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Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Distributor dealer shows

Distributor dealer shows get season off to a positive start

In one of the busiest domestic U.S. show weekends in living memory, the two primary distributor dealer shows attracted encouraging crowds, with vendors, reps and shop owners looking forward to a spring selling season that, at the very least, looks set to be an improvement on 2017.

The vibe was positive at the Biker’s Choice/Tucker Rocky Dealer and Brand Expo at Frisco, Texas, on Thursday 8th and Friday 9th February. Much of the uncertainty triggered by the Motorsport Aftermarket Group’s November Chapter 11 Reorganization Filing process appears to be largely behind them. Sales & Marketing VP Kenan Ikels’ focus is very much on the improving inventory, fill rates and timeliness of deliveries he says are being achieved, and the “Commerce, Content and Community” values with which the company wants to endow the event.

Biker’s Choice/Tucker Rocky Dealer and Brand Expo at Frisco, Texas, on 8-9 February

The majority of vendors who were exhibiting there were looking forward rather than backwards and “modest growth” was the outlook, especially among the hard parts, accessory, performance, tuning and service community.
Over 115 third party exhibitors were joined by TR/BC in-house brand programs and other Group exhibitors such as Progressive Suspension, Vance & Hines, Burly Brand, Performance Machine, RSD, Mustang and Kuryakyn to populate a show of some 140 exhibit booths in total with an increased dealer attendance that was clearly there to do business – early reports from some of the sales reps that AMD Magazine spoke with suggest improved shop orders over their February 2017 event.

At the weekend (Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 February) the focus turned to Indianapolis where LeMans Corporation, the world’s largest motorcycle parts, accessory and apparel distributor, filled one of the primary exhibit halls of the downtown Indianapolis Convention Center with around 400 third party vendor and house brand exhibit booths.
Having been to many Parts Unlimited and Drag Specialties dealer events of various kinds in various U.S. locations down the years, there’s no doubt that, despite some Sunday weather issues, the dealer attendance at this year’s “Indy” was the largest the market leader had ever pulled, and a significant increase on the perfectly respectable attendance they attracted to their Indianapolis event last year.

LeMans NVP Product Expo at Indianapolis on 10-11 February

Optimism and positivity about the season ahead was also the predominant feeling among vendors and sales reps at their show too, with a slew of new product initiatives and programs for dealers to engage with as Drag Specialties kicked off their 50th anniversary in style. The likes of Custom Dynamics, Legend Suspension, AIM Corp., Arlen Ness, Spyke, Hawg Halters, Feuling, James Gaskets, LA Choppers, Biltwell and others all had busy winters as R&D investments matured.
Look for full reports on both shows in upcoming AMD Magazine print, digital and AMDesign newsletter editions.
For the record? The weekend also saw ‘The One Show’ being staged at Portland, Oregon; the latest IMS/J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Builder Show at Chicago; and the Easyriders Bike Show at Columbus, Ohio.
Congratulations to those hardcore hard workers who managed to represent themselves at all five events … yes, looking at you “Family Ness”! Respect!!