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Author Topic: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.  (Read 1848 times)

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muddypaws

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2019, 07:51:10 AM »

This is not good.  One our favorite stops...
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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2019, 09:47:49 AM »

Too bad, now all these people are out of jobs!
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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2019, 09:50:30 AM »

That is to bad, lost jobs,convience for patrons. Too Bad.
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Ironhorse

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2019, 10:43:23 AM »

It's sad, but it seems to be the way a lot of folks do business. Don't pay bills, then claim bankruptcy and walk away, or sue their creditors.
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scottt

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2019, 01:37:22 PM »

Feel for anyone that bought a bike there, especially recent purchases.

Gotta wonder; did they pay off customer trade ins? Did they pay the state taxes and lic. Fees on recently sold bikes? Did they pay aftermarket part suppliers for parts installed on customer bikes? Good luck with any warranty if not.

So many ways for customers to get stuck.

Employees can get stuck if they were not paying there health insurance premiums, if they didn't pay there Social security and Medicare taxes near the end yet took the funds from there paychecks. Seen this happen including to myself. Didn't get SSI credit for a entire year i worked even though it was deducted from my pay.

It's just all bad.

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Ironhorse

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2019, 01:40:02 PM »

You gotta wonder, was it really mismanagement or just pure driven greed?
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Mark

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2019, 01:48:17 PM »

With bike sales tanking, it was only a matter of time before we started seeing contraction.  Just like when auto sales tanked in the great recession, the small dealers were the first to go.  Sadly, we are going to see more of this.   
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Ironhorse

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2019, 02:32:24 PM »

With bike sales tanking, it was only a matter of time before we started seeing contraction.  Just like when auto sales tanked in the great recession, the small dealers were the first to go.  Sadly, we are going to see more of this.

Oh I get that businesses closing is reflective of the state of the economy, but that doesn't explain why they sold bikes and never paid HD for them. And of course it's the little guys who get screwed, the customers and the vendors. If they're lucky they may see their money eventually, but it may be "tied up in court" for a long time. Another well abused tactic by unscrupulous business owners driven by greed looking to make a buck off the unsuspecting. Then file bankruptcy and walk away paying pennies on the dollar. 
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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2019, 09:16:42 PM »

Oh I get that businesses closing is reflective of the state of the economy, but that doesn't explain why they sold bikes and never paid HD for them. And of course it's the little guys who get screwed, the customers and the vendors. If they're lucky they may see their money eventually, but it may be "tied up in court" for a long time. Another well abused tactic by unscrupulous business owners driven by greed looking to make a buck off the unsuspecting. Then file bankruptcy and walk away paying pennies on the dollar.

The business closing isn't reflecting the economy - our economy is stronger than it's been in decades - it's a reflection of lagging sales.  What happened here is an example of a typical business collapse...if you don't have the sales to generate income, debts can't be paid...then it becomes a financial shell game trying to stay afloat, but eventually everything collapses.  This dealer didn't pay debt because they couldn't...not because they simple chose not to.  You can't pay what you don't have.
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kevin_n

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2019, 09:21:58 PM »

I don't think it will be closed for long. There is another local dealer that was trying to buy it. Not sure how it closing changes things but I think it will be back open, it's in a convenient location. Of course that is just my opinion and I have been wrong before.  :)
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scottt

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2019, 10:43:20 PM »

The business closing isn't reflecting the economy - our economy is stronger than it's been in decades - it's a reflection of lagging sales.  What happened here is an example of a typical business collapse...if you don't have the sales to generate income, debts can't be paid...then it becomes a financial shell game trying to stay afloat, but eventually everything collapses.  This dealer didn't pay debt because they couldn't...not because they simple chose not to.  You can't pay what you don't have.
The honorable thing to do when a business can't pay it's bills is to be upfront with creditors. File chapter 11, if the owner knows it's a lost cause you do the honorable thing; first tell the employees you won't be open the next day, have there pay ready along with information that helps them continue health insurance. Next you tell your vendors and the mother company the truth.

You take the bull by the horns and tell the truth, be upfront.

There is no disgrace in failure, there is disgrace in not being truthful. Not being moral. Sadly we are missing a lot of that today.

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bbrown

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2019, 10:53:52 PM »

I agree. Since they are close to the Mothership,they sold a lot of bikes at discount and excellent financing to anyone....wonder if that is/ was the issue.
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Ironhorse

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2019, 11:46:39 PM »


There is no disgrace in failure, there is disgrace in not being truthful. Not being moral. Sadly we are missing a lot of that today.

Yup, lots of that going on these days.

Hopefully things will be made right for the customers and employees.
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scottt

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2019, 12:37:51 AM »

I agree. Since they are close to the Mothership,they sold a lot of bikes at discount and excellent financing to anyone....wonder if that is/ was the issue.
If they were selling bikes to buyers that frankly didn't really qualify, the only way that's done is if the dealer guaranteed the loans or paper in industry speak. When Harleys got soft on the resale market it wouldn't take long to get a lotta bikes back, resulting in huge losses.

Not saying this happened, just one way it could have. The weak used Harley prices could effect a dealer that backs paper big time.

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Ironhorse

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2019, 08:14:30 AM »

Here's what I don't understand.

If the economy is doing so well, the best it's been in a long time, then why are sales lagging? Why might a dealer sell a bike to someone who doesn't qualify? Why does a dealer have to sell a bike to people who don't qualify in order to survive? Where are the people who qualify? There must be qualified buyers out there. Maybe the consumer has gotten wiser and would prefer to spend their money on a reliable Honda, than a grenading M8.

Where are all the folks with $30K in disposable cash ready to buy a new bike?

This is sad all around.
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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2019, 08:49:38 AM »


This is more and more common in our highly leveraged economy.  Working on the edge using other people's money can be profitable, right up until the bills come due and you run out of other people's money.  Don't forget btw that H-D also owns some responsibility for scenarios like this one.  They constantly pressure dealers to take bikes even if that dealer isn't comfortable doing so, and the Harley distribution system rewards those who take more bikes and punishes those who scale back.  Dealers who finally worked their way up to a decent allocation of bikes are loathe to give up any of that allocation, so they allow the pressure to override their business sense.  Then you have the easy credit the entire vehicle industry has been offering customers who really aren't the best credit risks, once again nothing new as the industry as a whole never seems to learn from past history.  In many cases the dealers share in the losses involved in failed consumer loans and repossessions, especially with the manufacturer's lending subsidiaries.

It's always sad to see these things, I've spent enough time in the auto business to have witnessed many such downturns and failed dealerships over the past forty plus years to realize these things will never be eliminated.  It's just too easy to become overextended, and it's too hard for many in the industry to recognize and admit to themselves they are in over their head.  Unfortunately it's the employees and communities that suffer due to no fault of their own.  I don't know of any fix for that.

Jerry
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Ironhorse

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2019, 09:09:59 AM »

This is more and more common in our highly leveraged economy.  Working on the edge using other people's money can be profitable, right up until the bills come due and you run out of other people's money.  Don't forget btw that H-D also owns some responsibility for scenarios like this one.  They constantly pressure dealers to take bikes even if that dealer isn't comfortable doing so, and the Harley distribution system rewards those who take more bikes and punishes those who scale back.  Dealers who finally worked their way up to a decent allocation of bikes are loathe to give up any of that allocation, so they allow the pressure to override their business sense.  Then you have the easy credit the entire vehicle industry has been offering customers who really aren't the best credit risks, once again nothing new as the industry as a whole never seems to learn from past history.  In many cases the dealers share in the losses involved in failed consumer loans and repossessions, especially with the manufacturer's lending subsidiaries.

It's always sad to see these things, I've spent enough time in the auto business to have witnessed many such downturns and failed dealerships over the past forty plus years to realize these things will never be eliminated.  It's just too easy to become overextended, and it's too hard for many in the industry to recognize and admit to themselves they are in over their head.  Unfortunately it's the employees and communities that suffer due to no fault of their own.  I don't know of any fix for that.

Jerry

That's great insight into how dealers operate in this cut throat environment. However, it doesn't answer the question that if the economy is doing so great and people have much more disposable income, why are sales lagging? Why are sales being made to people who don't qualify? Why aren't people buying Harleys?

Why aren't people taking that all trickle down cash created by this booming economy and buying bikes with it?
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Haird

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2019, 09:19:55 AM »

That's great insight into how dealers operate in this cut throat environment. However, it doesn't answer the question that if the economy is doing so great and people have much more disposable income, why are sales lagging? Why are sales being made to people who don't qualify? Why aren't people buying Harleys?

Why aren't people taking that all trickle down cash created by this booming economy and buying bikes with it?

Mark, one reason, and I know this is off topic but can answer your question, is that with the Affordable Care Act, the "disposable" income that most folks have or have gained with this better economy and would spend on bikes/boats/RV's/4 wheelers is now going to paying medical bills/high deductibles/premiums AND some employers charge more on premiums for "hazardous activities" like smoking, drinking, motorcycle/ATV riding so folks choose not to do these in keeping the costs down.  I'm not saying it's the main reason but it's a big one. 
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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2019, 09:33:49 AM »

That's great insight into how dealers operate in this cut throat environment. However, it doesn't answer the question that if the economy is doing so great and people have much more disposable income, why are sales lagging? Why are sales being made to people who don't qualify? Why aren't people buying Harleys?

Why aren't people taking that all trickle down cash created by this booming economy and buying bikes with it?
Harley has roughly 50 percent of the heavy duty motorcycle market. They have the most to loose. Harley has built so many bikes over the past 15 years the market is flooded with low mileage motorcycles, driving down prices. Competitor's are offering really good options. Indian, Honda, BMW, Triumph, Yamaha. All taking away sales, especially in the profitable touring end of the market. Many of these manufacturers are making gains year over year.

Frankly, Harley is not highly competitive if you compare features, performance and value.

Last, the Baby Boomers, the generation that created most sales is now getting old, many have stopped riding, stopped buying bikes and even died.



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Ironhorse

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2019, 09:35:20 AM »

Mark, one reason, and I know this is off topic but can answer your question, is that with the Affordable Care Act, the "disposable" income that most folks have or have gained with this better economy and would spend on bikes/boats/RV's/4 wheelers is now going to paying medical bills/high deductibles/premiums AND some employers charge more on premiums for "hazardous activities" like smoking, drinking, motorcycle/ATV riding so folks choose not to do these in keeping the costs down.  I'm not saying it's the main reason but it's a big one.

Good point. I guess the thing to do is create more tax cuts for those with high incomes, the wealthy and businesses. This will create even more trickle down disposable income for people to buy motorcycles. Then dealers won't have to sell to people who don't qualify and then close up shop.

I can't speak for others, but if I was given a choice between spending money on a new bike, or paying for healthcare to keep myself or family members healthy and alive, I'd pick the health care. I know it sounds selfish and I'll admit it is.
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Ironhorse

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #21 on: July 18, 2019, 09:37:29 AM »

Harley has roughly 50 percent of the heavy duty motorcycle market. They have the most to loose. Harley has built so many bikes over the past 15 years the market is flooded with low mileage motorcycles, driving down prices. Competitor's are offering really good options. Indian, Honda, BMW, Triumph, Yamaha. All taking away sales, especially in the profitable touring end of the market. Many of these manufacturers are making gains year over year.

Frankly, Harley is not highly competitive if you compare features, performance and value.

Last, the Baby Boomers, the generation that created most sales is now getting old, many have stopped riding, stopped buying bikes and even died.

Which goes back to my earlier argument, todays consumer would rather buy a dependable Honda than a  sumping M8.
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scottt

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #22 on: July 18, 2019, 12:43:05 PM »

Which goes back to my earlier argument, todays consumer would rather buy a dependable Honda than a  sumping M8.
Honda is but one of the competitors taking sales from Harley. So is BMW with the K1600B or Bagger, the new Indian motorcycles, the Yamaha Venture, the new Triumph models. Lotta great competitors, way more today than 10 years ago. Harley is really not competitive in the touring line.

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Ironhorse

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #23 on: July 18, 2019, 12:52:29 PM »

Honda is but one of the competitors taking sales from Harley. So is BMW with the K1600B or Bagger, the new Indian motorcycles, the Yamaha Venture, the new Triumph models. Lotta great competitors, way more today than 10 years ago. Harley is really not competitive in the touring line.

Are the other makers also held to the EPA guidelines? In other words if I buy a Honda/BMW/Indian/Kawasaki/Triumph and decide to change cams and "tune it", will it void the power train warranty like a Harley?

I wonder how much of that is driving HD sales down?
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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #24 on: July 18, 2019, 01:19:14 PM »

Are the other makers also held to the EPA guidelines? In other words if I buy a Honda/BMW/Indian/Kawasaki/Triumph and decide to change cams and "tune it", will it void the power train warranty like a Harley?

I wonder how much of that is driving HD sales down?

The EPA rules and warranty issues probably does have a bit of a impact but the better question is do you really need to tune any of the other brands?  The other manufactures may be under the same EPA issues but they are doing a VERY good job of making sure the meet the requirements as well as producing a motor that doesn't require "fiddling" to make it run right. 
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Ironhorse

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #25 on: July 18, 2019, 01:45:35 PM »

The EPA rules and warranty issues probably does have a bit of a impact but the better question is do you really need to tune any of the other brands?  The other manufactures may be under the same EPA issues but they are doing a VERY good job of making sure the meet the requirements as well as producing a motor that doesn't require "fiddling" to make it run right.

Which circles around to what we talk about all the time, build specs and quality control. Are these other brands plagued with sumping, crank run-out issues, lifter issues and so on? I think not.

It looks like poor sales are being driven by several possible issues:

Buyers lacking disposable income due to their ACA payments in spite of a good trickle down economy. (debatable)
HD Design flaws and poor quality control that drive buyers to other brands. (verified)
A MoCo sales system that punishes dealers who can't move inventory giving them incentive to sell to unqualified buyers. (apparent)
An aging out market leaving a vacuum not filled by the next generation. (generalized)

Of all of those, the only ones the MoCo has any control over is design and quality control, and sales tactics.

Not holding my breath on this.
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scottt

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #26 on: July 18, 2019, 01:48:54 PM »

Are the other makers also held to the EPA guidelines? In other words if I buy a Honda/BMW/Indian/Kawasaki/Triumph and decide to change cams and "tune it", will it void the power train warranty like a Harley?

I wonder how much of that is driving HD sales down?
As others have mentioned; the other brands with the exception to some degree Indian do not depend on performance enhancements to make power. They perform right off the showroom floor.

One example i know is the BMW K1600 B or bagger. Has a straight 6cyl engine. Produces 160HP, makes 70% of it's 128 ft lbs of torque at 1700 RPM. It's an amazing motorcycle to ride.  Features include clutchless shifting up and down, on and on. You'll never really want for more power. There is a minor computer performance upgrade available if you wish to delete the 130mph governor, giving you something like 170mph top speed. Crazy!

Bottom line, many of today's buyers want a bike to perform, ride and handle stock. Harley's competitors, again other than Indian to some degree, deliver!

Regarding the EPA thing, i don't  believe the other brand dealers monitor things the way Harley is. That said, there bikes don't need non compliant modifications. 

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #27 on: July 18, 2019, 02:04:13 PM »

As others have mentioned; the other brands with the exception to some degree Indian do not depend on performance enhancements to make power. They perform right off the showroom floor.

Can't argue with that other than to say,..."Yeah but it's not a Harley",...LOL!!!. But none of this is anything new, the "mantle of greatness" was passed from HD to Japan and Germany in the 70s. So HD relied on it's loyal core of buyers who are now either aging out, or are too frustrated to want to have to deal with build and quality issues.

Monday - "Hey I bought a new M8 CVO!"
Thursday - "The engine sumped"

Makes a GoldWing and BMW 1600 look mighty appealing!
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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #28 on: July 18, 2019, 02:24:20 PM »

Can't argue with that other than to say,..."Yeah but it's not a Harley",...LOL!!!. But none of this is anything new, the "mantle of greatness" was passed from HD to Japan and Germany in the 70s. So HD relied on it's loyal core of buyers who are now either aging out, or are too frustrated to want to have to deal with build and quality issues.

Monday - "Hey I bought a new M8 CVO!"
Thursday - "The engine sumped"

Makes a GoldWing and BMW 1600 look mighty appealing!
Your absolutely correct. Harley is depending on loyal riders that won't consider any other motorcycle. That's a declining pool of customers. Heck, i know of some 1% club members that purchased a BMW K1600 B. Even some of Harleys loyal customers are now buying other brands. They keep an older Harley and buy another brand for actual touring.

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #29 on: July 18, 2019, 02:35:43 PM »

My next bike wont be a Harley
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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #30 on: July 18, 2019, 02:42:23 PM »

That's great insight into how dealers operate in this cut throat environment. However, it doesn't answer the question that if the economy is doing so great and people have much more disposable income, why are sales lagging? Why are sales being made to people who don't qualify? Why aren't people buying Harleys?

Why aren't people taking that all trickle down cash created by this booming economy and buying bikes with it?
The economy IS doing great. Younger generation  is spending over $1,000 for damn cells phones and reusable straws. They could care less about Harleys. That's probably why they're not selling as much as when our generation was growing up.

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #31 on: July 18, 2019, 02:45:13 PM »

Honda is but one of the competitors taking sales from Harley. So is BMW with the K1600B or Bagger, the new Indian motorcycles, the Yamaha Venture, the new Triumph models. Lotta great competitors, way more today than 10 years ago. Harley is really not competitive in the touring line.

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Let's not get carried away with the Yamaha comment. The Venture and it's sister bike aimed at competing with our beloved RG was a one year flop. Brand New ones are still on dealer floors and they didn't even offer them again this year.

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #32 on: July 18, 2019, 02:52:25 PM »

They couldn't care less about Harleys. That's probably why they're not selling as much as when our generation was growing up.

Then we as the current crop of riders have failed in passing the love down, and this includes me. Put my name at the top of that list.

I have two sons and both are interested in travelling the world. The eldest is an environmental engineer who just got back from "Yacht Week in Greece", sailing the islands. My youngest is heading into his senior year at UCSD where he is studying Cognitive Science and Computer Science. He prefers to hike the Sierras with a back pack and surf on vacation. As much as I have tried to share my love of motorcycling with them they found their own interests, swimming, surfing, water polo, and world travel.

I missed the boat with them, now I'm waiting on grand kids,....LOL!!!
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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #33 on: July 18, 2019, 02:53:33 PM »

Let's not get carried away with the Yamaha comment. The Venture and it's sister bike aimed at competing with our beloved RG was a one year flop. Brand New ones are still on dealer floors and they didn't even offer them again this year.

Spot on with that, however I don't think the Yamahas grenade at 800 miles.
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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #34 on: July 18, 2019, 03:36:40 PM »

Spot on with that, however I don't think the Yamahas grenade at 800 miles.

Them yamahatchies gotta make it out of the showroom to get to the 800 mile mark, Mark... ;D

Side note:  Sat on the "new" Venture at Sturgis 2017.  BIG BIKE even though it's weight was listed less than a Harley touring.  It felt HUGE to me...predicted to Vickie that it wasn't going to do well at that point.

I'm passing down riding to my daughter (she started at 6) and both oldest grandsons (11 and 10) so, hopefully, they will be riders in their own right some day...not sure they will be purchasing Harley, however...they really like Papaws Chieftain... :2vrolijk_21:

I do predict more HD boutiques closing over the next few months/year.  Fox News had an interesting review of the new Livewire this week.  They were trying their best to justify $30K for an electric motorcycle with a range of 100 miles... ;D
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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #35 on: July 18, 2019, 03:50:43 PM »


Harley will either slim way down, or just move their operations to India or China and try to con those folks into paying more for less.

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #36 on: July 18, 2019, 05:12:47 PM »

I agree. Since they are close to the Mothership,they sold a lot of bikes at discount and excellent financing to anyone....wonder if that is/ was the issue.
Do some research on the Pomeroys, lots of shady deals gone wrong with these people. When you take someone’s trade in and then don’t pay there balance, that’s bs, then a couple of months later the finance company is hounding you for their money, nice people, NOT.
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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #37 on: July 18, 2019, 08:34:26 PM »

Do some research on the Pomeroys, lots of shady deals gone wrong with these people. When you take someone’s trade in and then don’t pay there balance, that’s bs, then a couple of months later the finance company is hounding you for their money, nice people, NOT.
It's immoral. The customer ends up on the hook for the loan balance for his old bike along with the new one. The trade may have been sold and that buyer is screwed as well.

If the dealer was doing this, he should go to jail IMHO.

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #38 on: July 18, 2019, 08:36:13 PM »

Do some research on the Pomeroys, lots of shady deals gone wrong with these people. When you take someone’s trade in and then don’t pay there balance, that’s bs, then a couple of months later the finance company is hounding you for their money, nice people, NOT.

That’s not mismanagement, that’s greed driven crime.
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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #39 on: July 18, 2019, 11:04:25 PM »

Here's what I don't understand.

If the economy is doing so well, the best it's been in a long time, then why are sales lagging? Why might a dealer sell a bike to someone who doesn't qualify? Why does a dealer have to sell a bike to people who don't qualify in order to survive? Where are the people who qualify? There must be qualified buyers out there. Maybe the consumer has gotten wiser and would prefer to spend their money on a reliable Honda, than a grenading M8.

Where are all the folks with $30K in disposable cash ready to buy a new bike?

This is sad all around.
Here's your answer:  HD is in a pickle because its core customers, the guys that bought HDs and saved the company, are dying off or aging out of riding.  The Baby Boomers were the largest generation and HDs resurgence just happened to correspond with the peak of the Baby Boomers' financial sweet spot.  A homerun for the MoCo & this worked great for over 20 years, but...

The millennials are the technology generation and are not drawn to a low tech lawn mower engine motorcycle.  Also, HD let itself get shoe-horned into a certain style that appealed to a certain type rider.  Locking onto the Boomers and their cash was a financial win for HD, but a side effect was Harleys became the "Old Man" motorcycle, just like Cadillac let themselves get pigeon-holed into being the car of the elderly.  Couple all this with some poor workmanship and engine problems and you've got a company in distress, along with the dealers.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2019, 08:16:02 AM by Mark »
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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #40 on: July 18, 2019, 11:39:41 PM »

Here's your answer:  HD is in a pickle because its core customers, the guys that bought HDs and saved the company, are dying off or aging out of riding.  The Baby Boomers were the largest generation and HDs resurgence just happened to correspond with the peak of the Baby Boomers' financial sweet spot.  A homerun for the MoCo. & this worked great for over 20 years, but...

The millennials are the technology generation and are not drawn to a low tech lawn mower engine motorcycle.  Also, HD let itself get shoe-horned into a certain style that appealed to a certain type rider.  Locking onto the Boomers and their cash was a financial win for HD, but a side effect was Harleys become the "Old Man" motorcycle, just like Cadillac let themselves get pigeon-holed into being the car of the elderly.  Couple all this with some poor workmanship and engine problems and you've got a company in distress, along with the dealers.
As a baby boomer that bought his first HD in 89 and last in 14, you are spot on. I've lived it. 12 new Harleys during those years.

Unfortunately i really had my issues with a 07 CVO ultra and my 14 Limited.

Most recent purchase and dream to ride, BMW K1600 B or bagger.

I think this says it all.

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #41 on: July 19, 2019, 12:17:32 AM »

As a baby boomer that bought his first HD in 89 and last in 14, you are spot on. I've lived it. 12 new Harleys during those years.

Unfortunately i really had my issues with a 07 CVO ultra and my 14 Limited.

Most recent purchase and dream to ride, BMW K1600 B or bagger.

I think this says it all.

There’s a reason the only CVO I wanted was the ‘06 with the 103. It’s coming up on 100k now.
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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #42 on: July 19, 2019, 07:12:19 AM »

In my thirties, I rode with an older group of guys in their 60's and 70's.  They rode Honda's (usually Wings) and Kawasaki's (Voyagers) and had nothing but disdain for Harley because they lived through the pan, shovel and AMF days...they wouldn't have one if you gave it to them as they wanted to ride not wrench.

While the boomers have carried the MoCo for the past couple decades, the current crop of potential riders see it as stated above, an old man's bike, and one that isn't user friendly in terms of start it, ride it, park it kind of activities.  Maintenance free is NOT what I would call a Harley which gives it some of the appeal to us tinkering kind of folks.  To those that just want to ride, it's not that kind of motorcycle.  It's expensive and behind the rest in tech/design even with that Livewire coming in September...hence the slumping in sales.  I'm not positive this is all of why this dealer closed but I'm fairly sure all of it contributed.
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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #43 on: July 19, 2019, 11:59:19 AM »

The honorable thing to do when a business can't pay it's bills is to be upfront with creditors. File chapter 11, if the owner knows it's a lost cause you do the honorable thing; first tell the employees you won't be open the next day, have there pay ready along with information that helps them continue health insurance. Next you tell your vendors and the mother company the truth.

You take the bull by the horns and tell the truth, be upfront.

There is no disgrace in failure, there is disgrace in not being truthful. Not being moral. Sadly we are missing a lot of that today.

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Good word Scott, that is exactly the issue!!

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #44 on: July 24, 2019, 07:30:19 AM »

Here's what I don't understand.

If the economy is doing so well, the best it's been in a long time, then why are sales lagging? Why might a dealer sell a bike to someone who doesn't qualify? Why does a dealer have to sell a bike to people who don't qualify in order to survive? Where are the people who qualify? There must be qualified buyers out there. Maybe the consumer has gotten wiser and would prefer to spend their money on a reliable Honda, than a grenading M8.

Where are all the folks with $30K in disposable cash ready to buy a new bike?

This is sad all around.

Harleys customer base is aging.  Many are giving up riding.
Harley is plagued with quality issues, and loyal customers know this so are not buying HD, or Keeping the old one and not buying.
Used market is soft, 4 year old CVO is worth about half the cost new, so many are not trading.
Better options out there for less money
Younger generation does not have the interest in motorcycling
Cost is going way up on Harley to get less bike

So with all the above dealers are more desperate to get sales.
They take bigger risks to sell a bike.

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #45 on: July 24, 2019, 07:51:05 AM »

Harleys customer base is aging.  Many are giving up riding.
Harley is plagued with quality issues, and loyal customers know this so are not buying HD, or Keeping the old one and not buying.
Used market is soft, 4 year old CVO is worth about half the cost new, so many are not trading.
Better options out there for less money
Younger generation does not have the interest in motorcycling
Cost is going way up on Harley to get less bike

So with all the above dealers are more desperate to get sales.
They take bigger risks to sell a bike.
In addition to all the above; Harley directed there dealers to build big, fancy facilities in prime locations. Nothing brings a business down faster than high overhead in a declining market.

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #46 on: July 24, 2019, 08:37:24 AM »

In addition to all the above; Harley directed there dealers to build big, fancy facilities in prime locations. Nothing brings a business down faster than high overhead in a declining market.

The reason for that big fancy facility is that HD dealerships have become both a motorcycle dealer and a fashion boutique. And the reason they do that is because they know that while most folks cannot purchase a $30K bike, they can purchase a $50 T-Shirt. Their whole plan is to sell the brand and the "lifestyle" along with the motorcycle. In any other dealership excluding Indian, BMW and maybe Ducati, you won't find jeans, shirts, chaps, vests, jackets, helmets and gloves all branded with the company logo. And even those that do sell them don't have the variety, sizes, and gender choices that HD has.

And now, when folks are lacking the requisite disposable income needed to support the "HD Lifestyle", these dealerships are burdened with the overhead. Some close, consolidate, or do unscrupulous business act.

This is nothing new, or nothing we didn't see coming.
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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #47 on: July 24, 2019, 10:14:19 AM »

The reason for that big fancy facility is that HD dealerships have become both a motorcycle dealer and a fashion boutique. And the reason they do that is because they know that while most folks cannot purchase a $30K bike, they can purchase a $50 T-Shirt. Their whole plan is to sell the brand and the "lifestyle" along with the motorcycle. In any other dealership excluding Indian, BMW and maybe Ducati, you won't find jeans, shirts, chaps, vests, jackets, helmets and gloves all branded with the company logo. And even those that do sell them don't have the variety, sizes, and gender choices that HD has.

And now, when folks are lacking the requisite disposable income needed to support the "HD Lifestyle", these dealerships are burdened with the overhead. Some close, consolidate, or do unscrupulous business act.

This is nothing new, or nothing we didn't see coming.
While this is totally accurate; I'd like to add that while Harleys motorclothes are of high quality many Harley riders including myself choose not to buy the clothing due to high prices and the fact that all I've seen are made in China, Vietnam, other 3rd world countries. Harley should stand for "made in America " yet there riding gear is not. Harley could sell more motorclothes in my opinion if the vast majority was "made in America ". This should be the driving force of the brand. Quality, Made in America!

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #48 on: July 24, 2019, 10:42:36 AM »

While this is totally accurate; I'd like to add that while Harleys motorclothes are of high quality many Harley riders including myself choose not to buy the clothing due to high prices and the fact that all I've seen are made in China, Vietnam, other 3rd world countries. Harley should stand for "made in America " yet there riding gear is not. Harley could sell more motorclothes in my opinion if the vast majority was "made in America ". This should be the driving force of the brand. Quality, Made in America!

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Made in America clothes. Double the price and they won't sell any of them. Do you really think a business will eat the cost of higher manufacturing and cut into their profits? I'll have what you're drinking.

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #49 on: July 24, 2019, 10:45:53 AM »

While this is totally accurate; I'd like to add that while Harleys motorclothes are of high quality many Harley riders including myself choose not to buy the clothing due to high prices and the fact that all I've seen are made in China, Vietnam, other 3rd world countries. Harley should stand for "made in America " yet there riding gear is not. Harley could sell more motorclothes in my opinion if the vast majority was "made in America ". This should be the driving force of the brand. Quality, Made in America!

No argument there except to ask, are you ready to pay $90 for a t-shirt, and $135 for a button down tailored shirt? I'm not. If I'm going to pay over $2000 for leathers, it will be tailored made by Bates (which I have) or Langlitz, not HD.
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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #50 on: July 24, 2019, 12:33:53 PM »

Made in America clothes. Double the price and they won't sell any of them. Do you really think a business will eat the cost of higher manufacturing and cut into their profits? I'll have what you're drinking.

Sent from my boring Droid phone.
Gotta believe you can make a shirt priced at $75 in this country. As you said, it would have lower margins. They sell the blue jeans for $250, Diamond Gusset sells motorcycle jeans for around the same price, made in America.

Goes back to the high overhead facilities. Would riders prefer the fancy stores or American made products?

I look at BMW Motorrad, they pay there factory workers more than Harley pays for labor while selling bikes without China content, at least that I've seen, higher feature content and competitive prices. Vast majority of the clothing line made in Germany or elsewhere  in Europe.

Guess what I'm saying is that Harley could become more of a American product. If i wanted a shirt made in China I'd go to Costco and buy for $15 not $75. Granted the HD shirt has the HD logo.

I could just be old fashioned, living in the past. I believe Americans will pay more for high quality and American made. Look at SnapOn tools, Tesla as two examples.

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #51 on: July 24, 2019, 12:58:47 PM »

No argument there except to ask, are you ready to pay $90 for a t-shirt, and $135 for a button down tailored shirt? I'm not. If I'm going to pay over $2000 for leathers, it will be tailored made by Bates (which I have) or Langlitz, not HD.

While the T-shirts may not be $90, most of their made in China button up "dress" type shirts are already $90 to $125 bucks...I know cause I've got about 12 different ones hanging in the closet.  Logo'ed T-shirts are still $40 to $60 plus so yes, if I had the option of buying American made products and pay a bit more, sign me up.  The China T-shirts that Vickie has purchased over the years have held up through maybe 3 washings and started growing holes in the fabric...all of them...and they, being "fancy" women's shirts were in that $50 to $70 buck range... >:(

By the way, there is a dealer in KY that tried the experiment on having US made T-shirts and the current overseas offerings and guess what?  They couldn't keep the US stuff in stock and it was only $5 or so more on each item.  I'm not sure if they are still doing this but it worked for a while.

I know this discussion has morphed into something different than the original discussion on a dealer that didn't pay it's bills to the MoCo but part of the issues IS the buy 'merican product is pretty much just that in name only.  Produce a product that is actually made entirely in the U.S., limit production on the entire motorcycle line-up, keep the prices as is for a bit on bikes, parts and clothing and that store along with others with one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel will start to turn around.  Buy American should mean something.  Buy American quality should mean something. 
« Last Edit: July 24, 2019, 01:06:48 PM by Haird »
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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #52 on: July 24, 2019, 09:30:36 PM »

Unfortunately, if a company produced "All American" products, the high cost would drive buyers to other brands produced offshore.  If you balk at paying $75 for a HD shirt made in Vietnam, you'll really balk at that same shirt made in the US with a $100+ price tag.  Publicly held companies exist to make money for the stockholders.  It would be a very interesting stockholders meeting if the CEO stood up and said stock prices didn't perform as expected because we decided to sell only US made clothing, and in order to keep the price point, we had to cut our clothing profits by 25%.

Plus, institutional investors, like pension funds and mutual funds, are going to find other places for their money, which would drive the stock down further. 
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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #53 on: July 24, 2019, 09:57:24 PM »

Unfortunately, if a company produced "All American" products, the high cost would drive buyers to other brands produced offshore.  If you balk at paying $75 for a HD shirt made in Vietnam, you'll really balk at that same shirt made in the US with a $100+ price tag.  Publicly held companies exist to make money for the stockholders.  It would be a very interesting stockholders meeting if the CEO stood up and said stock prices didn't perform as expected because we decided to sell only US made clothing, and in order to keep the price point, we had to cut our clothing profits by 25%.

Plus, institutional investors, like pension funds and mutual funds, are going to find other places for their money, which would drive the stock down further.
Your probably right; sad statement about US public traded companies. They tend to be short sighted.

Companies in Japan and Europe tend to prioritise differently. They don't place profit margins above all else.

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #54 on: July 25, 2019, 08:47:15 AM »


Fortunately for Harley there are still a lot of people who will (and have been) paying way more than reasonable prices for things, so I don't buy the idea they couldn't sell clothes and accessories made in the USA if they wanted to do so.  The real reason they abandoned American products in favor of Chinese products is pure greed.  Note they didn't reduce any prices when they switched to third world suppliers, they increased prices.  I remember years ago buying chrome pieces that were still made in the USA, and the parts were heavy weight with excellent plating.  A few years later parts I bought were now from China, made of a lighter gauge metal and the plating was poor, but the price had gone up.  The executives and stock holders were happy, so who cared that the customers were being screwed.

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #55 on: July 25, 2019, 09:46:00 AM »

The real reason they abandoned American products in favor of Chinese products is pure greed.

Spot on. It's become HD/Walmart, a "Superstore" that sells Chinese made "stuff" to maximize profits. It's the American Way. Yes there are a few dealerships who actually cater to customers, but most have become motorcycle selling Walmart. Yes they have "Bike Night", with hot dogs, but it's all to get you into the store to by those Chinese t-shirts.

But I could be wrong.
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scottt

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Re: Dealer closed due to unpaid bills.
« Reply #56 on: July 25, 2019, 12:12:17 PM »

Spot on. It's become HD/Walmart, a "Superstore" that sells Chinese made "stuff" to maximize profits. It's the American Way. Yes there are a few dealerships who actually cater to customers, but most have become motorcycle selling Walmart. Yes they have "Bike Night", with hot dogs, but it's all to get you into the store to by those Chinese t-shirts.

But I could be wrong.
Sadly, i agree. When Harley outsourced there engine crankshaft production to China, that said it all. The quality of those cranks have never been as good. Guess it's cheaper to repace the occasional bad crank than make first quality units day one. Especially considering the fact that most Harley owners put so few miles on there bikes.



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