Earlier on in the season Honda dropped a potential bomb on their existing dealerships by announcing their intention to move towards a single-line dealership model. That being an “everything Honda under one roof”, where you’ll not only find bikes, but cars, ATVs and general power equipment too.
At the recent media meeting they clarified their position somewhat stating that the new format will come in two versions:
1) Everything (including cars)
2) Everything (excluding cars)
Option 2 will likely come as a great relief to motorcyclists who generally dread having to deal with a car guy when it comes to their motorcycle/questions. Oh, and this is not carved in stone. Honda will be keeping some multi-line dealerships although they will have to specialized one – like racing specific, etc.
As for the numbers of dealers in this format, they currently have 7 in operation with plans to have 20 up and running by the spring of 2008.
I worked, for many years, at a Honda full line dealership. For a while it was a moderate success. But cars and everything else was an oil and water situation. They do not mix well.There was some crossover but too many areas where specialized knowledge was required to service a customer properly. Eventually the automotive side was making far more money with a fraction of the effort. It is a simpler business. Product knowledge is easier, fewer models of vehicles to know. I always said that in motorsports we worked with toys. We were the enthusiests. The car side is different. The M/S closed up.