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Dealers list best and worst motorcycle brands

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Last-night party at Harley Heaven

Dealers in Harley Davidson, Triumph and KTM are the most satisfied with the brands, according to the latest National Motorcycle Dealers Association survey in the UK.

The least-valued franchises are Piaggio Group, Honda and Ducati.

The biannual survey examines how dealers view the major issues currently affecting them, while also evaluating how these views are changing over time.

Issues include frequency of new models, availability of spare parts, profit margin, warranty support, future profit, product advertising, brand image and relationship with the manufacturer/distributor.

Most of the issues that affect dealers also affect customers: It is important for customers to have new models to choose from, ready availability of spare parts, warranty support and a dealership that is profitable and not likely to go bankrupt.

While the survey is British, we can imagine similar attitudes among dealers in Australia, perhaps affected only by availability of spares. (The top photo shows the opening night on Friday of the newest Haley-Davidson dealership in Australia, Harley Heaven in Melbourne.)

NMDA boss Stephen Latham says dealers are “fairly satisfied with the business relationship they have with their manufacturer”. 

“Dealers are on average most satisfied with the image of the brands they represent and products they sell,” he says.  “This suggests that dealers are brand patriotic and confident in how the consumer views their manufacturer.” 

Meanwhile, another recent US survey has found that customers have halved their visits to dealerships.

Online research halves dealer visits
Customers are spending more time researching motorcycles on websites such as Motorbike Writer

The 11th annual Pied Piper customer satisfaction survey of American dealerships found customers are spending more time in online research for their next bike rather than visiting dealerships.

We believe the same thing is happening in Australia where dealers tell us customers are often arriving at their stores with more information than the salesperson.

The survey found that motorcycle shoppers are much more savvy thanks to online research, says Pied Piper boss Fran O’Hagan.

“Motorcycle shoppers today visit dealerships half as many times before buying,” she says.