Good news from the MIC this week. It turns out the pandemic has had some unexpected effects on the powersports business. They are reporting than sales of new off-highway motorcycles from January thru March are up 18.9% over last year.
Wow! Up almost 20%!
It seems as though that despite being stuck at home, many people are turning to motorcycles as an outlet. I’ve heard similar numbers from our friends in the bicycle industry as well. I am even hearing that it is virtually impossible to get a beginner level off-road motorcycle anywhere in the country right now.
I’m also hearing that the aftermarket industry is up as well. People have turned to projects in the garage to keep them busy and getting old and forgotten machines out of the mothballs is a great way to spend some time.
So now with the increase in new and returning riders, how do we keep it going? It’s up to the powersports industry to keep a large percentage of these motorcyclists around for some time. Over the last several years, all of the OEMs and industry leaders have been trying to figure out how to renew interest in motorcycling. Well, we have it. Now what?
I’m curious to know what you think. Please let me know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by replying to this post on Linkedin, Facebook, or Instagram.
Last week the AIMExpo announced that powersports industry distributor Tucker Powersports will no longer be hosting their trade show. Instead, they have chosen to be a part of the newly rescheduled AIMExpo.
Eliminating the Tucker show and taking part in the AIMExpo is a positive move for both Tucker and the AIMExpo. In light of the recent pandemic limiting travel and large gathering and the fact that many powersports dealers have experienced shutdowns of some sort due to government restrictions, having multiple shows at the beginning of 2021 was a potential challenge. It remains to be seen if Parts Unlimited decides not to have their popular Louisville NVP Product Expo in February as they’ve done the last couple of years.
I attended and exhibited at the Tucker Show and Parts Unlimited show in 2020 as well as the AIMExpo last fall. As much as I like going to Texas in January and Kentucky in February, rolling them all into one show seems like a great idea. I’d be curious to see if Parts Unlimited makes a move. Finally, I’ve said before; our industry needs to gather together as a whole, at least once each year. The powersports industry is fun, and getting together once each year to discuss the challenges and successes is vitally essential for it to grow.
Here is the press release supplied by the MIC on behalf of the AIMExpo and Tucker Powersports.
AIMExpo and Tucker Powersports Set New Direction for their Annual Shows
Partnership with AIMExpo Delivers Expanded Product Display and Training to AIMExpo 2021
On the heels of announcing a new time and new focus as a trade-only event, the American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo) announces a partnership with Tucker Powersports, the country’s premier distributor and producer of products for motorsports enthusiasts. The eighth AIMExpo is scheduled for January 21-23, 2021 in Columbus OH.
One of the major cornerstones of the AIMExpo platform is to bring the industry together and create an event that allows the powersports industry to conduct its business efficiently while encouraging its growth through education, networking and professional development.
This partnership integrates Tucker’s annual Dealer Show, an expo and training event for powersports dealers, into AIMExpo, the nation’s premier trade show for the motorsports industry. The Tucker Show has hosted dealer attendees annually since 2008.
“Our dealers love the great connection they have with our suppliers and our brands, and now we’ll deliver that experience better than ever,” said Marc McAllister, president and CEO of Tucker Powersports. “Partnering with the Motorcycle Industry Council and AIMExpo allows us to do far more for dealers and suppliers than we could do on our own.”
Dealers who purchase products from Tucker are significant beneficiaries of the new partnership. Tucker dealers will enjoy a vast array of product training programs, a separate check-in experience, discounted hotel rooms, VIP activities and an exclusive lounge on the show floor.
An expanded list of Tucker suppliers will be invited to the show to exhibit products and host product and brand-specific dealer training during the event.
“As AIMExpo evolves and hones in its focus on dealers and the greater powersports industry, it’s imperative that we recognize iconic brands and develop key relationships that will help the industry as a whole,” said Cinnamon Kernes, vice president and general manager, MIC Events. “collaborating with Tucker in such a meaningful way further allows dealers and aftermarket brands an opportunity to connect in one place, at one time. The benefit of attending AIMExpo has been increased exponentially and we couldn’t be more excited to share this news.”
“The partnership with Tucker Powersports exemplifies one of the core values of AIMExpo – uniting our industry,” said Motorcycle Industry Council President and CEO Erik Pritchard. “The tremendous presence of Tucker dealers and Tucker suppliers in the exhibit hall and training rooms, along with the Tucker leadership team and representatives will help set the tone for the industry in 2021. Now more than ever it’s important that we share resources and come together to leverage the strengths of our collective businesses. This is a perfect example of the show’s theme, Together We Rise.”
Dealer registration for AIMExpo will begin in June 2020 at both the Tucker Powersports and the AIMExpo web sites. To participate as an exhibitor, reach out to us at email@example.com
The global pandemic caused by the COVID19 virus is forcing dealers to look at their business and adjust to the new normal. Sales appointments, no contact service deliveries, and curbside pick-up are just some of the ways dealerships are operating and making sales.
But when this is “over,” and we are back to “normal,” do these things continue.
I say yes, and frankly, maybe you should have been doing it all along. Before the pandemic, these things should have been done for the customer’s convenience; now, it is for their safety.
Mass merchants have been using Buy Online and Pick-Up in Store (BOPIS) for a couple of years, and customers used it pretty extensively. In a July 2019 study by Coresight Research, they found 50% of U.S. consumers who use BOPIS have picked up goods from Walmart in the past year, and about 34% have done so at Target. They reported 64% of consumers used BOPIS to avoid shipping costs; 37 % of shoppers used BOPIS to get their goods faster, and 36% say they use BOPIS for promotional offers or discounts. Now, almost a year later, I am sure the numbers are much, much higher.
If you are having customers buy online and pick-up in the store or curbside, will you continue to use it as part of your business model?
Significant changes are in store for the AIMExpo for 2020/2021. As they say, timing is everything and with all that is going on globally around the COVID19 pandemic and the need to change some of the show’s focus, canceling the 2019 event and announcing the 2020 date was an essential step for the show to take.
I am a believer that our industry needs events like the AIMExpo to continue to grow. We need to gather at least once each year and discuss what is going on in the industry: the good, the bad, and the ugly. In my opinion, the event needs to be in a city that is large enough to house and provide entertainment for the attendees but also small enough to allow us to take over the city. It is why Indianapolis was so great for so many years. You could walk into a restaurant, a bar, or hotel lobby and get business done with your peers. It was something that was lacking when the show was in Las Vegas and Orlando.
The shift away from a consumer portion of the show is also a positive move. While I appreciate the ability to talk one-on-one with our end-users, the need to shift focus was challenging for many of the vendors. Allowing us all the opportunity to grow our business with our dealers and distributors is a step in the right direction.
One last thing for my peers that are wondering if their company should do the show in 2021, I would say 100% yes. But it’s too expensive, you might say. I need a return on the investment you say. Here is my reply. You don’t need all of the glitz and glamor and a 40×40 space. When it comes to delivering a return, change your objective, and shoot for a return on that objective. For many companies adding a couple of dealers or a new international distributor make up all of the show’s cost. For many others, if they can get those existing dealers to sell a little bit more during the season, your costs are covered.
Look at it through a different set of eyes and make the commitment. Our industry needs this show, and it is up to all of us to support it.
Below is their press release announcing the changes.
New Time, New Focus
The Show, the People, the Experience, the Education. Building the Future of Powersports
IRVINE, Calif., May 6, 2020 – The MIC’s American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo) is moving to January 21-23, 2021 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. Previously scheduled for this October, North America’s largest powersports show is changing more than timing; the show will become a trade-only event and emerge as an integral part of the buying season.
“Timing is everything,” said Cinnamon Kernes, vice president and general manager, MIC Events. “Transitioning to the first quarter has been part of a long-term strategic plan for AIMExpo, along with providing more focus on our core audience – dealers. These changes not only align the show with the ideal buying time for dealers and retailers, but also provide the perfect opportunity for brands to reconnect with dealers, kicking off what will be a pivotal year for the industry, additionally, this move to January opens the door to partner with a major distributor in a much more strategic and meaningful way.”
A trade-only show allows AIMExpo to concentrate on industry needs and education at a time when powersports needs it most. Quality over quantity is necessary in the new trade show landscape. With this new focus on retailers, the show will now take place over three days instead of four, saving exhibitors and attendees time and money.
COVID has forced retailers and manufacturers to change the way they do business – at warp speed. AIMExpo’s education, developed in partnership with PSB will focus on these ideas and innovations to help retailers improve efficiency, stay competitive and improve bottom lines. AIMExpo will provide tools and solutions for retailers as we start the new year.
“With all that’s happened recently, transitioning to Q1 makes sense now more than ever,” said Andre Albert, director of sales and marketing. “The show will align with the order-writing time of year; it will help alleviate financial burdens in 2020, and allows us to focus on the industry and its needs. This change in timing and focus allows brands to connect with the most engaged buyers looking for growth and success in 2021. We’re excited and looking forward to the evolution of AIMExpo – Together We Rise.”
Great news from the MIC that dropped on Friday, April 17th.
Revised Federal Guidance Released Today Friday, April 17, 2020
Powersports employees, in manufacturing, distribution, sales, rentals, and maintenance, are essential workers, according to newly revised federal guidelines released today. This clarifies that many powersports businesses nationwide can remain open, thanks to the addition of new language added to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers.
This guidance, which outlines the federal government’s position on essential workers, is currently in use by 33 of the states with stay-at-home orders, and has always listed “automotive repair” employees as essential workers. The CISA 3.0 guidance for the transportation sector now expressly includes: “Workers critical to the manufacturing, distribution, sales, rental, leasing, repair, and maintenance of vehicles and other transportation equipment (including electric vehicle charging stations) and the supply chains that enable these operations to facilitate continuity of travel-related operations for essential workers.”
“We are grateful to CISA Director Christopher Krebs, who heard our case and made this important clarification,” said Scott Schloegel, MIC senior vice president of government relations. “Proper servicing of all types of vehicles, including during times of emergency, is absolutely necessary. However, everyone still needs to follow state and local guidelines, as well as health official directives, and practice social distancing.”
MIC Member Services
Thank you to the MIC for their hard work on behalf of the powersports industry.
Back in 2016, I wrote a piece on why I felt the spring open houses that so many dealers do should be moved to the fall. Back then I felt that the timing was wrong. Why go through all of the work and effort when the springtime was typically a boom for business anyway?
At the time I suggested that holding them in the fall was more appropriate. It would boost the end of season business and allow people to get things set up for the long winter in so many parts of the country.
Well, here we are in 2020 in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic. Open houses with large gathering of people are still very far away from happening across the country and even if they are allowed by government, will people turn out for them.
This makes my idea of the fall open house even better. By the end of the year, hopefully, things will be closer to normal and people will turn out in groups.