership break-in results in three stolen bikes: report

A shocking security camera video shows thieves ripping off the front doors of a powersports dealership in Gastonia, North Carolina, according to a report on Charlotte’s Fox 46.

The thieves stole three dirt bikes from McKenney-Salinas Powersports. Co-owner Don Willis says the shop recently installed the security cameras after a break-in resulted in the theft of five bikes in December.

Willis watched the 4:30 a.m. heist from home via an app on his phone after being alerted by a call from the security company.

Check out the report from Fox46Charlotte.com here.

7 comments

  1. A lot of the dealers that I work with in my 20 Groups are seriously considering dropping motocross bikes from their dealerships. Thefts of these models have been out of control for the last couple of years now. Couple that with margins in the MX segment being the worst of any products dealers sell (motocross customers are the only people we deal with who have more time than money) and I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of dealers exit stage left.

    • Mark
      I understand why you and some of the dealers in your group feel the way you do but I also disagree with your outlook of the dirt bike segment of the industry. I also understand when some dealers look at the segment is does seem to be a diminished return and may not be worth the trouble.

      It is my opinion that you are not looking at the entire picture of how that segment effects a store, although each market does need to be looked at differently and with an open mind. There are many dealer’s nation wide that do very good with dirt bikes because they understand their market and the segment. Also, if understood the segment’s P, G&A can easily be the highest of any segment in the store and since the industry went to four stroke race bikes, the service department should also benefit. Also please do let KTM know that dirt bikes are a waste of time because they have been fooled into believing that their market share gains were based on them

      As far as your sentiment about the buyer not having money, you could not be more wrong, in today’s world a $10,000 dirt bike is very common, also riders with multiple bikes are just as common. Furthermore, most dirt bike buyers own ATV’s, UTV’s and street bikes. So, the notion that they do not have money is absurd and disingenuous. If a store cannot retain this buyer for their other units, the customer is not the problem.

      I invite you to spent a day on a dealership showroom and just ask each customer what got them into the motorcycle lifestyle and I will venture to say dirt bikes will be a large percentage of the answers you receive. With this in mind a big part of a dealership’s future is based on the dirt bike segment.

      I could go on about how management and personnel are the biggest reason for the dirt bike segment failure’s or any segment for that matter in a dealership but that would take hours. I recently was working with an executive from Hyundai and I asked him what he thought about Ford’s planed departure from selling sedan’s his reply hits home in the motorcycle industry also. “We will welcome the increases in business of low profit sedan buyers. It will be our job to keep them and have them in our fold when they buy a high profit SUV. I bet your competition will be just as happy as Hyundai.

      • SM

        I can easily debate you on every front here, but I don't want to write a novel.

        I managed powersports dealers for over 20 years, and for a couple of those I was a manager at one of the largest motocross dealers in the country. The best way to do volume in MX is to give them away. The typical motocrosser will drive 300 miles to save $200. As I said, most have more time than money. The majority of them also want sponsorship and no charge next day air on parts orders because they waited until the last minute to order the stuff they needed for the weekend ride.

        You couldn't be more wrong on the PG&A opportunity. The UTV segment owns that opportunity, with many dealers now making more money on PG&A sold to the vehicle than they do on the vehicle sale. Many motocrossers now buy their gear from discounters on the internet, and with the exception of the richest riders, it's rare to see a motocross bike in a service department because few of them are willing to pay $135 an hour for the work.

        Probably the only area you are close is the common $10,000 dirt bike, but if the dealer had to pay $9500 to the OEM for that model, then I can easily show you where that margin just doesn't pencil in support of long term dealership success.

        I normally don't call out OEM's, but a lot of my dealers carry multiple brands. With a lot of them, I've done an exercise where we look at brand viability. I can tell you that the orange one is always at the bottom of the list, and it's now to the point where many dealers are pushing back and saying enough is enough. Look up my LinkedIn article on brand viability. It's been an eye opener for a lot of dealers.

        In my time, kids did start out on small motocross bikes, but today's kids grow up staring and phones and other small screens. Our industry is perceived as dangerous (I've had more than one friend die on the motocross track, they aren't wrong). My personal opinion is that our best opportunity is to get asses in seats in the late teens and early twenties, when many people are getting out from underneath their parents and looking for adventure. Personally, I'd much rather put a customer on a Ninja than a motocrosser.

        There's a big difference between a business and a hobby. Every brand and segment needs to make sense from all angles. Motocross is hard to justify when measure on its own strengths. You take the huge losses from ongoing thefts and in many stores every bike sold is not a profit opportunity, but an expense.

        • In most store's UTV's do lead in PG&A with $1,200 GP per copy being a good benchmark and that is a great profit center. I have worked with dealerships that are north of that amount on dirt bikes when play bikes are remove.
          If you are any you are worried about showroom front end gross on every bike you should start looking for a different industry, that model is as dated as the mascot on a Sinclair gas station sign.
          I like you could debate this for hours and have debated this subject with many dealers have and proven them wrong on many occasions. You did not address the number one point, these customers buy and own most then the one dirt bike we are debating.
          I can actually prove you wrong and never step in your store. Go to Light Speed and pull the last 50 new dirt bikes you have sold. Now go to you CRM and see anyhow times they have been touched since they purchased. I am willing to bet over 50% have never been touch and that there are no remarks of the other unis they own. Now have the call center of your CRM call them and ask them if they own other units and where they bought them. I bet you will be surprised.
          One note "the every segment has to make money", I understand that to an extent but it has LEMCO training written all over it and that system is just like the Sinclair sign I spoke of above. you will never get to $20,000,000 with a 7%+net thinking like the 80's . Let connect via Linked in
          Steve Mitchum.

          • I knew Ed. Wasn't a fan of everything he had to say, but he did have a way of taking processes from dealers and sharing them with the industry. Anyone who takes everything that a consultant has to say is bound to fail, but listening, digesting, and utilizing the best ideas has worked well for us in the past, and continues to work well for us.

            If I'm only making an assumption on something then I'll say it up front, but I'm a data guy and I've looked at these stats with lots of dealers. While there might be the occasional home run on a dirt bike, as a whole, that segment doesn't even come close to holding a candle against UTV's when it comes to upselling. Showroom space costs a lot of money. When we still have brands and segments that are profitable, it's nuts to devote significant space to unprofitable ones.

            We still operate in an industry where we have the opportunity to make money on the vehicles we sell. To suggest that we don't is way off base and shows how out of touch you are. We are not the auto industry, where with many brands they can't make money on their vehicles, but we can. And I work with many dealers that do. At least 5 powersports dealers I work with make a legitimate 7% net, so that Sinclair sign is still lit up nice and bright.

            You are also wrong on the follow up front. 90% of our customers at our dealership are touched at least twice a year, on their birthday and the anniversary of their last purchase. We even have a process to move old customers to new sales staff when we have turnover. Repeats and referrals are 50% + of our business. That doesn't happen when you ignore customers.

            Once again, you are essentially wrong on every point. Luckily, we live in America, and you have the right to express your opinions. I'll stick with the facts.

  2. It was nice for the network to say what to look for when buying a bike outside the dealer, but these bikes are traditionally re-sold. The VIN is ground off, and they're being ridden down city streets in packs as we all know. Until there becomes a serious crackdown on the these thieves/wheelie show-offs, the demand will always be there. I realize that hurting them is publicity that most cities and counties would rather avoid, but I've seen them hurt others while having a complete disregard for the law. So why does the law-abiding citizen come second? And just as bad, the shop owners who lose bikes and revenue?

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