by CDK Global | 20 December 2012

What You Don't Know

So you’ve got the stock on the shelves, traffic is good, and sales for the season are looking alright. Black Friday was up for the V-Twin guys, and it was down a bit for the Metrics, but looks like we might make it up as we move towards New Years.


Have you ever thought there might be something you are missing?  How can I forget my customer Bud that come in and asked what I had in Gold Wing chrome?  I brought out my crash-bars, my sissy bars, and bag protectors and thought I was doing pretty good.  He took one look, and was too polite to tell me the truth.  He just thanked me and quietly walked away.  I thought it was to think it over, and didn’t really notice when he walked out the door.

But in a week, he was back.  Didn’t say a word about chrome, just wanted a few quarts of oil.  I had to go out front to help load out a customer, and as I came back in, I saw the Goldwing.  It was Bud’s, and Wow was it pretty.  Wrap-around chrome bumpers, passenger armrests, mikes and earphones in the helmets, light bars around the back, a hitch pulling a nice little trailer, two chrome antennas and lights running down the front fender.  Oh, and did I mention the CB radio in the dash?  It looked like a rolling Christmas tree.  I was dumbstruck.  Mainly because I had been so dumb!

Now, this was early.  Probably in the mid 1970’s. There was a whole world out there that was dressing out Goldwings,  and I didn’t know a thing about it.  And, apparently, neither did my parts manager.  We thought we were doing a bang-up job when in reality, we didn’t have a clue as to what was really going on.

So where are you?  Are you keeping up?  You think so? 

Take a look at the list below.  These are the top 18 parts sold in metric dealerships during the year 2010 as measured by the total sales produced per part number.  This is taken from $717 million in sales from 736 dealers across the country and is limited to those parts where the price was over $100 each.  Of the 1.25 million part numbers we handled this year these came out on top for individual sales. They account for only .002% of all part numbers, but they pulled in 1% of all sales.  That’s almost 50 times their weight in sales produced in the dealership.  Now, let’s look at them.

The mix here reveals information about our market that, in the rush of business, you may have missed.  Here’s what jumps out at me:

  • The two winches account for over $1 million in sales.  They are far and away the highest producers of sales in the group.
  • Almost 1,600 digicams were sold.  That is an average of only about 2 per dealership, but looking deeper, I find that they were all sold by 205 dealers.  That is 8 per dealer.  These guys have tapped into a market, and are selling cameras.  But that is only a third of dealers.  What about the other 2/3?
  • UTV Sport Roofs.  Almost 2,000 of them.  Appears to be an emerging market.
  • Fairing Flares:  Almost 7,000 sold for just under $1 million.  Again, an emerging market.
  • ECU (Engine Control Unit):  Second only to the track kit in price, we sold 105 at $2,500 each.  Low volume, but nice sales per unit.

Among parts selling under $100, we find the usual suspects:  Oils, filters, batteries and tire sealer.  But there is one there that, while selling under the century mark, brought in almost $3 million in sales.  The average price was $53, so that was 53,000 of them.  What was it?  Gift Cards!

So are you in the Gift Card business?  Are you set up to do this?  Do you promote your card and make it easy to buy?  It is obviously the way our customers want to shop, and if you don’t have it, you lose.

The lesson here is to stay on top of the market.  If you can’t do it, make sure you have someone who does.  Use the shows, use your reps, use the magazines, and keep the information flowing.  Hold those training sessions with your parts people, keep your techs up to speed, have a dedicated person who can install all this stuff, and don’t forget to keep it out where people can see it. 

There is a lot you can do here, and these days you can’t afford to miss a beat.  Look at these parts again, and see where you are short.  It is clear that the public wants this stuff, and if you don’t have it, they will find someone who does.

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