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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Opening a Ducati Dealership?

Hey all, I've been lurking for a while - this seems to be an awesome community!

I haven't bought a Ducati yet, but I've definitely got the bug...

Does anyone know how much Ducati charges for a dealership? I talked to someone at Aprilia, and they don't, also MV Agusta seems approachable - but I'm pretty much in the dark on Ducati.

Are there a minimum number of bikes you have to stock?

Do you know anything at all about opening a dealer?

I know lots of this is pretty vague, but I see a huge lack of foreign (but not japanese) sport bikes in my area. I'm not too knowledgable in the whole vehicle-selling deal, but I do have some cash saved up, and I'm starting to learn as much as I can about it.

I guess I'm trying to find out if it's economically feasible at all to pursue this.

I LOVE these bikes, and hope to capitalize on this in the next year or so.
THANKS SOOO MUCH for any input ANYONE has, and please, if you have anything at all, comments, criticisms, etc - LET ME KNOW!

also, I don't want to hear from just people working with dealers - If you guys have any gripes about dealerships, I'd like to hear those as well, to make the best damn dealership around. more aftermarket stuff in stock? better selection of clothes? Better pricing on expendables? what would bring you back to a dealer?
 

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Hey there,


Good luck with your venture. If you have good techs on your staff who know their stuff and you have good all round customer service, you'll do ok.

Stop by BCM in Laconia, NH, and you'll see a good example of how to do it right.

I think there's a shortage of "good" dealers, regardless of marque. I hope it works out for you. Keep us posted.

Oh - and check out the financials for Ducati that bkbducst3 just posted. You should find it of interest.
 

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Your location would be a big help here. There used to be a Ducati dealership in Watertown, but that folded. Not suprised...upstate NY is NOT a hotbed of motorcycling activity. Trust me, I know.

There is a dealer outside Buffalo, but it's real small. Freds in Syracuse is a Duc dealer, but everything there is list price.
 

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I would be happy to give you the phone number of the Ducati North America sales rep if your truly interested. You can contact me via PM or email.
 

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I worked at what many would say was successful MC dealership (non-ducati). I would say good techs are high on the priority list. Find skilled people who know their bikes. Service can make or break a business.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
UGH! Why'd you have to go and have me look at the financial thread!!!?!?!

I guess it's good to know this stuff, and I would have looked at the financials at some point, but man - things aren't looking that great for the company I guess.

I would definitely have to carry more than one brand, and I suppose I would go with MV (Brutale is sick!) and possibly Triumph, maybe Aprilia (tho there is a dealer here).

If I do get this started, all you listers in upstate (spec. Rochester) have to promise to buy everything from me! :D

I'm sure service has to be high on the list, as my friends have pointed out,
but I think getting a top notch mechanic is most likely easier than getting a nice location and capital loans.

Chuck; I totally am aware of the lack of MC in upstate, that's why I want to do this! I see TONS of HD's and Jap bikes - it's not like people don't ride...

I suppose I'm just hoping to create a market niche here, as I rarely see any foreign bikes in town.

Maybe the whole thing is just a pipe dream, but I'm sick to death of making other people rich! I'd rather work for peanuts by myself than line somebody's pockets anymore. Thanks to all you guys who posted, and keep the info coming! hopefully I can open shop just as Ducati pulls the plug. :eek:

It's funny how I even came to realize that there wasn't a dealer in Rochester - I have wanted a monster since 9X's, and just got the urge to go check them out this spring - alas, no [email protected]#[email protected] dealer!

wouldn't want to drive to buffalo for service either...

solution: Build dealership.

;)
 

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zipporaid said:
I would definitely have to carry more than one brand, and I suppose I would go with...... maybe Aprilia
Aprilia has some great things coming on the nearby horizon...I would also seriously consider KTM...and to meet 4 wheeler needs...Kawasaki's line of Mule's are awesome sellers!
 

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if your leery of ducatis future,you best not look into mv agusta or aprilla,although most here love them, most would not buy any italian bike stock shares(other than conversation pieces)
 

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ducati+hyosung+royal enfield and ural would make and awesome dealer the 3 last ones would be pretty cheap to add.

i know from a guy i know who owns a ktm etc dirt only dealer. that most want you to carry the entire line. can take alot of floor space. they give you floor credit only for so long. meaning you get the bikes on credit for a while but if you dont sell them quickly enough you have to start paying for them.

i have found that dealers either sell bikes cheap or parts/acc. cheap but not both.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
WOW!
Thanks for all the input guys!
I'll start looking into the other brands mentioned, I don't know about off road and snow-machines - my original thought was to put a metro sport/naked shop
in downtown, and try and get some of that "big-city", "sophisticated" atmosphere. There's a big bar area downtown, and I think a Ducati dealership
LIT UP all night, where you can see the showroom, would really effect the people going out in the area. I know I would drool, and most of my friends would.... The good thing is, the demo. for those bars/clubs is 21-35ish, lots of males - lots of nice cars (expendable income!!!).

Think huge glass windows, white showroom - maybe etched logos in the glass -
and bright as s$#t, so when you drive by, all you can see is italian goodness.
here's to it. If anyone in the area wants to partner up, i'm all ears!
:D
 

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Do you have big-ticket retail experience? Do you have automotive or motorcycle experience? Have you owned your own business or managed a successful business before? You won't get a dealership without having all of these things in addition to a LOT of capital. Ducati doesn't want you to fail and Ducati doesn't want (or need) one of their stores to fail.

If you have more enthusiasm than experience and capital, your best course of action is to get a job at an existing dealership so you can learn all you can. You may find that you enjoy riding motorcycles more than you do running a dealership. If you do decide running a dealership IS the right course for you, you will have learned a lot to help you prevent making costly mistakes on your own. Good luck.
 

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Not a bad idea ya got there....somewhere right off the thruway in plain sight, with the right product lineup (Ducati, KTM, Triumph,...) you'd probably drag in all of Fred's tire kickers from Syracuse; AND if you cultivate a following from the Dinosaur BBQ crowd, you might just do awright.

the downsides are the cost of doing biz in NY and no riding season to speak of
 

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zipporaid said:
WOW!
Thanks for all the input guys!
I'll start looking into the other brands mentioned, I don't know about off road and snow-machines - my original thought was to put a metro sport/naked shop
in downtown, and try and get some of that "big-city", "sophisticated" atmosphere. There's a big bar area downtown, and I think a Ducati dealership
LIT UP all night, where you can see the showroom, would really effect the people going out in the area. I know I would drool, and most of my friends would.... The good thing is, the demo. for those bars/clubs is 21-35ish, lots of males - lots of nice cars (expendable income!!!).

Think huge glass windows, white showroom - maybe etched logos in the glass -
and bright as s$#t, so when you drive by, all you can see is italian goodness.
here's to it. If anyone in the area wants to partner up, i'm all ears!
:D
Expendable income in Rochester?

I moved out of the Syracuse area about 9 years ago due to a crappy economy and Rochester seemed to be in the same boat. Have thing really changed for the better in Central/Upstate NY?
 

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MikeM said:
Do you have big-ticket retail experience? Do you have automotive or motorcycle experience? Have you owned your own business or managed a successful business before? You won't get a dealership without having all of these things in addition to a LOT of capital. Ducati doesn't want you to fail and Ducati doesn't want (or need) one of their stores to fail.

If you have more enthusiasm than experience and capital, your best course of action is to get a job at an existing dealership so you can learn all you can. You may find that you enjoy riding motorcycles more than you do running a dealership. If you do decide running a dealership IS the right course for you, you will have learned a lot to help you prevent making costly mistakes on your own. Good luck.
Let me sum these excellent points up in 2 questions;
1. Have you ever built a business from the ground up?
2. Are you willing (and able) to;
a. Make $0 income (or run at a loss) for at least 2 years (in my case, 4)
b. Put up your house, car, wife, children, kidney, and liver as collateral against a serious bank loan (think at least $1m, then tripple whatever you're thinking)

If the answer to either of those is no, forget the dealership, just take all your money and set it on fire, it'll at least save you the months of 'it'll all work out any day now'
 

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We should have Duc in our showroom in another month or so. I'm clueless on cost or minimum inventory of bikes and parts. What I do know is, you need a Duc certified tech prior to getting the bikes. We just hired a guy straight out of wyotech with a Duc cert to get the wheels rolling in that department.

I'm hoping to hear this week when Vance will be heading to our shop to do the basic training for myself and the shop foremen. From there, it's off to Daytona for the real hands on training.

MV is aproachable. We have them right now, and I'm personally not very happy with them for a number of reasons. They will throw a dealership at you if you want because they are making a big push next season in racing, and expect sales in the US to make a big jump. Of course, what they produce overall per year is what Triumph sells in the US.

Duc and Triumph would be a very good combo. Triumph is very easy to deal with, with very good incentaves to their dealers. The product is outstanding, with good support. I highly recomend them.

Right now, we have BMW, Triumph, MV Agusta, and the Triumph is the most dependable, cost efficiant out of the three.

Good luck, and feel free to Email me if you want to talk about the shop end of the business.
 

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Our OP hasn't been here since May, so I'm sure this whole thread is a non-issue at this point, or he's already gotten smart and set his money on fire.

I live in Upstate NY, and laugh at the prospect of some big well lit exotic euro-showroom...next door to the John Deere dealer and the Farmers Supply Co-Op. Trust me, there is NO motorcycle "Scene" up here beyond all the Harley's roaming around. The only guys on sportbikes are FTP Stunter Punks...and they won't be buying Ducati's any time soon. There is an Aprilia/Moto Guzzi/MV/Piaggio/etc dealer about 80 miles south of here, and they are only in business because they also do a big Kayak/Mountineering/Outdoorsy business next door. Alone it would have been gone long ago. They tried to get Ducati, but couldn't for whatever reason.

So...game over.:)
 

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I have spoke with DNA about opening one up here in AZ. They ask for several things.

As far as the financials though, I remember the $100 cash flow/$300 credit account/$500K availability to obtain a line of credit, list they had given me. Very reasonable finance-wise.

Oh, and the absolute desire to eat, breath and sleep Ducatis.
 

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Thunder Alley?

Hey Chuck, how about Thunder Alley around your way. (Fulton, NY)

http://www.thunderalleysports.com/index.html Think they just recently got the DUC franchise.

Agree w/ the general comments on upstate NY. Would be tough starting a solo brand dealership in this area, especially Ducati. I thought of the dealership thing too a couple years or so ago. Even did a stint at a couple dealerships btwn my working stiff gigs. Tough business. Need deep pockets, fortitude, experience, good management, marketing, etc. And the old saw 'how do you end up with a small fortune ... '

Plus some of the sales tactics I previously attributed to car types turned me off.
 
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