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2010 Dealer Survey Results

New economy - new results

It's fun to look back at the past winners of the Sound RIDER! Dealer Survey Awards. Change is always afoot with new winners coming out of left field, fighting h ard to win customers. And there are always the consistent dealers who nab a few awards each time we conduct the survey every two years.

Triumph of Tacoma pulls off this years #1 overall score. Pictured are owners Bob Studholme and Pierre Andrade along with star employee Vena Knight.

It's not like most surveys. Manufacturer surveys don't tell the whole story, because they are only collecting data from existing customers, not the would-be customers, who may choose not to purchase goods and services at a shop for various reasons. Then there are the "Rah Rah" cattle call surveys from local media, where often times you'll find a kiosk right in larger stores so you can place your ballot while you're shopping. 'Vote as many times as you like' isn't an option on a per dealer basis with our program. One vote per dealer is all anyone is allowed.

What I like about our survey is it tells the story from our readers' perspective. We don't market the survey at the store level, which could lead to futile attempts at bilking of the votes. Instead it's all done online where we can keep tabs on reality.

It's the 6 th time we've done the survey since 2000. The 2010 winners are:

Sales

SALES SCORE
Triumph of Tacoma 96.43
Eastside MotoSports 91.99
Ducati Seattle 90.83
Adventure Motorsports 89.08
Downtown Harley-Davidson 87.59

The first place winner for sales of new and used bikes is Triumph of Tacoma. We watched with anticipation when Bob, Pierre & Vena launched the dealership a few years ago, They have reached out with good customer service, and are  finding lots of ways to keep their customers riding and coming back to the store again and again. Way to go!

The second place winner is Eastside Motosports, an established dealer that has been slowing climbing up the scoreboard for the last several years. Customers like the sales team and it shows.

Ducati Seattle is a consistent player here each year. Dave Roosevelt knows how to pick good sales staff who don't make customers feel like they've been had. They're also a leader when it comes to building new customers.

Adventure Motorsports returns to a top five position this year. The dealership is upbeat and plays it straight with customers, attracting real riders and families as their primary customer base.

Ducati Seattle scoops up six awards this year winning or placing in every category and grabbing the #1 Ducati dealership award.

The fifth place position goes to a dealership we haven't seen place here in a few years. Downtown Harley-Davidson has had their work cut out for them with their move into Renton this last year. Now with return of sales manager Greg Fisher, the sales staff are making things happen in a good way at this shop.

Parts

PARTS SCORE
Adventure Motorsports 89.04
Triumph of Tacoma 87.92
Skagit Powersports 85.78
Eastside MotoSports 85.49
Ducati Seattle 85.45

Adventure Motorsports takes the #1 slot here. With the new addition across the parking lot, they've been able to carry more inventory and satisfy customers' needs. They've also been busy running a series of gear and apparel seminars as of late.

#2 goes to Triumph of Tacoma. Being a single line OEM puts them in the position of being able to know their product line well from end to end.

At #3, Skagit Powersports, which often snags a few of these awards each year, continues to shine with consistency.

Eastside Motosports enters into this area at #4 for the first time since the awards have been running. Although they've moved through several parts managers in the last 24 months, management has been able to provide the staff the guidance needed to e nsure customers are satisfied, no matter who is running the show.

The staff at Adventure Motorsports is all smiles taking on seven awards for 2010. Might have to grow a new wall?

Our final winner here, Ducati Seattle, makes us realize that three of the top five winners in this category are Ducati OEMs.

Seattle Cycle Center takes a #1 independent in this category.

Service

SERVICE SCORE
Ducati Seattle 95.14
Triumph of Tacoma 93.75
Moto International 91.83
South Bound Honda 89.58
Adventure Motorsports 86.50

One over-torqued bolt can send a customer running to another dealer. Getting your bike back with finger prints on it makes you wonder if you're getting the TLC you deserve. So when it comes to service, SR! readers get picky, and with good reason.

#1 goes to Ducati Seattle. Dave R. and his techs appear to get it right more often than not. They've also continued to offer a number of modification options that improve the performance of the bike.

Not only is he the owner, but Bob at Triumph Tacoma is often the one who cranks the wrench on much of the service work that goes through the shop.

Mich a and his staff at Moto International are one of the most consistent crew of service techs we know of in the Northwest. The work gets done right, year after year.

Dave and Micha of Moto International grabbed three awards this year. Hoffa looks on with absolute satisfaction.

Dale Gray is the meticulous key behind the good work done at South Bound Honda. His years of performing Honda service make him one of the most knowledgeable Honda techs we've ever met. His attention to detail rubs off on everyone who works with him out in the shop.

Taking fifth is Adventure Motorsports. It's one thing to sell someone a motorcycle, it's another to keep them coming back again and again and without a good service department that won't happen.

Seattle Cycle Center takes a #1 independent in this category.

Store Look & Feel

STORE SCORE
Adventure Motorsports 95.34
Ducati Seattle 93.75
Skagit Powersports 93.01
Triumph of Tacoma 91.25
South Sound Motorcycles 91.04

One person's perception of good store look & feel can vary greatly from another's. Maybe you prefer good parking, a caf� in house, lots of big screen TVs or who knows what. So what do SR! readers like best?

Adventure Motorsports takes #1. It's simply a cool place to go hang out. Mind you it's situated within an industrial park, so don't expect any superb landscaping or front window displays when you pull up. In fact it's hard to tell you're at a motorcycle dealership until you walk through the doors. But once inside it's a sizable showroom with every current make and model of Yamaha & Suzuki on the floor, several big screen TVs and a nice caf� setup ready to serve.

For something a little more upscale, check into Ducati Seattle. The high ceilings, the fireplace, the open gear and apparel area. It's all tidy, but not sterile.

Store manager Brendan Ferrer poses next to the comfy fireplace at South Sound Motorcycles.

If there's a look and feel thing we can nail here that people like, it's the ever present FUN atmosphere at Skagit Powersports. Most sunny weekends you'll find the local STAR chapter serving up burgers and dogs in the parking lot and there's always a big selection of bikes both new and used. Or maybe it's that brood of scorpions in the owner's office!!

Taking the #4 position is Triumph of Tacoma. Ten years ago when this was a run-down Honda dealership (anyone remember Charlie? ) in the same location, no one ever would have said it was a place they wanted to hang out. Back then if you wanted to hang out, you got chased out. But Bob and Vena make it a destination location for customers primarily because of their warm hospitality.

The #5 winner is South Sound Motorcycles, formerly South Sound BMW. It's a big room, well decorated with lots of ways to relax. Enjoy a good video, read one of the many magazines or just do a little customer-to-customer bench racing in the leather couches. And with so much space, it's a great place to hold a vendor fair in the spring and do slide shows in the winter.

OVERALL

OVERALL SCORE
Triumph of Tacoma 92.34
Ducati Seattle 91.29
Adventure Motorsports 89.99
Eastside MotoSports 88.66
Skagit Powersports 86.26

So who took the final honors? The combined scores of each of these dealers determine the overall winners.

Skagit Powersports comes in at #5. Consistently in the top five for the last 6 years it's good to see the consistency prevail. They were recently awarded a number one plate in the national Dealer News Top 100 national competition.

New to the top five this year is Eastside Motosports coming in at #4. It's been a long road to get here, and while they've taken an award here and there along the way, this is one that shows it's all working as it should at this shop.

BY BRAND SCORE
Aprilia Moto International
BMW South Sound Motorcycles
Can Am Lynnwood Motoplex
Ducati Ducati Seattle
Harley-Davidson Downtown H-D
Honda Everett Powersports
Kawasaki Skagit Powersports
KTM Skagit Powersports
Moto Guzzi Moto International
Suzuki Adventure Motorsports
Triumph Triumph of Tacoma
Victory Lynnwood Motoplex
Yamaha Adventure Motorsports

Adventure Motorsports claims the #3 position. After taking last year's #1 spot, you'll want to notice they are behind #1 by less than just 2.5 points.

Stiff competition places Ducati Seattle in at #2.

And winning by just a hair (1.05 points to be exact), Triumph of Tacoma pulls off the coveted #1 position for this round.

But before we leave this exercise, there's several telling tales we found in the results.

In 2008 the average overall score for dealers was 66 points. That's an F student. This year it is up 10 points to a better C rating at 76 points. Dealers have had to make their stores shine, improve their customers' experience and be able to provide what consumers want in this tough economic time and the results show that that is happening. We think it's a good sign. Maybe there's never been a better time to shop for bikes, parts and get service than now!

Another interesting tale is that of non-Japanese brands. In most cases the dealers who scored the highest carry an American, British, German or Italian line in their product mix. One might concur that brand loyalty to these lines equates to more votes with higher scores.

Congratulations to all the winners of the 2010 Sound RIDER! Dealer Survey Awards!!

TM/Spring 10


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