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Author Topic: Why have a dealer network at all ?  (Read 5040 times)

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1 Thump

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on: January 07, 2016, 06:39:54 pm
Tesla has demonstrated that a direct to customer model can work for automobiles.

Perhaps it can work for motorcycles. Is there a distinct advantage with having a dealer network?



Richard230

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Reply #1 on: January 07, 2016, 07:25:59 pm
Some startup electric motorcycle companies (such as Electric Motorsport in Oakland, CA) have tried that business model and it never works very long. You need brick and mortar retail dealers to keep the business running for very long.
2011 Royal Enfield B5 500, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph Bonneville T-100, 2002 Yamaha FZ1


1 Thump

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Reply #2 on: January 07, 2016, 09:39:52 pm
Some startup electric motorcycle companies (such as Electric Motorsport in Oakland, CA) have tried that business model and it never works very long. You need brick and mortar retail dealers to keep the business running for very long.

Company owned brick and mortar showrooms and workshops can do that. Dealers are middlemen. There has got to be more than that....


REpozer

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Reply #3 on: January 07, 2016, 10:01:09 pm
Yes, it's called finance .
   Some might call it marketing.
Many people are only worried about one question.
  "  How low can you get monthly payment ?'
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Ice

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Reply #4 on: January 08, 2016, 12:35:31 am
 Demo models.
Most people want to see a bike in person before buying and some people like to pick the one they would be buying.

 And the dealership experience.
A lot of people enjoy going back to and being at the dealership of their favorite brand(s) after the sale.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2016, 12:38:06 am by Ice »
I can break it better,,,,at night, in the rain, on the trail,, 20 miles from nowhere.

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Richard230

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Reply #5 on: January 08, 2016, 08:56:09 am
Company owned brick and mortar showrooms and workshops can do that. Dealers are middlemen. There has got to be more than that....

You may recall from Tesla's experience that more than one U.S. state has laws prohibiting direct sales from a manufacturer to the customer in order to force them to set up independent franchised retail dealers so as to boost employment and perhaps other political reasons.  Those laws have prevented and hindered the construction of Tesla showrooms and sales in certain northeastern states as I recall.
 
2011 Royal Enfield B5 500, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph Bonneville T-100, 2002 Yamaha FZ1


Richard230

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Reply #6 on: January 08, 2016, 05:10:02 pm
So I just returned from a visit to my "local" RE dealer (where my bike was not originally purchased).  I asked about the cost of changing the fork oil in my B5.  I became a little nervous when I was asked what a B5 was by the service manager. So I pointed to the model on their showroom floor. He then told me that they had never changed the fork oil of a Royal Enfield and had no idea how it was accomplished, much less what it would cost to perform the work. I was asked what oil weight the forks might use. I said that some people have used ATF and then he said that they usually use 10wt oil in all of the Japanese brand forks that they work on. He then told me that they no longer had any way to contact RE to order parts or request information.   He mentioned that their franchise had expired (even though they are still listed on the official RE website the last time I looked). So I decided that my fork oil didn't really need its fork oil change right now and decided to tackle the job myself some day this year.
2011 Royal Enfield B5 500, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph Bonneville T-100, 2002 Yamaha FZ1


Ice

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Reply #7 on: January 08, 2016, 07:51:18 pm
You may recall from Tesla's experience that more than one U.S. state has laws prohibiting direct sales from a manufacturer to the customer in order to force them to set up independent franchised retail dealers so as to boost employment and perhaps other political reasons.  Those laws have prevented and hindered the construction of Tesla showrooms and sales in certain northeastern states as I recall.

 IDK about other States but in WA. that sort of thing is consumer protection measure.
Gives the consumer a convenient means of legal recourse under the consumers State laws should the need arise vs trying to settle a matter 3,000 miles away and by laws unfamiliar.
I can break it better,,,,at night, in the rain, on the trail,, 20 miles from nowhere.

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"TIMEX", the '06 Iron Barrel Military that takes me everywhere I want to go... and some places I shouldn't.


Kevin Mahoney

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Reply #8 on: January 08, 2016, 10:41:14 pm
I would never buy a motorcycle especially one like the Royal Enfield from anyone that wasn't a committed dealer who was known for good customer service. NEVER

You are going to need that dealer sooner or later and without a good one your experience in the RE or any other bike for that matter will not be good.

Buying and owning a motorcycle is a far different world from buying a car. Cars are a commodity and even today many motorcycles are not.

That is not to say that a company owned dealership would not deliver good service. They may have to deliver better service than most to survive as a one brand store. It is not a model that has worked in the US before but RE has been very successful with it in India.
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mc35803

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Reply #9 on: January 24, 2016, 08:48:26 pm
+1 Kevin.  I drove from Alabama to Ohio to buy my 2015 C5 Classic because of the Ohio dealer's reputation as a Ural dealer and their customer service.  So far, no regrets.   I am disappointed with RENA's web presence right now however and hope it gets better.  They don't have an accessories page and were it not for CMW I wouldn't know what cool parts were available.  I know it takes time, but it is as if overnight, RENA has lost the soul of what you brought to life here.
Miles


pmanaz1973

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Reply #10 on: January 29, 2016, 10:26:35 am
So I just returned from a visit to my "local" RE dealer (where my bike was not originally purchased).  I asked about the cost of changing the fork oil in my B5.  I became a little nervous when I was asked what a B5 was by the service manager. So I pointed to the model on their showroom floor. He then told me that they had never changed the fork oil of a Royal Enfield and had no idea how it was accomplished, much less what it would cost to perform the work. I was asked what oil weight the forks might use. I said that some people have used ATF and then he said that they usually use 10wt oil in all of the Japanese brand forks that they work on. He then told me that they no longer had any way to contact RE to order parts or request information.   He mentioned that their franchise had expired (even though they are still listed on the official RE website the last time I looked). So I decided that my fork oil didn't really need its fork oil change right now and decided to tackle the job myself some day this year.

That is a huge red flag. - Just search for fork oil change and you will see plenty of information to do the job.  It's actually fairly straight forward and makes a big difference on how the bike rides and to some extent improves the handling of the bike.  These bikes truly are easy to work on.

The only dealer I trusted was 8 hours away and I'm glad I did.  A local dealer had a RE dealership for a while and I've not heard anything positive about them.  They are now a Triumph and Moto Guzzi dealer...I never see anyone there, so who know how long that will last.
1984 XL350R
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1976 Norton Commando 850
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krusty

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Reply #11 on: January 29, 2016, 04:03:48 pm
I'm in the UK so maybe things are a little different here, but I would never part with my hard earned without a test ride at the very least.
It does help that I have a trusted dealer 20 minutes from home that I have now bought 3 new bikes from.
If I had to travel far from home or arrange a stay away to do a test ride I'd factor that in to the cost of the purchase.
Buying off spec and a few glossy pictures doesn't fly for me.
I've ridden a lot of bikes that the journos have heaped praise on, then been so underwhelmed on a test ride, that I wouldn't have it any other way.
Krusty


 
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DanKearney

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Reply #12 on: January 29, 2016, 06:31:55 pm
California Scooter Company (CSC) has been selling the RX3 (And now the TT250) using a "mail order" paradigm.


It is a leap of faith (I own one) but I did some research on CSC, the bike's manufacturer (Zongshen) along with reading what actual owners thought of the bike before I took the plunge.


They're very up-front that their bikes are aimed at the demographic that likes to do their own work (Warranty or otherwise).  They claim that if an owner has maintenance or warranty work that the owner does not want to do that CSC will will contract with a shop local to the owner to do the work.  So far I have not read of any owner taking them up on this.


CSC provides each owner with a full service manual and keeps an on-line service tutorial on their web site.  So far, they have a stellar reputation for providing service to the few owners who've had warranty covered issues.  They claim to stock every part for the bikes in their California warehouse, and while I can't say if that is true or not, the spare parts and accessories that I ordered from them were all in stock when I called and arrived at my door within two days of ordering.


Cheers,


Dan K.


mattsz

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Reply #13 on: January 29, 2016, 06:53:51 pm
California Scooter Company (CSC) has been selling the RX3 (And now the TT250) using a "mail order" paradigm.


It is a leap of faith (I own one) but I did some research on CSC, the bike's manufacturer (Zongshen) along with reading what actual owners thought of the bike before I took the plunge.

I saw on their website that they actually have a Google map showing geographical locations of owners willing to communicate with prospective buyers.  A creative, smart idea to help overcome the lack of dealer network...


ROVERMAN

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Reply #14 on: February 09, 2016, 08:18:07 am
I too like many others here like the dealer experience. CSC does seem to have a compelling case for doing it a different way though. I am more and more interested in their bikes and if the Himalayan doesn't make it's way over here i might take the plunge.
Roverman.