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1st Gen Hypermotard Hooligan
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)

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Ho-ly CRAP. I'm on the east coast but I still feel for you guys.. that's absolutely insane.

Is this what we should come to expect from the rise of online retailers?

Do you think this is a case of new motorcycle sales going down and used bike sales going up?

Or, is this a case of a man who doesn't know how to manage money so now others get to suffer for him?
 

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I read the article. Precisely why I made a decision in the early 1990s to never work for anyone else again. I've been self employed ever since .... come good or bad.

:|
 

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I hope the owner plans on skipping town. I wouldn't want a bunch of pissed off motorcyclists looking for me. What a clown. :(
 

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I heard the owner of all 5 hadn't been paying his bills and the bank took possession of all the shops and all the employees were laid off with no warning.

Anyone in that area keep your eyes open - there is sure to be some good auctions of bikes coming up. Or yeah I agree - a prime time for a smart businessman to step in and buy an ailing shop for a good price and re-open it.
 

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Well as one of the local affected Ducati owners, I read the news this AM and all I can say is it sucks. The guy is an executive at Microsoft, so it appears the dealerships were a hobby. I have seen rumors online that at least 3 of them were shuttered by the bank for non-payment of bills. I don't think it had anything to do with online sales.

The Redmond Ducati dealer has always had what appeared to be a decent business. The service area was always busy. I bought two bikes from them, and am now in the position of needing the two year service on my '17 Multi 950 - with the closest dealer being in Tacoma. That isn't a huge distance, but rumor also has it that the current owners are looking to sell that dealership.

The two year does not include valves - but one has to go to the dealer to get the service icon reset and have the ECU contact Mother Ducati for possible updates.
 

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Just playing the devils advocate here, the article did mention several times that it was a hobby for the owner, and he was not in anyway an industry savvy businessman.

New motorcycle sales are in the toilet across the board. Not just in the Seattle area, the whole country. I read a stat a few weeks ago that stated sales were down nearly 60% over last year. Even sales on the used market are down overall.

Bikes that would have been snapped up on Craigslist just a year ago, are not selling. Sellers dropping prices and still not moving the bikes. I don't know what the drop off is there, but I'm guessing similar to the market overall.

My further guess is, that drop in sales is what is triggering this more than any online sales. That, and the general incompetence of the owner as a business manager. You can't just fire sale your inventory out the door when there isn't a fire. Profits tumble and bills go unpaid. Precisely what it appears is the issue. Banks don't repossess your stuff if you're paying the bills. Manufacturers don't either.

It isn't the motorcycle industry alone. Here, where I live, our entire auto mall was emptied out last year when the owner of the sales group went bankrupt. That was 5 dealerships I think that disappeared and all the jobs that went with them. That's just the ones here where I live. There were 2 or 3 more in the next town over.
https://abc7news.com/business/latest-on-momentum-auto-group-and-advice-for-customers/5035857/

My point is, it isn't an isolated thing. I don't think it is going to stop anytime soon either. Call it whatever you like, it looks like the preceedings of a recession to me........sean
 

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The guy is an executive at Microsoft, so it appears the dealerships were a hobby. I have seen rumors online that at least 3 of them were shuttered by the bank for non-payment of bills. I don't think it had anything to do with online sales.
A GPM, even a Partner GPM, is not an executive, there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, in the company. And if he was doing his job at Microsoft, there is no way he had time to manage 5 dealerships.

The Redmond Ducati dealer has always had what appeared to be a decent business. The service area was always busy.
I'm inclined to disagree. When they moved from Bellevue to Redmond Town Center, all the space went to the showroom and there was only space for 2 techs in the service area. Plus the service manager who, in my opinion, was less than stellar on customer service and appeared to me to be pure overhead. The showroom was frequently empty of customers, the service area always full of bikes waiting for attention. And $149/hour labour rates to cover the swanky showroom space.

But yes, losing these shops is going to be damaging for both BMW and Ducati, 45mins plus to Fife isn't going to work for many people. Fortunately I'm 15k miles from needing a big service and the Aprilia shop in Kirkland can do basic maintenance for Ducati if you need it, but they can't reset the service light :frown2:
 

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I have worked in the industry since 2000, and I have worked for two shops that shut down and the owner was suddenly MIA (I was fortunate both times to be able to get my tools out). The industry has been in decline for 15 years, young people have little interest in motorcycles (or cars). the vehicle now competes with the smartphone in the marketplace.
 

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The industry has been in decline for 15 years, young people have little interest in motorcycles (or cars). the vehicle now competes with the smartphone in the marketplace.
Young people are interested in their minute by minute dopamine hit. The quintessential ~me~ generation.
 

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I don't think it is going to stop anytime soon either. Call it whatever you like, it looks like the preceedings of a recession to me........sean
Or the continuation of one in the MC business since 2008. Annual MC sales in the US from 2009 forward are little more than half of what they were before that.
 

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Just playing the devils advocate here, the article did mention several times that it was a hobby for the owner, and he was not in anyway an industry savvy businessman.

New motorcycle sales are in the toilet across the board. Not just in the Seattle area, the whole country. I read a stat a few weeks ago that stated sales were down nearly 60% over last year. Even sales on the used market are down overall.

Bikes that would have been snapped up on Craigslist just a year ago, are not selling. Sellers dropping prices and still not moving the bikes. I don't know what the drop off is there, but I'm guessing similar to the market overall.

My further guess is, that drop in sales is what is triggering this more than any online sales. That, and the general incompetence of the owner as a business manager. You can't just fire sale your inventory out the door when there isn't a fire. Profits tumble and bills go unpaid. Precisely what it appears is the issue. Banks don't repossess your stuff if you're paying the bills. Manufacturers don't either.

It isn't the motorcycle industry alone. Here, where I live, our entire auto mall was emptied out last year when the owner of the sales group went bankrupt. That was 5 dealerships I think that disappeared and all the jobs that went with them. That's just the ones here where I live. There were 2 or 3 more in the next town over.
https://abc7news.com/business/latest-on-momentum-auto-group-and-advice-for-customers/5035857/

My point is, it isn't an isolated thing. I don't think it is going to stop anytime soon either. Call it whatever you like, it looks like the preceedings of a recession to me........sean
General Motors posted a record profit of over six billion dollars recently. GM said the 34% jump in first quarter net income to $2.6 billion. Roughly fifty thousand GM workers are currently striking for better salaries and better benefits because they busted their asses to make GM show record profits. Car sales in my area are booming as well. One may wish for a recession, but it's not happening. Motorcycle sales have to compete with smart phone addiction since young people who would rather take an Uber so they can remain attached at the spine to their smart phones and get that constant hit of dopamine ... or have their parents drive them somewhere for the same reasons I just cited. But, the sky is not falling.

I feel the smart phone will one day be looked at the same way smoking cigarettes is viewed ... as a destructive habit of addiction. When I see people with that goddamned phone in their hands, literally everywhere they go, I am reminded of seeing people (mainly females) that always had that pack of cigarettes and a lighter in one hand ... ceaselessly. They were essentially amputees .... one arm not available for use since it was tasked with holding that ~thing of addiction~.

Motorcycles have to compete with that addiction. Until the smartphone is viewed with the same social disgust as cigarettes are, motorcycle sales will continue to suffer within the younger buyer demographic. But I'm sure that .. like all other bad habits .. things will change. It just may take some time.

Meanwhile, I still have my bike, and nearly everyone within this membership still have their bikes, roads are still in existence, and gasoline is still available (for now). I'm not too worried about our bikes going the way of cow farts just yet.

:grin2:
 

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Well I went by I-90 Motorsports to take a look at the 790 Adventure and to talk a bit with the parts manager Brent. Also chatted the sales guy up a bit. Seems no one in the local business was surprised at Mr. Crows failure. According to them, he wanted to make all the decisions, but was never around and would not hire good GMs for each of the dealerships. I also went by Redmond Ducati just to take a look, and it appeared that an employee was helping a customer retrieve a bike from the service area, but otherwise dark and hot (lights out and no ventilation - what happens when you lose the electric generators on a ship).

South Sound is still in business, fortunatley. I talked to them a bit today as my '17 Multi 950 needs its two year service soon. Its a bit of a drive, but they have service loaners and the two year\9000 mile service is only about 2 hours or so.

Also, the folks I talked to at I-90 seemd reasonably sure that someone locally would pick up the Ducati line fairly quickly as there is a decent market for the brand in the Seattle area. They thought probably the Seattle store. I guess we will see.
 

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Car sales in my area are booming as well. One may wish for a recession, but it's not happening. But, the sky is not falling.
I don't see what car sales in your area have to do with the reality of 8 car dealerships closing down at the same time? Or 5 motorcycle dealerships in one of the largest metro areas in the US?

GM might report a great 1st quarter but GM is also a multi-national company with offices, plants and sales in 90 countries. To simply say some one is wishing for a recession and it's not happening is not remotely connected to reality. No, the sky is not falling, but the economy will be.

I look around and see businesses closing up or reducing their foot print, inventory and staff. Business buildings sit empty. More places are empty in the mall than I've seen in a few years. Houses, half million dollar houses are going up like crazy. There are only a tiny percentage of the population that can afford a half million dollar house.

When you see more houses being built than there are people who have the income required to afford one, that's a sign. That's exactly what preceded the last round of near economic collapse. I'm not wishing for anything remotely close to a recession, but it's what I see coming based on the signs around the Bay Area and beyond.
 

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It's easy to buy a car. If you have good credit you can walk in and drive out with whatever you like - I did and I don't have a job. :confused:
 

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It's easy to buy a car. If you have good credit you can walk in and drive out with whatever you like - I did and I don't have a job. :confused:
There's like a million plus cars that need an owner.
Probably just in your state.
You were able to fog a mirror? You're in with the loan!

Hopefully the interest rate is low. If you don't pay, repo men are standing by!
So, enjoy the car, don't let that happen to you. >:)
 
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