Who Has the Best Dealer Network in the USA? Ducati

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The Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index (PSI) has become the motorcycle industry’s gold standard on dealer assessment, especially between brands. Scoring on the PSI is done by a combination of industry sales, as well as mystery shopper experiences, which Pied Piper itself conducts.

Tallying scores for their 2014 report now, Pied Piper has announced that Ducati has come out on top in the Prospect Satisfaction Index rankings, followed by Harley-Davidson (2nd) and Can-Am (3rd). Overall though, motorcycles dealers across all brands improved on their scores from 2012, with 12 of the 17 measured brands getting higher scores than last year.

The following are some examples of the insights Pied Piper gained from its Prospect Satisfaction Index:

  • Offering test rides: Recognition of the importance of test rides has driven many—but not all—motorcycle dealerships to figure out ways to overcome the challenges of offering test rides. The 2014 study showed that dealerships on average mentioned either immediate or future test rides 52% of the time, compared to only 36% of the time three years ago. However, there is much variation from brand to brand. Dealers selling five brands—Ducati, Can-Am, Harley-Davidson and BMW—mentioned test rides to more than 60% of their customers, while dealers selling Moto Guzzi, KTM, Yamaha, Suzuki and Honda mentioned test rides to less than 30% of their customers.
  • Suggesting writing up a deal: Dealers selling Can-Am, Harley-Davidson, Suzuki, Ducati and Triumph were most likely to suggest going through the numbers and writing up a deal, while dealers selling KTM, Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Victory and BMW were least likely. Industry-wide, salespeople attempted to write-up a deal 39% of the time, compared to 30% of the time three years ago.
  • Asking for customer contact information: Dealers selling Harley-Davidson, Ducati, Can-Am, Victory and Triumph were most likely to ask for customer contact information, while dealers selling Moto Guzzi, KTM, Suzuki, Aprilia and Yamaha were least likely. Industry-wide, salespeople asked for customer contact information 52% of the time, compared to 46% of the time three years ago.

Pied Piper is a company that makes money off providing research information to dealers and OEMs, so it has an obvious stake in its results. However, it is interesting to see that in 2014, there are still OEMs and dealers that don’t offer a test ride on what is essentially a five-figure purchasing decision.

You would be hard-pressed to find a car dealer that didn’t offer a test drive to a potential customer, yet the same cannot be said in the motorcycle industry — perhaps an extension of how American purchasers (and dealers) perceive motorcycles as recreation and not transportation.

With the US motorcycle market still not recovering with haste, you would think that motorcycle OEMs would be changing their stance on this issue, and for the most part they are improving, yet clearly there are holdouts in the industry.

A factor not mentioned in the Pied Piper press release is the loss of dealers during the Great Recession, as many OEMs were able to use the economy to drop low-performing and low-quality dealerships during the economic downturn.

This culling of the herd could have more to do with the PSI score trends, than actual improvements within OEM dealer networks, which is something to consider when weighing these results.

Source: Pied Piper

Jensen Beeler

Despite his best efforts, Jensen is called one of the most influential bloggers in the motorcycle industry, and sometimes consults for motorcycle companies, whether they've solicited his expertise or not.