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Old 02-06-2013, 10:06 AM   #1231
The other Ferret
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Well I just stopped at my dealer and he told me my bike is due to be in March 12 .. I asked how many he was getting and he said he was allocated one, with an option on a second which he hopes to get, because there has been a lot of interest in it.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:11 AM   #1232
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Originally Posted by jon_l View Post
I get your points, but why shouldn't maximizing profits be their priority? Isn't the point of being a dealer?

Sure, as long as they are making good profits, a dealer may be happier selling whatever slice of the market most interests them, but in the end, keeping people employed and making a profit is the point. If that means they focus on cruisers and ATVs, the problem is the buyers not the sellers.
I was with you right up until the end. First off, the fact that big-4 dealers focus on their biggest profit makers is not a good thing or a bad thing, it's just a thing. It's a reality of the motorcycle business.

But my reason for putting it out there was that it explains why this type of motorcycle has a difficult time gaining traction with the big-4 dealers. Small-volume sellers like Triumph, Guzzi, and Ducati can sell this type of bike but for a large-volume dealer it's a trickier proposition.

As for whether it's the seller's or buyer's "fault", how can it be the buyer's fault? Ferret explained above what happened when he tried to buy a W650. The dealers weren't interested in selling it, so he bought a Triumph. That's an example of a dealer not offering a customer what the customer wants and then driving that customer to another brand. It wasn't Ferret's fault that the dealers in his area weren't interested in selling him a bike. But it does illustrate that the big 4 are looking to cater to the lowest common denominator.

And that's precisely why I'm a little leery of how much of a future the CB has in the US market. Because a buyer can only buy what a dealer wants to sell. If the dealer doesn't want to invest the time and energy into selling the bike, and would rather either steer a buyer to a more popular bike or just send him down the street to a boutique bike dealer, then the dealer doesn't order any bikes and the manufacturer has to start wondering "why did we spend all that money getting this bike up to US specs when our dealers are telling us nobody wants them?"

And of course it's not so much that "nobody wants them." It's just that dealer support is minimal.

I would imagine that it goes something like this: Dealer A gets two CBs in, and they draw a lot of attention. After the dealers have sold their two allocated CBs, if a third customer walks in and says "I'd like to buy a CB" the dealer has to be thinking "I can try to order a CB, which may be here in a few weeks, and in the meantime, this customer might just walk across the street to another dealer and buy a different bike, or I can try to sell this guy a bike I have in stock right now." The second option is more likely to get him a sale, so the customer either buys that discounted Shadow or whatever other bike the dealer has in stock, or he walks away and buys a different bike from a different dealer.

If that's what happens, then the dealer may or may not order another CB, which will probably sell quickly. Or it may not - and that's the gamble because those unsold bikes on the floor are costing that dealer money.

Now, if 20 customers come in and say "I want to buy a CB" and when the dealer says he can get them one in a few weeks, they eagerly sign up - well, that would tip the balance and make the dealer realize this is a bike he can make money from. But do you see that happening? I don't.

Contrast that with the boutique bike dealer, the Triumph or Guzzi dealer. A customer can walk into one of their shops, say "I'd like to buy a retro bike" and the dealer can say "what color?" If that's all they sell, they'll have a bunch of them in stock.

The big dealers have to play the "volume" game because they have higher costs - they have to sell a lot more motorcycles each month in order to keep their heads above water than the boutique dealers.

As I said above, this isn't a good thing or a bad thing, it's just the reality of the MC business in America. If "retro" bikes catch on like Cruisers did 20 years ago, then the CB may be the vanguard of a whole new crop of retro bikes from the big 4. But big businesses tend to be very conservative, they play it safe when it comes to business decisions. They'll all wait for someone else to take the risk before they commit.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:35 AM   #1233
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZappBranigan View Post

I would imagine that it goes something like this: Dealer A gets two CBs in, and they draw a lot of attention. After the dealers have sold their two allocated CBs, if a third customer walks in and says "I'd like to buy a CB" the dealer has to be thinking "I can try to order a CB, which may be here in a few weeks, and in the meantime, this customer might just walk across the street to another dealer and buy a different bike, or I can try to sell this guy a bike I have in stock right now." The second option is more likely to get him a sale, so the customer either buys that discounted Shadow or whatever other bike the dealer has in stock, or he walks away and buys a different bike from a different dealer.

.
Zapp, you seem to have pretty good knowledge of how the sales game works, not much to dispute in anything you said there.

As far as the above scenario, if that dealer tries to steer me to something other than exactly what I want, I never visit that dealer again. Ever. It's just not a wise long term strategy if you want me as a repeat customer. Say I do buy the discounted Shadow; a month later I realize it's completely wrong for me, I can't stop thinking about that CB1100, end result is I'm pissed at the dealer for steering me wrong for his own interests. I'm sure a lot of the more mature buyers reading this thread wouldn't allow it to happen, but I don't think dealerships should pull such stuff on any buyer. Maybe it's not unethical, but I'd say it's close to borderline unethical. It's more a matter of refusing to truly listen to the customer than anything else I 'd say.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:19 PM   #1234
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Originally Posted by ZappBranigan View Post
I
Now, if 20 customers come in and say "I want to buy a CB"

..... they may think it's a movement.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:19 PM   #1235
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Originally Posted by Scoobynut View Post
Zapp, you seem to have pretty good knowledge of how the sales game works, not much to dispute in anything you said there.

As far as the above scenario, if that dealer tries to steer me to something other than exactly what I want, I never visit that dealer again. Ever. It's just not a wise long term strategy if you want me as a repeat customer. Say I do buy the discounted Shadow; a month later I realize it's completely wrong for me, I can't stop thinking about that CB1100, end result is I'm pissed at the dealer for steering me wrong for his own interests. I'm sure a lot of the more mature buyers reading this thread wouldn't allow it to happen, but I don't think dealerships should pull such stuff on any buyer. Maybe it's not unethical, but I'd say it's close to borderline unethical. It's more a matter of refusing to truly listen to the customer than anything else I 'd say.
Actually, I don't have any knowledge, that's just a wild-ass guess (WAG.) But I think it makes sense.

You mentioned "repeat business." A motorcycle (or a car) isn't like a pair of shoes. It's a big ticket item.

I don't know about you, but I've bought exactly one motorcycle in the past 4 years. And unless I win the lottery or a rich relative dies and leaves me money, I won't be buying another motorcycle for at least a couple of years (I'm paying for a car right now, and I hate the idea of making motorcycle payments if I'm also making a car payment.) My income is a bit above average and wife and I are empty nesters so I ought to be a motorcycle dealer's dream demographic except that I can't even conceive of buying more than one motorcycle in a year.

So, what is the real value of my "repeat business?" To a dealer, it's zip. Nada.

What I'm saying with all this is that the dealer/salesman knows two things are pretty likely: The first one is, if you buy a bike from him, it will probably be the only one you buy. By the time you're ready to trade or sell that bike, you may be living in a different town, or the business may be gone, or the dealer may have been bought up by another dealer, or whatever. So you may not even be able to offer "repeate business" to the dealer.

And the salesman has even less incentive to care about your repeat business. Sales people at the big car and MC dealerships are notoriously transient so the salesman knows that his chances of selling you more than one bike are infinitesimally small (which also explains why they usually don't know crap about the products they sell. Seriously, next time you are at a dealership ask the salesman how long he's been there. I'd be shocked if it's over 6 months), .

The second thing that salesman knows is that if you say "I'm going to think about it and come back", your chances of actually coming back are microscopic. They call these "Bebacks" and they know that it's a polite way for a customer to say "screw you, I'm leaving."

So, knowing those things, his incentive is the make the maximum money from that one sale that he can.

Maybe you'll get pissed about it later on. So what? By the time you tell your friends that that salesman Fred over at Joe Blow's Motorsports is a crook and a con artist, Fred will have moved on to his next gig, so why should he care what you think?

He doesn't give two craps about whether you get the bike you want or not. Nor should he. His job isn't to get you into the "right" bike, his job is to make money for the dealer and for himself.

That's why sales (especially automotive sales) have to be thought of as an adverarial process. The salesman isn't working for your best interest, he's working for his best interest (and his employers.)
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:37 PM   #1236
h35064
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2013 Honda CB1100 availability

I saw the bike last month at the Vancouver MC show in Abbotsford, B.C. It was attracting a huge amount of interest from old guys like me. The engine looks identical to my ' 83 CB 1000. If' I'd known they were bringing them into Canada I would have held off buying a used ST 1300 last year. Either way, it may be a moot point. The Honda rep at the show said they were only bringing 9 into the entire Province of B.C. and 75 in total into Canada. Not sure what the strategy is there or if it's gospel but it sounds like if you want one, you better grab it!!
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:59 PM   #1237
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregster View Post
Doesn't BMW make an R retro bike? I bet the CB will sell for a lot less and perform as good or better and look better doing it. What was the Ducati retro bike with the spoked wheels called? That's another one in this niche that would be competing for the retro dollar but the Honda wins for me hands down because of the fantastic dealer network and because of the warm fuzzy feeling I get when I look down and see the word HONDA cast into the clutch cover.
BMW doesn't really make a retro bike. However there are still quite a few "R" bikes from the 70's and 80's still on the road, ridden as daily riders. Mine is one of them

Ducati had their "Sport Classics", and yeah, they didn't do so well as they had hoped, either.

I do hope the CB1100 is a success, and I do hope to see more retro type bikes hit the U.S. shores, i.e. W800. As I've stated before in this thread, I wanted soooo much to fall in love with the CB1100, but then I saw it in 3D, sat on it, etc. I didn't care for it for several reasons.

Good Luck to all the new owners and soon-to-be new owners! There's nothing like getting a brand new, sparkling motorcycle to ride.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:09 PM   #1238
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Originally Posted by Moonshiner View Post

Ducati had their "Sport Classics", and yeah, they didn't do so well as they had hoped, either.
I think that has more to do with the duc being a very expensive bike. Like two and half CB1100's. For giggles I was looking at used ones on the interwebs, and the cheapest Sport Classic was still more than the CB is.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:22 PM   #1239
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Originally Posted by ZappBranigan View Post
Actually, I don't have any knowledge, that's just a wild-ass guess (WAG.) But I think it makes sense.

You mentioned "repeat business." A motorcycle (or a car) isn't like a pair of shoes. It's a big ticket item.

I don't know about you, but I've bought exactly one motorcycle in the past 4 years. And unless I win the lottery or a rich relative dies and leaves me money, I won't be buying another motorcycle for at least a couple of years (I'm paying for a car right now, and I hate the idea of making motorcycle payments if I'm also making a car payment.) My income is a bit above average and wife and I are empty nesters so I ought to be a motorcycle dealer's dream demographic except that I can't even conceive of buying more than one motorcycle in a year.

So, what is the real value of my "repeat business?" To a dealer, it's zip. Nada.

What I'm saying with all this is that the dealer/salesman knows two things are pretty likely: The first one is, if you buy a bike from him, it will probably be the only one you buy. By the time you're ready to trade or sell that bike, you may be living in a different town, or the business may be gone, or the dealer may have been bought up by another dealer, or whatever. So you may not even be able to offer "repeate business" to the dealer.

And the salesman has even less incentive to care about your repeat business. Sales people at the big car and MC dealerships are notoriously transient so the salesman knows that his chances of selling you more than one bike are infinitesimally small (which also explains why they usually don't know crap about the products they sell. Seriously, next time you are at a dealership ask the salesman how long he's been there. I'd be shocked if it's over 6 months), .

The second thing that salesman knows is that if you say "I'm going to think about it and come back", your chances of actually coming back are microscopic. They call these "Bebacks" and they know that it's a polite way for a customer to say "screw you, I'm leaving."

So, knowing those things, his incentive is the make the maximum money from that one sale that he can.

Maybe you'll get pissed about it later on. So what? By the time you tell your friends that that salesman Fred over at Joe Blow's Motorsports is a crook and a con artist, Fred will have moved on to his next gig, so why should he care what you think?

He doesn't give two craps about whether you get the bike you want or not. Nor should he. His job isn't to get you into the "right" bike, his job is to make money for the dealer and for himself.

That's why sales (especially automotive sales) have to be thought of as an adverarial process. The salesman isn't working for your best interest, he's working for his best interest (and his employers.)
All true, I'm sure. All I know is, in my experience at least, that if a dealer has that kind of attitude about selling them, they probably have the same attitude about servicing them and honoring warranty claims etc.

A good example is my Subaru dealer up here in (Bismarck) N. Dakota. I have a pretty new WRX I bought from them, they didn't try to sell me anything else other than that car, there was no sales pressure (they have fixed pricing with a very fair discount). I also have a '95 Subaru Legacy with 213k miles on it. The other day I had them replace all the radiator and heater hoses on it. The next day they called me to ask if I was satisfied with the repair.

Another time I had the old '95 in there for a couple of wheel bearings and they broke some $1.00 part -- which they didn't have in stock -- while installing the new bearings. I live 100 miles from the dealership, but they let me take a brand new Outback for 2 weeks until I could get back for an appointment -- all this for a $1.00 part on a car I originally paid $450 for!

They have also several times talked me out of services I thought I needed, but really didn't. You can bet I will buy my next car from them.

I guess my point is that building a good, trusting relationship with customers is good business sense. If the sales practices are questionable, everything else is suspect as far as I'm concerned. I understand dealers have to make money, but there are good ways to go about it and bad ways to go about it.

Granted, up here on the frozen prairies, we don't have the kind of competition bigger markets do where sales and profits are the bottom line like the dealers in your area sound like. In a smaller market, sparsely populated area, word spreads fast about how dealers treat people. It does affect their sales.

Just my perspective you understand. Man, when will winter be over?
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:24 PM   #1240
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Originally Posted by ZappBranigan View Post

So, what is the real value of my "repeat business?" To a dealer, it's zip. Nada.
I see things as just the opposite. I'm pretty sure that selling new bikes is one of the less profitable aspects of a dealer's overall sales. They make their money mostly from service, and the sale of accessories, parts and consumables. So unless you're doing business with a large dealership that is counting on large volume sales, repeat business (or rather "continued business") is everything to that dealer.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:25 PM   #1241
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Originally Posted by ZappBranigan View Post
Actually, I don't have any knowledge, that's just a wild-ass guess (WAG.) But I think it makes sense.

You mentioned "repeat business." A motorcycle (or a car) isn't like a pair of shoes. It's a big ticket item.

I don't know about you, but I've bought exactly one motorcycle in the past 4 years. And unless I win the lottery or a rich relative dies and leaves me money, I won't be buying another motorcycle for at least a couple of years (I'm paying for a car right now, and I hate the idea of making motorcycle payments if I'm also making a car payment.) My income is a bit above average and wife and I are empty nesters so I ought to be a motorcycle dealer's dream demographic except that I can't even conceive of buying more than one motorcycle in a year.

So, what is the real value of my "repeat business?" To a dealer, it's zip. Nada.

What I'm saying with all this is that the dealer/salesman knows two things are pretty likely: The first one is, if you buy a bike from him, it will probably be the only one you buy. By the time you're ready to trade or sell that bike, you may be living in a different town, or the business may be gone, or the dealer may have been bought up by another dealer, or whatever. So you may not even be able to offer "repeate business" to the dealer.

And the salesman has even less incentive to care about your repeat business. Sales people at the big car and MC dealerships are notoriously transient so the salesman knows that his chances of selling you more than one bike are infinitesimally small (which also explains why they usually don't know crap about the products they sell. Seriously, next time you are at a dealership ask the salesman how long he's been there. I'd be shocked if it's over 6 months), .

The second thing that salesman knows is that if you say "I'm going to think about it and come back", your chances of actually coming back are microscopic. They call these "Bebacks" and they know that it's a polite way for a customer to say "screw you, I'm leaving."

So, knowing those things, his incentive is the make the maximum money from that one sale that he can.

Maybe you'll get pissed about it later on. So what? By the time you tell your friends that that salesman Fred over at Joe Blow's Motorsports is a crook and a con artist, Fred will have moved on to his next gig, so why should he care what you think?

He doesn't give two craps about whether you get the bike you want or not. Nor should he. His job isn't to get you into the "right" bike, his job is to make money for the dealer and for himself.

That's why sales (especially automotive sales) have to be thought of as an adverarial process. The salesman isn't working for your best interest, he's working for his best interest (and his employers.)

since 2006 I have bought 3 new motorcycles from my dealer a Honda and 2 Yamahas ( the CB will be #4) and since 1991 I have bought 9 new Honda cars/ van/suv/ truck from the same salesperson at another dealership. When treated right, I am a very loyal customer. Most dealerships you walk into though could care less if you are even there. Their salespeople are too busy reading the internet or talking to fellow employees to give you the attention you deserve.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:50 PM   #1242
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..... they may think it's a movement.
Nice one Alice!
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:53 PM   #1243
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http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=7mcGF...3Dyoutu.be%26a

New you tube vid on CB but its in German

Btw BMW does make a retro..the R1200R Classic with a white stripe down tank and fenders and spoke wheels....at least they did in 2012 I believe
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:04 PM   #1244
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Btw BMW does make a retro..the R1200R Classic with a white stripe down tank and fenders and spoke wheels....at least they did in 2012 I believe
They should come out with a "new" toaster-tank beemer in all black with fork boots. Keep the modern engine but make it look authentically like one of the late 60's - early 70's R65, R75 or R90 bikes.
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:05 PM   #1245
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the local Big 4 dealer adds set up, delivery, and doc fees to all their new bikes. They offer some very attractive discounts off of msrp, then hit you with a list of fees when you get in the sales manager's office. I have learned to talk about the "out the door" price, that's really all I care about. If they don't want to play, then I start asking them to throw in some acessories I was planning to buy anyway. If they will not do that, then I can go down the road a couple of hours and get the bike somewhere else.

I always try to buy local, because that is where I will go when I need parts or service. When I show up with a bike they didn't sell me, they have no one to blame but themselves.
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