American Motorcycle Dealer AMD 224 March 2018 - Page 22

“I think we are closing the gaps and are definitely better today than we were a few years ago. Talk to me again in a couple of years and I am sure we will have improved still further. We have the skill sets, the experience, and the opportunity. Our quality of service is becoming world class and the quality of the products we offer already is.” In terms of the next 12 months, Graves is optimistic. He says that their court- filed business plan calls for sales revenues to be flat, “but if I were a betting man,” he says, “I wouldn’t be surprised if 2018 sees some growth, no matter how modest, in some sectors of the market. “Although Harley has its issues with 22 ‘our sales force is a distinct competitive advantage’ new model numbers, overall they are up in terms of the number of people buying and riding new and used machines. That’s good for the parts, accessory and apparel market. I do now sense some trickle down from the positive economic indicators, employment levels and stock market performance in terms of spending confidence and actual dollars. “People are pointing to wage inflation as a potential issue, but I see that as a positive for businesses like ours. The higher the disposable income people have, the better the business outlook has to be.” Talking about the changes seen at the MAG business units that were merged with Tucker Rocky in 2014, Graves says “we are now seeing some of the synergies emerge. The group structure is helping us tune the businesses to the opportunities they have. We are not worrying about the ‘why’, but dealing with the ‘what’. “If you remember my commitment has always been to do eve rything we can to ensure profitability, and the synergies we are now seeing is allowing us to make multiple, improvements that added together are significant. If there is market growth, then my job is to make sure the business units are equipped to be able to take advantage. If not, then it is to make sure they can deal with whatever market realities they are confronted with. And I believe we have already made progress and are headed in the right direction.” When I first met Graves a year ago, and again after the filing, I challenged him to speak to the profitability of the business, and did so again. “I know there is a lot of noise still out there about that, but I keep coming back to the basic fundamental about the filing. If we hadn’t been in a position of underlying profitability, our options for moving forward would have been limited. “In operational terms, the businesses overall are profitable. Some brands have made better progress than others, but they all are headed in the right direction and some of them are growing in a down market. “Once we have emerged from the filing process, we will be able to further leverage the unique skills and capabilities the group has, and the benefits of that will become clear for all to see.” AMERICAN MOTORCYCLE DEALER - MARCH 2018 Twin Power: Founded in 1982, Biker’s Choice/Tucker Rocky published a first new Twin Power brand catalog three years ago after a 34-year absence and has re-energized to program under the expert guidance of V-twin industry veteran James Simonelli. The original Twin Power program earned a reputation for providing quality performance parts at a fair price, and Simonelli’s assured curation is seeing that reputation re-established with hard to find parts, many of which are the only alternatives to often out of stock OE components, ranging from old school to tomorrow’s classic motorcycles. “From pistons for Ironhead Sportsters to high-tech lithium ion batteries, we have more performance parts for more applications than ever, tested in independent labs to ensure that they fit and work like they should”; Cyron: Chatsworth, California based manufacturer of LED single and dual beam headlights, daylight running lights, passing lights and accent lighting; Two Brothers Racing: New to the Biker’s Choice program last year, new products from the Santa Ana, California manufacturer include slash-cut end caps for its line of Touring slip-on systems. In addition to the existing carbon fiber and billet aluminum caps available for TBR slip-ons, the company now offers Touring slip-on systems with “slash-cut” aluminum end caps. Machined from 6061 aluminum, they feature a rotational mounting design and are available in black anodized or polished, and can be retro-fitted to existing TBR slip-on mufflers