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Leading Motorcycle Dealership Into Admin


juvenal
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Serpico part II

For those new to HPC, have a read of Serpico's posts on this thread:

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=35126&st=15&p=444946entry444946

Posts number 26, 31 and the rest that follow. Haven't read them all through again, but in one post he explains exactly how the banks screwed up his motorcycle business "last time around."

Edited by Tiger Woods?
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Serpico part II

For those new to HPC, have a read of Serpico's posts on this thread:

http://www.housepric...46

Posts number 26, 31 and the rest that follow. Haven't read them all through again, but in one post he explains exactly how the banks screwed up his motorcycle business "last time around."

His own sense of invincibility and indulging himself beyond belief was his downfall. Nothing to do with the banks.

I remember Serpico casting out a lot of blame in that thread without accepting the real reasons he was so vulnerable when the recession came.

Not content with one thriving dealership, he'd expanded to something like having 3 dealerships for different bike manufacturers. He bought himself and his wife top range replacement brand new cars every year, V8 types. He bought his mansion house cheap at the bottom of the recession without thinking of how the other guy lost it. He spent fortunes doing that mansion house up. He had live-in staff, expensive racehorses, and his own plane for his wife's flying lessons and all the expensive hangar fees. He thought he was invincible but he's just another of history's example of someone never expecting bust and having spent too much money to survive when it came.

Edited by Venger
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His own sense of invincibility and indulging himself beyond belief was his downfall. Nothing to do with the banks.

I remember Serpico casting out a lot of blame in that thread without accepting the real reasons he was so vulnerable when the recession came.

Not content with one thriving dealership, he'd expanded to something like having 3 dealerships for different bike manufacturers. He bought himself and his wife top range replacement brand new cars every year, V8 types. He bought his mansion house cheap at the bottom of the recession without thinking of how the other guy lost it. He spent fortunes doing that mansion house up. He had live-in staff, expensive racehorses, and his own plane for his wife's flying lessons and all the expensive hangar fees. He thought he was invincible but he's just another of history's example of someone never expecting bust and having spent too much money to survive when it came.

I doubt Serpico would have thought himself blameless and not the victim of his own hubris. We've all seen people expand too far, too quickly, take on too much debt. I've certainly worked for small startups that have killed themselves this way.

What he described quite well how a seemingly successful business can unwind in a recession, how the banks are so quick to take back their umbrella once it starts raining.

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Speaking (typing) as a biker this is very sad news, George White has always been a fine establishment full of knowledgeable, good folk - not the very cheapest but value-added. Very sad to hear this .. & a bit scared too - jesus things are getting bad.

Yup, welcome to 2012 - the year it gets even worse.

George White's was a huge chain benefiting from economies of scale - imagine how some of the smaller dealers are going to be affected.

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This could be a lifeline for them.

Temporarily yes, as anyone who wants to buy a motorbike will need to seek one out elsewhere.

Longer term, the problems that have brought GW down - lack of demand at current prices - will also kill many of the smaller dealers.

Motorbikes are a good recession / depression indicator - most (not all) are bought as a "toy" for use at weekends. As such, even after 2 or 3 owners they tend to have very low mileages (sub 10k). This means current owners are likely to just hang on to their existing bikes, potential owners who are bikeless may postpone the non-essential purchase all together.

The problems with the UK bike market have been compounded by the audience they have chosen to target. The vast majority of new bike (not scooter) buyers are men over-40. The whole industry seems to be focussing on ageing boomers, which worked really well in the last decade. I fear it may not work quite so well in the current one.

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It's going to be a bitter pillion to swallow.

The bike that most people who actually need a motorcycle for working is usually something fairly boring / modest but the market is definitely skewed towards enormous chromed Hardly Davidsons and super-exotic racing replicas. Humble 5 - 600 cc "normal" bkes (Honda CB500 et al.) don't command the same margins / repair costs and are neglected by an industry focussed on massaging the egos of fat balding middle-aged men who might take their Ducati out maybe 20 weekends a year.

Edited by Diver Dan
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It's going to be a bitter pillion to swallow.

The bike that most people who actually need a motorcycle for working is usually something fairly boring / modest but the market is definitely skewed towards enormous chromed Hardly Davidsons and super-exotic racing replicas. Humble 5 - 600 cc "normal" bkes (Honda CB500 et al.) don't command the same margins / repair costs and are neglected by an industry focussed on massaging the egos of fat balding middle-aged men who might take their Ducati out maybe 20 weekends a year.

Aye, but what we need and what we want are usually entirely different things. :D

Is there anything wrong with that?

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The problems with the UK bike market have been compounded by the audience they have chosen to target. The vast majority of new bike (not scooter) buyers are men over-40. The whole industry seems to be focussing on ageing boomers, which worked really well in the last decade. I fear it may not work quite so well in the current one.

+1 Those increasing house prices and MEWing funded that but won't any more.

The scooter market seems to have almost complete segregated form the rest of the industry who went after higher margins all the time. No sale = No (+ve) margin

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+1 Those increasing house prices and MEWing funded that but won't any more.

The scooter market seems to have almost complete segregated form the rest of the industry who went after higher margins all the time. No sale = No (+ve) margin

This thread reminds me that my brother did exactly that, albeit with 'profit' from a house sale; a yellow Ducatti something or other (no interest myself.) which he rode about twice in the year he kept it and then sold on.

Now being self-employed he's more concerned with finding enough business to fill the week.

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I commuted every day for nearly 20 years on my bikes, with very few problems. I bought one at George White a couple of years ago.

However, in the last 3 months, it has been stolen and recovered once, lock smashed three times, and cables attacked many more times. I park it in a publicly accessible private car park with a security guard. Never had a problem before.

The other problem is in the past 10 years driving standards are increasingly 3rd world in London, leaving me thinking it isn't worth it. 20 years without an accident, and now two minor injury collisions recently. Now it just sits in the garage.

The local dealers are shut down. There are now no specialists for the make nearby or parts, so the last service took 3 months, and I am still waiting on parts 8 months later.

Insurance went up from £70 to £220 this year.

Due to theft, injury, insurance, and servicing aggro I have now stopped riding.

Edited by jethrotull
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