We decided to track some new data, here are the results
As of the end of 2015, I had been in the scooter business for almost 12 years. My team has done a great job of building one of the top dealerships in the country. We are dead set on making Gainesville, FL the scooter capital of the world and building the single greatest scooter dealership in existence. Over the years we have represented many scooter distributors and we consistently have more knocking on our door to get us to represent their product. We take this very seriously and we cherish the relationships we have built with our distributors. One of my goals is to be the number one dealer for every distributor we represent (and I’m talking about # of units sold). To maintain and build upon the great reputation we have built, we need our distributor’s products to be the best. For this reason, my team and I collected this data…
The number of warranty hours billed per brand (distributor).
Here’s the thing… All distributors have their own warranty. Many cover specific parts for a specific amount of time (for example: electrical components for 90 days). They all do it. Honestly, I don’t like it. There are basically “limits” to the warranties the scooters come with. I’ve always referred to as the ‘nickel and diming effect.’ Personally, I feel like warranties should be simple, easy to understand, and easy to remember → For that reason, New Scooters 4 Less, has always taken distributor warranties and made them better. It costs us money, but it’s what’s best for our customers. So no matter what the “limits” are to the warranties the distributor provides, we remove them and make it easy. For example, we may only get a parts warranty from Wolf Brand Scooters and Bintelli Scooters, but WE (New Scooters 4 Less) provide a 1 year parts AND labor warranty. In short, we cover the labor at our expense. The only distributors (that we represent) that currently provide a parts AND labor warranty are Vespa, Genuine, and Adly (and now GenZe, a new distributor we picked up). Even some of them have limitations within their warranties though.
As my team and I prepared for 2016, I wanted to know how much labor we were spending per brand (distributor). We created product codes within our point of sale system and every time we did warranty work for a customer, we allocated how much labor time was spent doing that work per distributor. At the end of 2016, we had a year’s worth of data showing how many hours of warranty labor we spent per distributor. Here is the data…
Genuine Scooters overall are the best value. For every Genuine Scooter we sell, we can expect 6.7 minutes of warranty labor. As a dealership, will this affect the way you sell? For sure! We know that by selling a Genuine Scooter, our customers are going to have very little (if no) issues. Issues = headaches. Customers hate headaches. Dealerships hate headaches. Enough said. The scooters are awesome. I have not found a 50cc scooter I like more than Genuine. These numbers further prove why. (Note: we ONLY sell Genuine 50cc scooters → Buddy Scooters and Roughhouse Scooters. This data doesn’t include the Genuine Stella or other models.)
Vespa Scooters (Piaggio Group) are amazing too. The quality has always been there with a Vespa. I think one would be surprised to see that Genuine Scooters were a tad better in our data shown above, but I have always been a huge Vespa fan and expect their marketshare in Gainesville to grow.
Bintelli Scooters distributes Adly and the truth is Bintelli hasn’t been distributing them that long. I would give this more time. The number doesn’t compare to Genuine at this time, but again, Bintelli has been distributing Adly for such a short period of time. I expect this number to improve dramatically.
Finally, we have Bintelli and Wolf Scooters, two of the best Chinese brands I have come across in my many years in the industry. Both of these distributors have shown me that they care about improving their products. They are both always open to receiving feedback from me. When you look at the graph, you will see that for every Bintelli Scooter sold, we had an average of 19.2 minutes of warranty labor and with Wolf Brand Scooters we average 29.6 minutes of warranty labor. We don’t sell cheap cheap cheap brands like Peace Sport and Tao Tao scooters (so that data is not present above obviously), but I can tell you that due to the hundreds upon hundreds of Peace Sport and Tao Tao scooters we see through our dealership for service, I know the amount of warranty labor would be WAY more than both Bintelli and Wolf. (If anyone carries Peace Sport, Tao Tao, or any other Chinese brand of scooter, I would love to collaborate on this project for 2017 and beyond → Collin@NS4L.com.)
Side Note: My service team tells me the following… They prefer to work on Wolf Scooters. The RX50 in particular (one of our most popular sellers) is easier to take apart quickly and the warranty issues seen over the last year are easy to repair, whereas with Bintelli, the warranty issues have been more difficult to access on the scooter (for example, there has been a defect with a few of the taillight harnesses where the taillight bulb goes out and the taillight harness has to be replaced. This repair is lengthy time wise and can be frustrating). It’s hard to say what is better? → More than one warranty issue that are quick warranty issues? = Wolf. OR Less warranty issues that are longer to repair? = Bintelli.
I met with Bintelli on a business trip a week ago and shared this data with them. They had the response I wanted from a distributor… “We will take it and improve.” In fact, they had already taken our feedback on the taillight harness and had been in discussions with the manufacturer. Excellent news. I love seeing a distributor take feedback and execute changes quickly.
Wolf has done this many times as well. Their response to any issue has been professional and fast. We, as dealers, need this from our distributors.
This is why I decided to collect this data. The truth is, distributors won’t be able to improve as fast without the help of their dealers. From what I can see, most dealerships don’t care and have no interest in tracking this type of data. The dealerships like ours want the products to continue to get better and better for our customers, so we will continue to use this information to do one thing → Hold our distributors accountable by finding ways they can improve their product.
A note to any customers reading this: Our goal as a dealership has ALWAYS been to provide you with the best quality product, with the most value adds, at the best possible price. There is a reason you don’t see the cheap cheap Chinese scooter brands in our shop (Tao Tao and Peace). They don’t line up with our core values (we want to represent QUALITY), therefore won’t be in our store. Likewise, if any current distributor we represent started to decline in quality and value, we would drop them. Luckily, we have a great group of distributors represented within our dealership that are all focused on building great products. We’re lucky for that. The numbers shown above are averages and are built on one year of data → January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016.
A note to dealerships: Track this data. Collaborate with me. Let’s put our numbers together and help distributors get better. I would even love to find out how Kymco, Lance, and other notable brands stack up.
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