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Discussion Starter #22
I think CarMax has a big advantage in a lot of ways, let me tell you a secret to the auto industry. 78% of buyers purchase a different vehicle than they came in for! Explains how marketing works, and how having a "hook" draws the showroom traffic, so you identify someone in the market, but they choose to buy a higher trim model, that has some front end gross.

The loss leader has to be carefully chosen, but here is a personal story. I am working the business development center one morning, and a call comes in from an angry farmer. He was in on Saturday, test drove a few Impala's, and left. Tuesday a.m. he sees the Saturday paper, a whorehouse price on a base Impala. The sale ended Saturday, he didn't know why the salesperson didn't show him that vehicle. I called the sales manager after letting the farmer know - if I can get this price are you in on the deal? He tells me, I have cash, will be there by noon! The sales manager tells me he has the car, and will sell it for that price. We only had one of these, I ask - not a very good sale? He told me he sold 22 others that weekend, no one wants the base, they all want the premium wheels, sunroof, etc.

Now, the reason most buyers change their vehicle, is A) not the vehicle they want, most want all the "stuff". B) Payment, they realize the $40,000 car is going to require a higher payment, so they buy a pre-owned. C) Credit, some can't afford a hot dog and their credit reflects this. At this point, the bank is the one assigned a vehicle based on criteria they set IE not over 4 years old, under 50,000 miles, and some equity built in.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
No doubt Harley Davidson has a snobbish approach to selling their bikes, the difference is that they have demand IE people are lining up to buy these overweight, underpowered, slow handling bikes. Demand for the Triumph isn't nearly as strong in the United States. The point being - a dealer has to turn on the charm, put a deal together to get these bikes out on the street. Nothing wrong with the Triumph, the quality/fit/finish are right on, it's just that two STRONG dealerships that I am familiar with, including the dealership I purchased my Triumph from, told Triumph - thanks but no thanks, it isn't working.

Now Omaha is a good sized city. 835,000 population, which should be large enough to make the brand profitable in the dealership. I purchased my Triumph from a successful and good dealership. They did all the things Triumph asked them to do as far as what I could see - floor space, signage, factory trained mechanics, etc. Demand is the difference, which means you have to be more aggressive in the sales approach and for Triumph, they have to work with dealers until that point whereby they can be profitable.

Point being - don't display the arrogance until you have the sales momentum to do so, it's a fact in the business world.
 

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people are lining up to buy these overweight, underpowered, slow handling bikes. Demand for the Triumph isn't nearly as strong in the United States.
Is this a post from 2003? Harley is not doing well. There are some signs that an upswing may be coming, but HD has Problems.
 

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I called the sales manager after letting the farmer know - if I can get this price are you in on the deal? He tells me, I have cash, will be there by noon! The sales manager tells me he has the car, and will sell it for that price.
But did he buy the car? Please don't leave me in suspense !!
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Triumph Motorcycles - Global Sales 2020 | MotorCyclesData

Harley-Davidson Global Performance 2020 | MotorCyclesData

@Miks As you know there is a lot of data out there to help get an accurate feel for brand health/demand (Triumph and HD snapshots linked). Comparatively speaking I think Triumph will be fine. The world is a big, competitive market for motorcycles and the US market is not the largest.
Yeah...the CEO's of Harley have been terrible, very poor decisions but this is what happens when you have an accountant running a business. Livewire is a $30,000 electrified motur-psykle that doesn't have much range and is impractical. I know, future development and battery technology will get us there someday, but why they aren't focusing on what Harley is all about, is a mystery. Since they own a huge market share in the bagger side (say PROFITABLE), would you assume they want to continue to be #1 in that arena and fix the bike.

You have to look at the architecture of the Harley...dry sump oil system - it's OK, but then a primary chain reservoir, and a separate transmission. Get rid of the complexity of the primary chain at least! Also, the bikes are heavy and the suspension is terrible. Road Glide and Street glide have a 2" rear shock travel, that's all!

Harley has the CEO as an arrogant non-riding type. Asked about an electric windshield for the touring bikes, his response was that customers don't care about that...meanwhile, Indian is moving forward and eating their lunch. What Harley is all about it - making the bike look great on the showroom. The seat is awful, the pipes too quiet, the ride too stiff, and the power/torque isn't going to win any race. That explains the average $1,700 OTD accessories before the bike is even off the showroom on it's way home!
 

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I love reading about the motor world and dealerships in the US. As an car and motorcycle addict I have had my fair share of experience with both good and bad dealers and I understand the Dutch car/motor industry. But to get some insight on how things go on the other side of the pond is very entertaining.

That being said, I bought my very first Triumph last month. I do feel a bit mixed about it. I really, really love my Tiger 900 but at the same time I some get the thinking it might not turn out to be so reliable as all the Japanese bikes I've owned. Let's see how that develops.

As for the dealer where I bought it: the sales guy(s) really did their utmost best to give me some very good experience. I extensively test drove the Rally and GT version several times and they offered me all the time I needed.
When I was in doubt whether to buy one and trade in my 2 months old Yamaha Tracer GT they offered me all kinds of options to close the deal. When after one month I contacted them again and told them I still had doubts about buying either the Tiger or a Honda AT I immediately was offered test drives on both the Rally Pro and GT Pro again. At the end of the day I got a very good deal for the Tiger Rally Pro with some extra accessories and 25% discount on accessories I might be buying at a later moment.

I have been to quite some other dealers in the past but these Triumph guys really did a good job at making me feel a valued customer!

There's one worry I have. They will be moving to a new location with a brand new building. Much bigger than they have now. I hope that by becoming a big dealership they will not loose their customer intimacy. And I also hope they will keep the option to see what is going on in the workshop. At their current location I can look into the workshop trough large windows. I really value that (in fact I need it). I hope the new location offers that too.
 

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Yeah...the CEO's of Harley have been terrible, very poor decisions but this is what happens when you have an accountant running a business. Livewire is a $30,000 electrified motur-psykle that doesn't have much range and is impractical. I know, future development and battery technology will get us there someday, but why they aren't focusing on what Harley is all about, is a mystery. Since they own a huge market share in the bagger side (say PROFITABLE), would you assume they want to continue to be #1 in that arena and fix the bike.

You have to look at the architecture of the Harley...dry sump oil system - it's OK, but then a primary chain reservoir, and a separate transmission. Get rid of the complexity of the primary chain at least! Also, the bikes are heavy and the suspension is terrible. Road Glide and Street glide have a 2" rear shock travel, that's all!

Harley has the CEO as an arrogant non-riding type. Asked about an electric windshield for the touring bikes, his response was that customers don't care about that...meanwhile, Indian is moving forward and eating their lunch. What Harley is all about it - making the bike look great on the showroom. The seat is awful, the pipes too quiet, the ride too stiff, and the power/torque isn't going to win any race. That explains the average $1,700 OTD accessories before the bike is even off the showroom on it's way home!
What's amazing about Harley is how over the decades, different management teams have made the same silly mistakes over and over again. Things get rough? Cease all innovation and pretend it's 1952. This killed Buell, it killed the V-rod, it's killed a few bikes recently, including the gosh-darned Sportster in overseas markets!

They need to tough it out and expand their market. Accept that the walletchain crowd won't like it. That's the exact point; you need to attract customers that are NOT the wallet chain crowd. Indian has their air-cooled line, and I love my Roadmaster, but they also have the liquid cooled Scout, they've come out with the liquid cooled Challenger, and they have the liquid cooled FTR, a celebration of their racing success. I see younger riders on Scouts, while the CEO of Harley says "
The CEO also downplayed Harley's emphasis on attracting younger motorcyclists as a way to grow the brand.

"I would say that consumers are aging into riding as they have more free time and resources. ... It's more about attitude and emotions than age and demographics,"


Yeah. Good luck with that. Honda got young people into riding, and a lot of those riders were lifelong Honda fans and customers. Harley, on the other hand, comes out with a ridiculous electric bike, and has a potentially good idea with the Brox but who knows if that model will survive, and is talking about an adventure bike - but they'll have a real credibility gap to cross to get into that segment.

They are like a turtle that stretches out its neck a bit, might start to make progress, and then gets spooked and retreats to its safe place inside its shell. You don't make progress that way.

Meanwhile, Triumph and Indian are doing a great job of balancing playing to their traditional, iconic strengths while also innovating (Triumph almost invented the factory streetfighter and the modern Scrambler, and then there's the Rocket 3 family). They are in much better shape.
 

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That being said, I bought my very first Triumph last month. I do feel a bit mixed about it. I really, really love my Tiger 900 but at the same time I some get the thinking it might not turn out to be so reliable as all the Japanese bikes I've owned. Let's see how that develops.
I bought a used 955i Daytona in 2007. I've put about 50,000 miles on it since then. Hard miles, revving it out, taking dirt roads, and even doing an Iron Butt ride (>1000 miles in less than 24 hours). I'll stack Triumph reliability up against any motorcycle manufacturer I know of.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
In today's precision manufacturing, most of the modern stuff is highly reliable compared to they were just 50 years ago. I am not too concerned about my Triumph having any problems, the dealer told me that people like them because they have a nice British feel with Japanese reliability, which was exactly why I chose it.

My concern was Triumph LTD and the lack of caring about the dealer that was doing what they should do for a customer, and my experience when, after 6 weeks of the dealer being frustrated, when I started asking questions the way they were "total jerks" about helping us out. Gave me a bad taste about them, and I have seen Youtube video's of other Triumph owners talking about Triumph LTD having an attitude.
Not going to worry about it, Triumph can figure out if they want me to buy that new Tiger 1200 XCa in the future, or if I go back to buying Honda's again.

No worries here.
 

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I have had Triumph since October 1976 and a long line of other makes, yet I am back to Triumph through the various eras. Why ? because I like Triumph. The history , the design and the ride.

Now we, the Customer, need that same passion to be with the Dealers when we talk to them and want answers to sort out a problem or buy a new Triumph.

If you work in a Triumph Dealership and get a Pay Packet each month. Then show you enjoy it to the customer and your passion for Triumph. If you cannot then you are in the wrong job. Don't spoil it for everyone.

I ride a Triumph for the Motorbike, Not the political company point of view.
 

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I enjoy reading reasons that a person chooses a certain brand, model, uses and looks. Reliability, comfort and price.
My first bike at nine was a 48 Triumph Terrier, gift from young uncle going into army.
There were not license requirements growing up in Casper, Wyoming at that time. If you could keep it up right you could ride it on the road. Great fun bike to learn on and kept it til 14. Moved to Boulder, Colo. Boulder Cycle Center was across street from my school bus stop. I drooled on the windows trying to see myself on a new British bike,almost any kind. They kept my 48 running but took months sometimes for parts to arrive or money to pay for them.
Bikes came from Europe in wood crates and owner paid me to pull all the nails, stack and help locals load the lumber. I'm 1960 or 61 a fancy ford station wagon pulled in pulling a trailer full of Honda's. Was given a huge helping hand to buy a Honda Benly 125 for $375.
From 1965 to 1996 I wasted every dime on Honda's. Probably 10-15.
Then I saw a bill board in Atlanta about the new Triumph with office in subburb. Skipped the home show and went to see. They were the management of Triumph North America not a dealer but I loaded up all sales info and found a dealer with a bike in Baltimore, Pete's I believe. They just got their tech back and had used bike for training. A beautiful
1996 Thunderbird. God how sweet it was.That bike was followed by 98 TBS, 98 Tiger and couple 99 Daytona 955, 99 Daytona 1200. Still have 1 955 and the 1200.
Along the way to just over a year ago I had at least one new bike a year, almost every model. But every year Triumph came out with new, better model.Sold a lot, traded a lot. In 2005 I retired and moved to Houston. Have used same dealer all this time. Fantastic mech.
Grandson had his 09 ST serviced there since he got it.
Just in last year I now only have Triumphs and none new. Until Triumph brings out a new 1165 Daytona, Sprint or Speed triple I will buy and swap the 9 I still have.
I hope they will bring out a ridable two up sport tour bike.
At 73 I still ride every other week or so 2-300 miles on Saturdays. A 2004 Sprint RS that woman of the house likes to tour on.
Build quality, growing number of Dealers and riders make Triumph an enjoyable bike to have and ride.
Last month I traded my last none Triumph (ZX1400) for a beautiful speed triple.
There are other great bike brands, but I just don't get pleasure riding a mass produced bike that I can't find after A rally with hundreds of the same bike parked around it and I have never found a more varied group of bikers
than Triumph riders.
 

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Decades ago GM embraced the "no haggle" vehicle buying concept with the Saturn brand.
Other manufacturers jumped on the band wagon and there was no negotiation if you wanted to buy a new vehicle.

Where's Saturn today?
Saturn failed because it was part of General Motors.
I had an SL2 for a few years. It was noisy and had a cheap interior. For a GM vehicle it was relatively reliable.
Saturn eventually just became another badge-engineered GM division.
It didn’t fail because of the no-haggle policy.
It failed because GM management lost interest in it.
 

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Decades ago GM embraced the "no haggle" vehicle buying concept with the Saturn brand.
Other manufacturers jumped on the band wagon and there was no negotiation if you wanted to buy a new vehicle.

Where's Saturn today?
Doesn't Tesla do the same (no haggle) thing today ??
 

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I think CarMax has a big advantage in a lot of ways, let me tell you a secret to the auto industry. 78% of buyers purchase a different vehicle than they came in for! Explains how marketing works, and how having a "hook" draws the showroom traffic, so you identify someone in the market, but they choose to buy a higher trim model, that has some front end gross.

The loss leader has to be carefully chosen, but here is a personal story. I am working the business development center one morning, and a call comes in from an angry farmer. He was in on Saturday, test drove a few Impala's, and left. Tuesday a.m. he sees the Saturday paper, a whorehouse price on a base Impala. The sale ended Saturday, he didn't know why the salesperson didn't show him that vehicle. I called the sales manager after letting the farmer know - if I can get this price are you in on the deal? He tells me, I have cash, will be there by noon! The sales manager tells me he has the car, and will sell it for that price. We only had one of these, I ask - not a very good sale? He told me he sold 22 others that weekend, no one wants the base, they all want the premium wheels, sunroof, etc.

Now, the reason most buyers change their vehicle, is A) not the vehicle they want, most want all the "stuff". B) Payment, they realize the $40,000 car is going to require a higher payment, so they buy a pre-owned. C) Credit, some can't afford a hot dog and their credit reflects this. At this point, the bank is the one assigned a vehicle based on criteria they set IE not over 4 years old, under 50,000 miles, and some equity built in.
This story also exemplifies why so many customers hate dealing with the larger (mostly chain operations) dealerships. The salespeople have no control over the deal and only serve as a "go between" for the customer and sales manager. Also, a large part of the sales staff try to prequalify buyers and if they can't make a quick sale out of stock they don't put in much effort. I was a franchised dealer for both Chevrolet and Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep for over 25 years. Two examples: 1987--I was sitting in my office on the phone and an elderly couple came in the showroom and told one of the sales reps they were interested in buying a new Dodge Diplomat in the metallic gold color. He told them we don't have one that color in stock, and made no effort to talk to them any further and they thanked him and walked out the door heading around the side of the building. I got off the phone and went out the door and caught them and introduced myself and told them although we didnt have that particular color and trim in stock I was sure I could get one within a day or two and asked them come back in and I'd give them a price for it. They did and I located one about 50 miles away and gave them a price and they said that sounded good. I then asked them if they had a trade-in because that would lower the sales tax if they traded it because the tax was only on the difference. They said yes, but it was an older 1971 model Dodge and they doubted they could get much for it. I told them I'd be glad to take a look and tell them what I could do on it and they said it was parked around the side of the showroom. We walked out together and when I went around the corner I saw the "old 71" sitting there. It was a Challenger R/T in Hemi Orange with white vinyl roof, white bucket and console with a Slap Stick shifter and it looked brand new. I walked around it and the paint looked new, the interior was as new, the black carpet looked new...the vehicle looked like it had had a rotisserie restoration. I got in it and started it up, the air was ice cold, and the odometer showed 73k. I asked them where they had the restoration done and they said they hadn't had anything done to it. They bought it new and drove it off the showroom floor and it had been in the garage it's whole life. I took them back to my office and asked them how much they wanted to get for it and the old gentleman said he knew it was 17 years old but in good shape and asked if I could allow $1500 on trade for it. I told him I would LOVE to give them $1500 for it, but I couldn't do that. He nodded and said I understand, could you do $1000? I smiled and told him I'd gladly give them $3000 for it. They were stunned and thanked me over and over. They got the car they wanted and sent me many customers from the larger town they lived in about 40 miles away. The salesman that blew them off without making any effort was sick. Another time I watched as a grizzled old man wearing bib overalls drove up out front in a beat up 64 Chevy stepside pickup in 1989...10 day stubble, dirty sweat stained tee shirt under the overalls and wore out work boots. I watched the sales people get on their phones not wanting wait on him and got up and met him at the door, shook hands and introduced myself and asked what I could do for him. He said "I want to buy me a new truck and I've been to 3 dealers and they won't sell me what I want". I got him sitting down in my office and asked him what reason they gave him? He said none of them had a truck equipped like he wanted and said they couldn't get one like that. I asked him what exactly was he wanting, and he said "I want a truck just like I have but new...6 cylinder, stick shift, no air conditioner, and I don't need no radio. They all told me that nobody orders anything that way and they can't get one." I explained that that is not something that we have much demand for, BUT I had a friend that was a Chevy dealer in Dallas that did usually keep a couple like that just to use for advertising purposes and I might could get one from him. I asked how picky are you on the color? and he said "no red or black". I called and they had a blue metallic stripped just like he wanted, and I told him I could have it ready for him in 2 days and gave him the price. We shook on it and he left. One of the salesmen had overheard part of it and he said "did you get his money up front?" I said no, but I'm not worried about it. I called him when it was ready and he showed up and parked his old truck and I met him and showed him the new one and he was tickled with it. I told him I had the papers ready for him and he said he needed to get my money from his truck and he'd be on in. I was back in my office and the salesman said what the hell is that old coot doing out there...he's crawling up under his truck! I looked out and he was up under it and messing with some wire it looked like. I told the salesman, I suspect he's getting my money. Sure enough, he crawled out with a brown paper sack that had been folded up and wired up into the frame of the truck. He came into my office and handed me the sack and said "take out what I owe you". I counted out $7200 in mostly $20's and some $50's and handed him the keys. He sent me half a dozen customers over the next few years. Unfortunately, now days most of the dealerships are all owned by cjhain operators with multiple locations and they all use the same sales system that is designed to maximize the profit on every sale by continuing to grind the customer down slowly and maintain as much profit as they can until the customer gets up and says he's leaving. I got out of the new car business in 2005 because I would not treat my customers that way.
 

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Great story 👍 and it proves that you have a happy satisfied customer with a good motorbike or car if the Sales team believes in what they sell. If they go to work for just a pay packet and not able to put any passion into the work/ product/ or the customer then everyone has had a bad deal. In the end the Sales person leaves to get a different job and the customer ends up not loving what they have bought or even selling it on.
 
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