It seems like only two months ago that I wrote that the “Great Distribution Experiment is Over“, and that electric motorcycle companies Brammo and Zero Motorcycles need to get on-board with established motorcycle distribution methods. As I mentioned in what I’m sure many found to be a snooze fest of an article, there are of course drawbacks and flaws to the dealership model, but for early-stage cash-strapped companies like the ones in the E2V market, this is a battle of the middleman is best to be fought another day.

I have to apologize to my regular readers, as I’m sure the relevancy of such an article to your daily “eat, sleep, ride” lifestyle was dubious at best, but from time-to-time the words on this site are meant for a select group, but better aired publicly (even if it does land me in a heap of trouble from time-to-time). As such, it’s refreshing to see then that Zero has recently announced its signing of several key dealerships, and now we get word that Brammo has hired Jim Marcolina away from Harley-Davidson, to build the Ashland, Oregon company’s dealer development team. So…umm…group hug?

Anyhoo…Marcolina formerly held the title of Director, Dealer Development/Dealer Relations at Harley Davidson, and will be in charge of prepping and signing-up established top-tier motorcycle dealerships to carry Brammo electric motorcycles, or as Brammo’s CEO Craig Bramscher puts it: “Jim brings a deep knowledge and understanding of the motorcycle industry that will accelerate the growth of our dealer network.”

“There are hundreds of dealers who have applied to carry the Brammo range of motorcycles and Jim will be helping us to select the best and will then ensure that they become successful Brammo dealerships,” Bramscher concluded.

It’ll be interesting to see now how many bikes Brammo sells, and perhaps more importantly who buys them, now that the company is selling its product next to Honda motorcycles instead of Kenmore dryers. Time, as always, will tell, but I think this is a smart move for the Ashland team, though the prior endeavor was an intrepid one to say the least.

Source: Brammo; Photo: Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

  • Shoya

    A motorcycle guy who knows people who sell motorcycles to motorcycle buyers. Seems logical………….

  • Sid

    “Seems logical”, true, but Buell & HD dealerships come to mind when reading this post. From my own experience, some of Buell’s inability to reach sales potential were the HD dealerships themselves.

    I hope questions about that management were drilled during the interview process.

  • Westward

    A guy that knows how to sell a Harley is the wrong guy to sell an electric motorcycle… Marcolina, would be better suited to help Indian or Victory sales…

    The chrome and loud pipes crowd are not the demo… One can only hope this guy is a think outside of the box kind of guy… Or rather a “Think Different” type of person…

  • Shoya

    I don’t think the type of motorcycle matters so much when you’re talking Dealer Relations. Everyone knows what a Harley is – I doubt he had to show up with one and rev the engine to convince them. My comment was meant to point out that this new strategy of selling Brammo motorcycles to motorcycle people makes a lot more sense than the previous strategy of selling Brammo motorcycles to Tech Geeks. Electric motorcycles will initially be purchased by motorcycle people as 2nd or 3rd bikes. Someday “regular” people may purchase them as 1st bikes, but we’re not there yet. Of course Brammofan is an anomaly, but we already knew that.

  • Westward

    @ Shoya

    It’s a reasonable strategy to implement a traditional game plan, but don’t put all the eggs in one basket. tech geeks weren’t necessarily the demo, i think when it came to selling bikes at Best Buy. But the visibility was there… The only problem was trying to get a Best Buy employee excited to sell an electric bike. Apple sells it’s products in that store, but they have their own representative there to handle the hand questions…

    The market for Brammo should not be traditional motorcyclists, it should be the people that would consider buying a scooter to tool around town, the college student, etc. etc.

    It’s akin to trying to sell a Prius in Texas to the monster truck and SUV crowd, not gonna happen really. But in California, to the eco conscientious, the Prius are dime a dozen…

    What Brammo should do is take a page out of the Honda (when it first entered the motorcycle market) and vespa book, and build its following around that type of consumer…

    The traditional motorcyclist will come around when the bike can at least sustain 200 kmph for nearly as many miles, also, produce shorter charge times, and not price compare to a Ducati, but rather a Kawisaki 250R or a Suzuki SV650 in the off season…

    Well, that’s my twenty-five cents worth…

  • joe

    Harleys dealer network is slick to say the least, I am almost certain Ducati took note to improve their own. They definitely need exposure to a wider audience, long term demos for dealership employees, demo days for anyone slightly interested, just let everyone see them, and know they’re not a novelty. We have a local dealer who had Zero’s, but they only had one on the floor, and they were willing to let you test ride, but they were not hyping that you could. I think they did a disservice to the electric motorcycle in the process. Right now it is a novelty, but to get past that will take familiarity. It’s a trip to think my first American made bike might be electric.