The high-end automobile and motorcycle markets continue to resist the repeated assault of the economic downturn, with the more prestigious brands like BMW, Harley-Davidson and Ducati posting 2008 Canadian results nearing or even exceeding those of 2007. At the international level, 2008 has even been a record year for the Italian firm in terms of sales.
In keeping with the Ducati brand's exclusive image, they have opened up three stylish boutiques in California, New Orleans and New York, where the manufacturer's gems are offered in a "designer" environment the Italians know how to pull off so well.
And now one of these "destination showrooms" is opening up shop in Montreal's Little Italy (6816 Saint-Laurent blvd., corner Dante), managed by Alain Trottier and Christian Touchais, the principals at Monette Sport, the Ducati dealership in Laval. The new showroom will feature motorcycles and fashion apparel for men, women and children, including clothing, jeans, bags, shoes and accessories, all sporting the Ducati label.
"We've been looking for the perfect Montreal spot for Ducati for a long time," explains Alain Trottier, "and we finally found it in Little Italy. We will continue to sell Ducati products at the Laval store, but this new boutique will allow us to promote the Ducati image in a more efficient way throughout the Greater Montreal area." And naturally, Ducati fans will have the opportunity to admire the true works of art that are the high-end sports bikes of the famous red brand.
Other top line manufacturers are going the same way. Harley-Davidson opened exclusive dealerships/boutiques a few years ago, a strategy that has proved beneficial, as Harley-Davidson Canada recorded the highest sales increase for 2008 world wide.
Honda Canada created "Honda Centres" associated or not to dealerships, where customers can find the complete lineup of motorcycles, quads, pumps, snow blowers and personal watercraft. According to Kim Moore, Press and PR coordinator at Honda Canada, "We have opened over 50 Honda Centres in the past three years, and the excellent results demonstrate the soundness of this approach. After a first year spent optimising our sales approach and processes, we are convinced now more than ever of the benefits of this strategy."
As for BMW, the concept of combined dealerships offering the complete car, motorcycle, accessories and clothing lineups has produced some excellent results, with an 8% increase in sales for 2008 over 2007 for the Motorrad division in Canada. Their analysis of the car and motorcycle demographics revealed enough similarities to justify product combination, which also allows the dealerships to benefit from considerable cost reductions in urban areas. The exchange of clients on the floor and the increase in sales prove the value of this approach for BMW as well as other manufacturers.
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Photo Credit : Philippe Champoux
|The Ducati Montreal team: Christian Touchais, Alain Trottier, Emmanuel Lefebvre, Patrick Brazeau, Nathalie Gagnon|