Big Dog Motorcycles Shuts Its Doors

04/05/2011 @ 5:42 pm, by Jensen Beeler17 COMMENTS

More bad news from the business sector this week, as reports are starting to come in that Big Dog Motorcycles has shut its doors after being taken over by the company’s creditors. With the banks halting the production line, this is effectively the end of one of the largest (if not the largest) custom motorcycle builders in the world. Cyril Huze broke the news on his blog on Monday that the company had closed its doors, but Big Dog President Mike Simmons denied that news on Monday.

However Big Dog dealers have since confirmed that company owner Sheldon Coleman has contacted them, informing them of the bank’s take over, and that the business and production would be ceasing. Coleman is reportedly planning on starting a new company that would supply parts to current Big Dog owners.

The recessed economy was clearly tough on the motorcycle industry, with even behemoth Harley-Davidson seeing its sales and revenues take a massive dive. With Big Dog Motorcycles operating in a more premium sector of the industry, the company’s customer base fell out from underneath them, and the low-volume/high-premium sales plan proved to be unmanageable in the economic climate.

Started in 1994, estimates put the total output of the company around 25,000 motorcycles in that roughly 18 year period. If it’s true that Coleman intends on supporting that market with his new business venture, it’ll be another tough business case to sell as the total available market shown there is extremely small. A sign that the chopper market is dying? Only time will tell. Thanks for the tip Dan!

Source: Cyril Huze, DealerNews, Wichita Business Journal