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A big new building - lots of apparel - a huge service bay. Apparently this is not the way to success. In a little over a year what was the 4th largest dealership in the country has gone out of business. We now have a huge void in the mid-west, Gina's in Iowa City is about the closest dealer to St. Louis. Word has it that Grass Roots in Cape Giardeau MO is soon to close. BMW NA needs a way to encourage a successful franchise. I think the policy of only allowing one line of bikes needs to be revised. A strong dealer network is a must if the brand is to survive in the US.
 

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Sad to see all these shops closing their doors, sounds like BMNA better come up with a better working Matrix or there could be long term trouble
 

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Leadership begins at the top

Sorry to hear about another shop closing. Indy has been without a dealership over a year now. Several loyal customers have switched brands as a result. What are the higher-ups at BMWNA thinking? Very little apparently. How many shops must close before they take notice and show a little leadership? Somebody's job there should be on the line. Our hearts go out to you and the folks in Missouri.
 

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B_Haugen said:
A big new building - lots of apparel - a huge service bay. Apparently this is not the way to success. In a little over a year what was the 4th largest dealership in the country has gone out of business. We now have a huge void in the mid-west, Gina's in Iowa City is about the closest dealer to St. Louis. Word has it that Grass Roots in Cape Giardeau MO is soon to close. BMW NA needs a way to encourage a successful franchise. I think the policy of only allowing one line of bikes needs to be revised. A strong dealer network is a must if the brand is to survive in the US.

I didn't know BMW only allowed one line. Touring Sport in SC carries Ducati and Aprilia. BMW of Atlanta now also carries Piaggio / Vespa. I hate to hear of a dealer going under - especially for those in areas not close to an alternate.
 

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i'm fortunate in that there are 3 bmw bike dealerships within an hours drive of my home. bmw of cherry hill changed their name to desimone motorcycles and has expanded their product line to include victory and ducati a smart business decision in my opinion. cross country bmw has been well established in northern jersey and i think they are one of the top sellers of bmw motorcycles in the region. last but not least mainline bmw is a small dealership and while they haven't started selling ducati they are servicing ducati motorcycles. one of the many reasons people select one brand over another is the availability of dealerships that can service the bike. if i have to drive 200 miles to get to the closest bmw dealership that can service my bike i'm probably going to select another brand because i'm not driving 200 miles everytime i need service.

i think bmw motorcycles and the big difference in cost between bmw and the jap bikes makes it difficult for a bmw only dealership to compete. i ride with a lot of jap bike owners and while they all love my KRS they don't love it enough to pay an additional 7-10 grand over what they paid for their jap bikes. diversity is the key to success in any business and those businesses that diversify there product line are the ones that will stay in business. with all that said bmw should and has to find a way to help dealerships stay afloat, bmw has to be a part of the solution and not part of the problem.
 

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Cal-BMW goes by Cal-Moto and Cal-Triumph as well. The BMW showroom is just BMW's, and there is a separate Triumph showroom and parts counter. This per directive of BMW. San Jose BMW has Piaggio scooters as well. Diablo BMW is really Diablo BMW and Kawasaki.

I haven't been to the dealer in Santa Cruz or Marin, and the 6th one inside the bay area is San Francisco BMW, which carries cars as well.

Within 100 miles, there's apparently enough BMW owners to support 6 dealerships, four of which need another line to support the business.

Leads me to believe that while BMW motorcycle sell and get serviced, they don't have a steady source of income...kind of like BMW owners wait until everyone else before they either buy or get service, and the other products fill in the lean times. :D



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The BMW dealer in town only carries BMW...which I like. I like the idea that they only cater to the bike I own. I feel like they are specialists vs the shops that sell and service many brands. Do they really know one brand well?

They seem to be doing well.

Perhaps the St. Louis shop expanded to quickly?
 

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Razel said:
Cal-BMW goes by Cal-Moto and Cal-Triumph as well. The BMW showroom is just BMW's, and there is a separate Triumph showroom and parts counter. This per directive of BMW. San Jose BMW has Piaggio scooters as well. Diablo BMW is really Diablo BMW and Kawasaki.

I haven't been to the dealer in Santa Cruz or Marin, and the 6th one inside the bay area is San Francisco BMW, which carries cars as well.

Within 100 miles, there's apparently enough BMW owners to support 6 dealerships, four of which need another line to support the business.

Leads me to believe that while BMW motorcycle sell and get serviced, they don't have a steady source of income...kind of like BMW owners wait until everyone else before they either buy or get service, and the other products fill in the lean times. :D
Ray
I was told by a very reliable source that 6% of the BMW's registered in the US are in the bay area.
Bruce C
 

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Sorry guys. I ain't that rich yet. Maybe in a few more years I will retire to Mexico. Right now, TODAY, I have NO Plans to close. I will admit that I did get really discouraged, as all business owners do, a while back. Most likely my grumbling about only getting to ride 7000 miles this year in Mexico and how I was just going to close the doors and go there and ride may have led to this rumor. But whatever, I still have bills to pay and food to buy so you are stuck with us like it or not.

Least ways Dave Clark is all set up, has a currently certified BMW tech working for him too. He can handle a lot of the Saint Louis work and save people a trip down here. Dave worked at the old Motoradd shop about 25 years, was service manager there and a BMW Certified Master Tech. Forever Endeavor Cycles 636-938-7336

I understand there will soon be another shop opening there to do service as well. The area will not be long without a dealer. Too big of a market. I worked in the same building that my shop is now in when they sold Bultacos and Triumph. I was 14 years old. Grew up within a block of the shop. Now grandkids and family ties or I would be packing the bikes, parts and tools and heading north myself.

Very sad to see them give it up in Saint Louis. They always treated me very fair and helped me out in getting new bikes when I needed them.
John Simmons
Grass Roots BMW
 

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NW Arkansas EXCELLENT dealer

Bentonville BMW
13159 Wishing Spring Rd
Bentonville, Arkansas 72712
479-273-1807
http://www.bentonvillebmw.com/
Set your GPS to N 036° 25.301' W 094° 13.275'


Best service department anywhere. Service, sales or parts can be trusted.
 

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Multiple Brands

"I didn't know BMW only allowed one line. Touring Sport in SC carries Ducati and Aprilia."

Actually Touring Sport only carries BMW in it's main store. Ducati and Aprilia and various scooters are sold under another "roof"in an adjacent building, thus satisfying BMW's requirements.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks John!!

John, I'm really glad to hear you'll remain open - As you know many of the St. Louis area riders know you and the shop, and I'm sure "Grass Roots" will be the shop of choice" for warranty, parts etc. for those of us in and around St. Louis. We are deeply disappointed that BMW M/C of St. Louis had to close - and we are foutunate Dave Clark is in business for service repair - and I hope you're right that another dealer will open in St. Louis. Thanks for dispelling the rumor!!
 

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Thanks Eddie

I can't take credit for the name. Cabnfvr, or rather his better half "Pillion" pinned that one on me a few years back.

Merry Christmas all

Jim :)
 

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Police bikes?

brucecha said:
Ray
I was told by a very reliable source that 6% of the BMW's registered in the US are in the bay area.
Bruce C

I wonder if the MidWest dealers have a harder time than the dealers on the left coast because many of the police agencies in CA use BMW bikes. They definitely keep the service folks busy with a steady source of income for the dealers. I know Harley has a pretty good lock on the police motorcycle business East of the Rockies.

I also wonder if the 6% figure is for privately registered BMWs or if it includes the 150+ bikes the CHP have registered out of Sacramento?
 

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Even A&S who used to be only a BMW dealer has now expanded and is housing other brands in the same complex but under different 'roofs'. That is they have their own doors. They are now called A&S Powersports. They are carrying Arctic Cat, Vespa, and Piaggo. Even with the CHP contract, the need to expand and diversify was a smart move.

They are the only game in town as far as BMW and the next closest are about an hour to two away.
 

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Not an expert but (LONG)

I do not consider myself a business expert, or even consider this posting an advice, but here is my two cents on this whole thing.

I am very glad that we have been furtonate enough here in Atlanta to keep our two BMW Dealerships, and that also less than two hours away in Birmingham AL we have another one which I hear is very very good. But the BMW NA requirement of one brand only, forcing people that want to sell another brand to do it in a "different roof", that to me has got to be the largest pile of CRAP I have ever heard off. I would like to see their mind changing about that whenever someone is selling Suzukis and BMW's (for example) and someone comes in ready for a BUSA and ends up with a K1200S. "Competition" is business but even better "Comparison" is what WINS the business. I would WANT people to come in a see that I have 2 products and see that my product is superior and buy it, OK sometimes it could work the other way around, but when you compare apples for apples you will usually see the reason why a BMW will cost you more. For example there is a shop in Columbus, GA that sells ALL 4 Japanese brands (K, H, Y and S). Someone comes in there looking for a VTX1800, ends up with a Vulcan 2000, OK the manufactures lost but the dealership sold something, which means he will stay in business. A BMW shop sometimes don't even get any walk ins because people know all that is in there is BMW's. The should change that mentality for sure.

Now here is my take on the sales, I have had 5 BMW's in the last 4 years, started with a R1200C, R1150RT, now I have a 02 LTC and a 03 RS. All 3 of those bikes were bought OUTSIDE of Atlanta, the 03 RS by owner. These guys here in Atlanta CANNOT and I repeat CANNOT compete in pricing. We are not talking $500 we are talking thousands less, in other dealers, what the hell is wrong with these guys, I does not hurt me to see a shop close when they will NOT deal. I hear all the time at my favorite dealer here in Atlanta "Darcy is our favorite customer, he is nicest, he will be the best of the best if ever buys a bike with us", well guess what BECOME COMPETITIVE and I will.

Sorry for the rant............but if a shop closes up, you bet its a 50/50 blame game.
 

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BMW of Carolina has Triumph as well...

and in the same showroom. That company also owns the dealership in Raleigh, NC, which I'm pretty sure is also multiple brands, and a new dealership in Wilmington, NC, that I don't know about. BMW of Charlotte has BWM and Ducati in the same showroom, and then they also have some cruiser line (Victory?) in another building, but I think only because of space considerations, not some BMW NA edict.
The dealership in Greensboro will deal on the price, and on tradein value, in order to make a deal. Those that don't, and then go out of business, remind me of this ditty:

Here lie the remains of Mr. Gray,
Who died defending his right-of-way.
He was right, dead right, as he drove along,
But he's just as dead as if he'd been dead wrong.
 
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