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OEMs Face Challenge Building Brand Loyalty at Multi-Franchised Dealerships

Las Vegas — Creating brand loyalty is a low priority at multi-franchised dealerships, according to a MaritzCX study of consumer behavior at powersports dealerships.

“Automotive is super-focused on single brands,” P.J. Tue, enterprise sales specialist at the research firm, told Powersports Finance. “If I have a Nissan dealership, I’m going to have all Nissan [vehicles], whereas with powersports, you have everything. Most of the time they sell the new motorcycles for, let’s say, Kawasaki, but then they will sell used motorcycles for KTM and other brands. Most dealerships have the take of, ‘I don’t care what I sell, as long as I sell it.'”

Harley-Davidson is the exception to the rule, as Harley dealerships exclusively sell Harley products, Tue said.

While it depends on the customer, dealers don’t typically push one brand over the other because ultimately they wants to sell them all. Thus, it’s difficult to measure customer brand loyalty from the dealer level. MaritzCX found that 68% of buyers shopped another brand.

“It almost feels like when we go to a dealership, we ask, ‘Hey, how are you increasing loyalty for Kawasaki buyers?'” Tue said. “They say, ‘We don’t, because we support KTM and Can-Am and all these other products.’ If that’s their mentality as a general manager at a powersports dealership, the same message is also kind of pushed out to the consumers. They change products yearly, every two years, who knows? That mentality and that culture need to refocus or change for OEMs to increase their loyalty.”

That’s not to say that loyalty at the dealership is down. In its first powersports customer study, MaritzCX found that 51% of consumers were satisfied with their dealer and that 43% were likely to return for sales.

Don’t let opportunity ride by. Join us for PowerSports Finance 2018 on Nov. 6-7 at the Omni Fort Worth. Go to www.powersportsfinance.net for more details.

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As Associate Editor of Powersports Finance, Matt Wood reports on the latest developments and trends of the powersports finance world, from innovation to new partnerships. He's also a movie/TV show buff and is willing to argue about Lost anytime. Former bylines include Scout Media and CinemaBlend.

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