Whatever the desirability of any new motorcycle model, dealership experience is essential to the success of any brand. So, you may wonder what type of distribution Indian Motorcycle is pursuing and what type of retail experience the company is currently trying to build?
When in 2011 Polaris acquired Indian Motorcycle, there was a total of 14 Indian dealers, all bringing capital for the store, equipment and merchandising. A very costly investment and a strategy that didn’t work very well due to the low sales volume of the Kings Mountain Indian Chiefs launched at the worst time of our US recession. Rod Krois, director of marketing at the Medina, MN-based company already stated that the Indian Motorcycle goal is around 400 retail points in 2014. Although the focus is right now on North America, he also mentioned that the Indian expansion will be global as well.
So, what type of dealers? Not following the single brand line strategy of Harley-Davidson stores. Instead, developing a specific to Indian retail environment within multi-brand stores. A distribution choice relying on the ability of each dealer to create the great brand experience Indian is looking for. Which one? Exactly the same as the new Indian model (s) will be all about: to honor the brand’s historic legacy and provide riders with top quality services and products inside the dealership. And if it would not work the way Indian intends? The only other choice would be to ask potential dealers to bring serious capital in store investment to have the right to carry the Indian brand.
As I mentioned before, especially since the introduction of the new Indian Thunder Stroke 111 last March in Daytona I got many emails and phone requests from here in the US and abroad to know how to pre-order the new Chief before it is officially unveiled and launched in August in Sturgis. Objective? Of course to get a low serial number of what will probably be considered by collectors an historic model… The only official statement I got from Indian Motorcycle is that “Inventory is expected to be available at Indian Motorcycle dealerships throughout North America later in the year.” So, be patient. More news very soon. (picture Indian Motorcycle Charlotte, North Carolina)