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Thread: New BMW Stores?

  1. #16
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    Revolving doors have certainly created many of the problems for companies including BMW.

    Discussions like this are fun but they often are xenophobic taking into account the needs wants and desires of US riders while ignoring that BMW is a German based company in business to make money for their share holders and do that, in part, by building and selling motorcycles. We quick to come up with marketing ideas to expand the sales without taking into account the ability to make a profit over a longer term than a single season or yearÔÇÖs sales numbers. I would very much like a greater number of dealers. I would like options that do not include the 160+ mile round trip to my nearest dealer. The reality for me is that ainÔÇÖt going to happen. The market is not there.

    Spend some time researching BMWÔÇÖs business reorganization plan announced IIRC in 2007. It has previously been posted on the forum.
    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

    St. Paul Pioneer Press , Minneapolis Star Tribune

  2. #17
    Registered User drh205's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertJ View Post
    Interesting spin from BMW Motorrad. I wonder what the total number of US dealers was five years ago vs. today?
    Living in west central Illinois it used to be less than an hours ride to the BMW dealer (Grayboy) in Peoria. As the story goes BMW NA insisted BMWs had to be in a stand alone show room, not next to any Japanese bikes. Grayboy being landlocked with no room to expand dropped their BMW franchise.

    With Grayboy closed it became a 2 hour ride to Twin City BMW in Savoy, Illinois. They closed last Saturday. Now my nearest dealer is Gina's 3 hours away in Iowa City. Somehow I don't think a new BMW is in my future if I have to take it that far for warranty service.

    I checked BMW's web site and they list 144 dealerships in the US which includes Twin City in Savoy.

  3. #18
    GREGFUESS
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    Multi-Line Dealerships

    I had thought that the day of single line dealerships were history. They seem to be in Houston, anyway. My impression of the best BMW service here is at a dealer who hardly tries to sell BMW motorcycles, based on the floor space they get. Honda, KTM and some Japanese brands dominate. You have to go to the back corner to find the few BMWs on the floor. They do carry "mules" and ATVs. No snowmobiles for Houston, I am afraid.

    There is another dealer in Houston, who also carries British motorcycles. That dealer has lots of BMWs on the floor. I had just purchased an '08 R1200R and the aftermarket windshield fairing was touching on the right side of the gas tank. So I took it to them to ask that they correct the problem. The mechanic had it over an hour, and it came out worse that when it went in. When this was subtly pointed out, he put velcro on the fairing and said it wouldn't do as much rubbing that way. Whew.

  4. #19
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    What some others have done that BMW dealerships have so far failed to do much of is go the whole powersports/power equipment route: motorcycles, snowmobiles, 4 wheel ATVs, little dirt bikes, garden tractors, generators, chainsaws, and outboard motors in some mix or match. But if you think the parts guy at a BMW dealership ever gets confused, you ought to see them in one of these places. And it's worse back in the service bays. But the cash flow works - sometimes.
    Paul,

    I've dealt with a few multi-line (products and brands) BMW dealerships and it was OK, relative to service, but they all eventually died. However, I don't think that business model is what BMW wants. Based on comments from dealers, BMW wants to offer the "BMW experience" which requires a bit more flash than a nearby lawnmower display can offer. To me, that's pretty bogus since I would like to think that someday I'll be wealthy enough to buy a Honda mower.

    In any event, as one long time and successful dealer told me about taking on a BMW franchise, "I couldn't sleep carrying that much debt". That's hard to argue with.

    Jon
    Cave contents: 99 R11RS, 2013 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & DW744

  5. #20
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    BMW has announced a few New Dealers, How many went South ??? Mount Laurel NJ is one Dealer that went out of business last year. Is there a Net gain ?

  6. #21
    JAMESDUNN
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    Quote Originally Posted by reimerdavid View Post
    BMW has announced a few New Dealers, How many went South ??? Mount Laurel NJ is one Dealer that went out of business last year. Is there a Net gain ?
    I assume you mean "south" in the figurative sense! For certain there are less dealers all the time. When BMW went boutique the old mom and pop's dealers closed. Net loss over time. There are that I know of two, and possibly three less dealers in Iowa than in years past. (One in Riverside, and one in Des Moines and possibly Iowa Falls; uncertain if there was an Iowa Falls dealer though others here may know.)
    JD

  7. #22
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    It is hard to keep track of what dealers are in the count at any given time. In this decade IIRC the low I remember is 142 and the high was 151. It has been holding in the 145+/- range most of the time. Within the US some markets have seen a decline in numbers. Those numbers have been offset by dealers opening in other markets. I suspect that dealers will come and go but the number will never go much beyond the 145 to 150 range in total.
    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

    St. Paul Pioneer Press , Minneapolis Star Tribune

  8. #23
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    What exactly is the "BMW experience"? My NC BMW dealership (about 130 miles fom me) is neither a social bike shop nor does it resemble a Lexus or Mercedes car dealership (though it does have free coffee). Sometimes there is someone on the floor or a nearby office when you walk in, sometimes not. The staff doesn't change (except for the parts guy) and they are all product-knowledgeable.

    The Japanese (all brands except Honda) dealership down the street from me is much larger, better equipped, more inventory and as a dealership experience seems as good or better in every way that matters.

    From what I can tell, the primary difference is that the BMW dealers floor is occupied mostly with overpriced riding gear hunting suckers dumb enough to pay list for items at best only a bit better than competition. Of course, what is actually on the floor (and mostly wasting space) is in sizes S or XXXL- the more typical sizes having been sold. Total store inventory is maybe 25-30 new and used bikes and many of the used ones are Harleys or J-brands.
    The J-brands dealers floor is mostly bikes- easily 100 or more new not counting the ATVs ,etc - an adequate amount of gear and space displaying parts and accessories all at reasonable prices - all in all a much better marketing setup. And there are multiple other J-brands dealerships in a 30 min radius for those into comparison dealing.

    I don't see anything noteworthy about a "BMW experience" and this is not intended to knock the local dealer who has competent staff. Its just that they're NOT winning any dealer experience comparison around here. They are outnumbered and outfiananced on all sides.

    They can't support enough mechanics to have decent appointment times during much of the year - its usually 4 weeks for a routine service appt. And they're one of the 48 that qualifed to get the new sportbike early so presumably in the top tier.

    I service my own, buy parts off the web,etc but that obviously is not the majority of owners. If I couldn't do that, a BMW wouldn't be much more than a toy where I live. Getting service at long distance isn't practical for anything used as routine transportation and hauling a machine for service certainly doesn't add anything to the "BMW experience"

    BMW clearly isn't going to be much more than a bit player for bike market share during my lifetime unless they get a lot more serious about expanding the dealer network. And that is proably the essence of the "BMW experience" - well over 95% of the bikes you see WILL be some other brand.

  9. #24
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    Racer7 brings up a series of interesting points most of which I can understand and agree with. My current location is the first experience with a BMW only dealer. As a result much of what he says resonates with me now. Previously my BMW dealers have been multi-brand stores and the ÔÇÿexperienceÔÇÖ was completely different.

    There are two things that continue to strike me as odd as we discuss dealers.

    First that lack of understanding that BMW has no intention of expanding and thus trying to be a dominate brand. The company has clearly stated over and over again that it has identified and will be a niche player in the motorcycle industry. In 2007 it stated 150,000 units per year as its world wide goal for sales. That number would not make them dominate in the NA market let alone the US market. Their strategy to make money and create share holder value is based on scarcity.

    The second has to do with the reasons to own a BMW. We all have our own lists to explain justify or rationalize why we own a BMW. On my list, and I believe for many long term/ multi-BMW owners, is that it is not a common bike. I donÔÇÖt expect to see a bunch of BMWÔÇÖs when I ride. This has an implication on dealer numbers and kind. If the penetration in the US is in the 10,000 unit range per year how many viable dealers can that number realistically support?
    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

    St. Paul Pioneer Press , Minneapolis Star Tribune

  10. #25
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    The one thing on this topic I have heard those who count at BMW say is they are not going to open dealerships unless they believe the business will succeed. That thus depends on location, market, financial horsepower, management acumen, etc. It boils down to the ability to sell enough bikes (new and used), enough parts, enough accessories, and enough other stuff to support the people it takes to get that done.

    When combined with other brands it needs to be some sort of decent fit. And BMW ought to be something more than a logo on the sign and a bike over in the corner. I hate to detour significantly out of my way on a trip to go to a "BMW dealer" that has no parts, nor even tires that fit.

    In the end this means that BMWs aren't for everybody; especially not for folks that need a nearby dealer for essential common services. BMW knows that. Why don't we?

    p.s. I have engaged in these discussions since shortly after BMWNA took over from Butler and Smith. For the most part the substance of the discussion never changes. We want a dealer right down the street that has the best tech, all the parts, cheap bikes, and good coffee. Oh, and we want a shop like that every few miles on our personal route when we are traveling too. That is a rational desire that won't be true for most of us. So we learn to cope or buy a Harley.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  11. #26
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    BMWNA is desperate...The NJ opening is at an established HD dealership. Not that there's anything wrong with this particular dealership, but I do know they are looking for qualified BMW tech's

  12. #27
    Daily Rider jurgen's Avatar
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    Two dogs on one bone

    It will be interesting to watch things in the Inland NW (Spokane WA - Coeur d'Alene ID area.) BMWNA just gave the nod to Westside Motorsports in Spokane (a well established, large, multi-brand dealer) to become BMW Motorcycles of Spokane. The equally well-established Beaudry's in Post Falls ID claims they will continue to carry the BMW brand. Not sure if the market will support two dealerships in the area, though. It would be nice to have two competing dealers but I've seen it happen in Pittsburgh: Two years after European MC of Pittsburgh opened, the old dealer, Heritage, had to close. The market only supported one dealer.
    J?rgen
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  13. #28
    K Bikes Complex by Choice cjack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    But if you think the parts guy at a BMW dealership ever gets confused...
    That would be those young guys...eh?
    BMWMotorcycles, fun when they're running...
    My other bike is a BMW.
    Jack Hawley MOA and RA #224, KE9UW ("Chuck")

  14. #29
    RIDERR1150GSADV
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    NA talks about opening 8 new dealerships, but how many closed in the last year or so ???

    Personally, I don't think that BMWNA's attitude is helping the brand at all. Just try to call and talk to someone there about an issue... Their condescending attitude toward their customers is enough to put you off the brand forever. Now try being a dealer...
    I can't go in details, but it isn't fun at all dealing with HQ....I know several first hand stories from potentially new BMW dealer candidates, all of whom already have existing bike dealerships, being jerked around by BMWNA to the point of them telling BMWNA to jump of a cliff....
    Palm Beach County in Florida is the latest one in this saga...
    Their latest bike (S1000RR) is phenomenal and I hope BMW does well with it, but they need dealers to sell this bike and the crotch rocket crowd is not interested in a boutique store festooned with overpriced gadgets/clothing and stuffy sales people....
    The mom and pop stores is where it is at, with personal attention and good wrenches who ride themselves. An enthousiastic small dealer is worth it's weight in gold. Another new megamillion $$ store being around for only a few years is not...YMMV

  15. #30
    JAMESDUNN
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    Van Wall Motorsports is selling BMW products in Perry, Iowa and state on their website they will be opening a new showroom in Des, Moines Ia. during the second half of 2010. They claim it will be the first Des Moines dealership. This is not so, as there was a dealer (Cycle Clinic) that still operates as an independent. I wish them well though and will give them my business as long as I consider them a worthy dealer with good business practices. It goes with out saying they will need to be competent in all things BMW as well.
    JD

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