Monday, January 24, 2011

2010 Motorcycle Industry down 23% 2011 TO BE RECORD SCOOTER YEAR

So the 2010 figures just came out and it's pretty clear that last year
440,000 motorcycles were sold in the USA. That means that there were 82,000 units less than in 2009 for MIC ( Motorcycle Industry Council ) members reported. This really is just the tip of the iceberg because companies like United Motors, Keeway, TNG scooters, CPI, Diamo and others never reported how many ATVs, Scooters, EV Electric scooters, or Motorcycles they sold. So of the 30 plus second and third tier brands none of those were ever factored in the good or bad years like 2007 to 2010 so you have a huge gap in what the numbers really mean. To me it means over 300 scooter dealers closed and with good reason because the market couldn't sustain them.

Now we enter a new phase where some counties and cities only have one scooter shop.

Will you meet the demand as gas prices go up? or will you help create your own competition because you don't rise to the market challenges of 2011 as gas prices go up? These are the questions the industry will face as 2011 has sales rise again for the first time in 2 years.

In 2009, the motorcycle industry in the USA saw a massive drop in sales as almost 360,000 less motorcycles were sold compared to 2008 this was due to consumer financing and the price of gas going down. Now gas prices are going up and consumer sentiment is back up. Most consumers can easily finance or pay for a scooter and credit is coming back to the market.

All that is needed now is for the dealer base to target them as the price of gas rises.

Gas prices alone won't make your store profitable. You have to create a better parts and service department while at the same time decide if you want to be a "me too" repair center or a destination for potential buyers.

A destination point is more than just a service center. It's the guy that solves all problems. Cares about finding that part no matter how hard it is to find. Puts customer satisfaction in all the things they do. Including finding parts for brands no longer on the market.

See if the Honda dealer only repairs Honda then he's leaving you the independent dealer over 45 brands to repair. Same applies to Vespa and others. Why have so many Vespa shops closed? One good reason is they were told by Piaggio to only repair Vespa scooters. Follow my advice and you can avoid these issues, because even with a better economy ever service and parts sale counts.

A couple of months ago I was talking to an employee of another company who asked me why we were working so hard to help consolidate the scooter industry. In his opinion it was best to let all the former United Motors, Diamo, Italjet and Daelim dealers/clients buy a new scooter. He didn't get the concept of how a dealer that sold a product a year or two ago were still liable for a product they sold. In some states those scooters are considered motor vehicles and had even more Lemon Laws affecting them. So you better believe someone who spent $6,000 on Hyosung 650cc branded UM is going to want parts, yes you can get some of these from Hyosung, but will they be in the same color with the UM logo on it? The answer is no.

Thousands of orphaned customers and dealers are out there right now and the Indiana Dealer Expo is a good place for the scooter industry to educate them. From where to find parts to why as a distributor we want dealers to repair every brand they can.

The other issue facing us is a whole new crop of investors and possible operators are looking at opening a scooter shop. Since 2008 there's been hundreds of towns left without a dealership. The thinning of the herd has now caused there to be a market gap for someone to come in and take the market share. Consumers are having to drive miles to find a dealer to install a 80cc kit or to get an exhaust from.

Having fewer stores out there you find yourself waiting days sometimes to get a scooter repaired. Shops work leaner with less inventory, fewer mechanics, so if you have customers waiting on a couch why not sell them some water? Having these clients just waiting around a showroom means you should have jackets, helmets, soda, coffee and more.

I know these are things that bigger dealers get, but scooter shops managers don't usually know that they need to stock them so the Dealer Expo is a good chance for them to learn what they need to do. What type of market they are in? How to self-qualify themselves.

Are they a price point dealer? a repair only shop? or are they trying to build a destination?

What is their branding score?
Are they selling first tier brands ( Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Vespa )
Secondary Price Points ( Kymco / SYM / PGO - Genuine / TAIWAN / KOREA )
or lower price points ( Mainland China)

How do they stack up against other dealers?

Do they stock clothing ( Armadillo ) Helmets, gloves, racing parts?

All these questions are extremely important. The other aspect is service.

You can't survive without repairing as many bikes as you can and that means knowing all the brands that are out there and where to buy the parts. That's where MRP comes to help the dealer take advantage of all these brands no longer on the market and to give you one easy place where you can get the parts.

As we go into 2011 I feel its my duty to point out that dealers keep neglecting the Used chart that is up 38% this year. Overall the industry is down, but used continues to go up. The used market for scooters is also about to blow up as gas continues to rise.

So the main question dealers sitting on a junkeyard need to ask themselves is not what they paid for the bikes, but how much they can get for them. What are you going to retail them for? Trade ins as we approach 2011 is a fast money maker for college based stores like Gainesville, Florida or Austin, Texas. In other markets like Miami Beach transient people who live on South Beach or Key West for a few months tend to buy a scooter and quickly sell it on Craigs List or back to the dealer. These bikes often just need a piston change or a new belt so they are quick money makers.


Part of being a good dealer is knowing where the market is headed and those bikes selling at the tow truck auction for $100 today will be going for $899 come April when gas hits $3.90 a few hours of work, maybe $150 in parts and you just doubled your money. Where do you get the parts for these unknown brands?

MRP - The one stop shop for scooter parts! We have it all for scooters from Aprilia to Zongshen we have the largest collection of parts in North America.

Remember many of these students on a budget or the retired guys from the RV park are trying to save money so they will want a used unit before looking at the new Chinese bike. Twenty five percent of all used buyers are new to the market, they have never owned a scooter before according to Dealer News so take advantage of this. Every year three used scooters sell for every single new scooter so that equals over 200,000 units being repaired and put back into the marketplace. Having so many opportunities out there its no wonder Honda dealers are focusing on a used unit where they can make 40% instead of the new scooters where they only make 7%. The numbers don't lie.

So if you're a smart dealership make 2011 the year of the used scooter before gas hits $4.

For more information on finding used scooter parts follow the link to the current issue of Scoot Magazine.

the largest collection of scooter parts in North America. Manuals

Stocking Dealer locator

MRP distributes OEM parts for TNG (CMSI) select models of CF Moto Daelim Motors Korea ( parts should appear on website by mid July) Malaguti of Italy ( Keeway Southeast (Keeway Vento QJ Andretti Yamati models)
CPI Taiwan Powersports Factory Brands PSF Diamo Cubik (matches OEM Vento part numbers) as well as QJ and ZNEN (who manufacture bikes for a variety of scooter importers) such as FlyScooters Lance BMS Qlink models that were ZNEN corresponding to matching TNG parts. Every scooter is someone's first ride we help the dealers and consumers find those hard to find parts. Doesn't matter what brand it is we've been doing the Chinese scooter parts thing since 2004 so we can help you find the right part. Since January 2009 MRP has expanded by acquiring the QJ -- Keeway Southeast distribution parts warehouse the Diamo USA / LS Motorsports / Italjet USA parts warehouse CPI -- TAIWAN Distribution and TNG Scooters. The company has OEM parts for Malaguti scooters of Italy Benelli (acquired by QJ in 2006) the Italian brand now made in China and sold in the USA under the Andretti name MH Motorhispania of Spain RX Loncin Lifan Linhai Zongshen Wangye MS UTVs and CPI Taiwan.

MRP is the only source for UMGLOBAL United Motors of America scooter parts now that United Motors ( has closed in the USA. We also offer Hyosung parts as well Franco Morini kits for scooters.

In addition the company distributes performance parts from Athena Malossi Turbo Kit Innova Vee Rubber Duro Bando Gates Powerlink Posh Maxxis Namura Scooter Ninja Slipstreamer and MRP. Products carried by MRP can be obtain exclusively at select Motorcycle Dealerships and Repair Shops in the USA. MRP is the one stop wholesale ONLY scooter buggy and ATV parts distributor.

For a list of retailers visit When it comes to parts we have it all: From Scooters to Chinese UTVs we got it:

Visit for more info on all the parts we sell:

* air filters
* axles
* batteries
* battery chargers
* bearings
* belts
* body parts
* brakes
* cables
* carburetors
* CDIs
* chains
* controllers (electric)
* electronics
* Engine Parts
* engines & motors
* frame parts
* gas caps and gas tanks
* handles, grips, controls
* lights
* mufflers
* sprockets
* tires and tubes
* wheels
We have parts for: GY6 QMI152/157 QMJ152/157 4-stroke engines.
250cc 4-stroke CN250 water-cooled 172mm engines.
50cc 4-stroke QMB139 engines.
50cc Franco Morini, Piaggio, Malaguti and more!

So a smart marketing savy dealer can make a name for himself in his local marketplace. They can send postcards, tweets, and flyers to all the clients the orphaned consumers out there from the local DMV registrations. They can contact the TNG, Diamo, CPI, United Motors, Tank riders and say "HEY WE HAVE PARTS" come in let us help you.

When accessing the potential of 2011 when you factor in rising gas prices, less competition, and more interest in alternative transportation this could be a great year. So there's never been a better time than now to hang in there and start promoting the joys of scootering in America.

So there he had it. It might be snowing, but he could sell boots, jackets, and maybe do a fashion show for his riders much like the Ducati shops. Selling hot chocolate or tea in Atlanta might not seem like a bright idea, but it works for many dealers. When they add up at the end of the year how much they sold in coffee and sodas it adds up.

When its cold outside people might gather up and watch a movie in your shop if you made it more than just a repair location. There is no money purely in the parts, the real money comes in building a destination point. A place for rallies, gatherings, and clients who are willing to pay more because they have a good relationship with the owner.

If your store is boring, how can you keep the interest of someone raised on Game Boys or a Nintendo DS?

Think outside the box, do so and you will sell all the clothing, coffee, sodas, and treats you can imagine. For more articles visit our site

If you've read my articles in Motorcycle Product News ( available online at or at our press section ) then you know the number one issue with small scooter dealers is making a profit all year long. Give up that extra scooter on display and focus on other sources of revenue like clothing, shoes, accessories, and of course WATER. People need to hydrate so sell some coffee, espresso, water, pre-packaged food items that don't require a health permit like ice cream. Very easy to do, keeps clients happy, and you create a destination point. For more ideas visit htttp://

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