From Oakland, Calif., Claude Salmon, Harley-Davidson agent, writes that, “There was a time when things looked pretty blue, but by being patient with our customers and educating them that just because they were making a lot of money they couldn’t have everything they wanted, we have found that it did not take long to teach them to be patient and take their turn on the waiting list for parts and repairs. By carefully checking each machine we found we could make that machine run a long time before getting a major overhaul job done on it, thus conserving our supply o f parts.” Claude has checked the p.w. wants of his customers very carefully, opines that by and large they want something new. Particularly for young ladies, a machine they can lift up if it falls with them, and yet run fast enough so they can go on the average club run and keep up with the gang. A good single would be the ticket.
From Louisville, Ky., Dan E. Cunningham takes time out to add his weight to the clamor for a lightweight machine. The war, he says, has created a new demand for a light twin or a single. Dan kept going during the twixt and between period by taking on a scooter line and a motorbike. He is now relying pretty much on shop service and accessories to carry on, and feels that he’ll be able to pull through in good shape. “Our boys are all pretty hungry for some good old motorcycle sports. They will go wild when the first big races like Daytona, Oakland and Springfield are run again…those days can’t come too quick for us.” Cunningham is a Harley dealer.
One grand way to pep up sales and develop good will is the publication of a 28-page book giving trouble saving tips for motorists, writes N.C. Preston, Indian dealer of Kendallville, Ind. Ten thousand copies were printed. “It is our desire to continue selling motorcycles after the war and to build an outstanding line of sales. We are not hurt thus far by the war though our service is rushed.”
If you want to know how Skip Fordyce, Harley-Davidson Riverside, Calif., dealer, kept in high gear, here goes, and it’s a story of guts and ambition: “We played a long hunch, moved to a larger location, took on mechanics, and made sure our location was prominently displayed in front of the people of Riverside and surrounding country, giving the impression to the citizens of this community of a more solid establishment. It worked, inasmuch as we were able to sell used motorcycles to a number of older fellows who were not in the army. It brought folks into our store who n ever have been interested in motorcycles. We had a chance to point out that motorcycles are not dangerous, are economical, and a fine medium of transportation, as well as providing the grandest sport on earth.
Indian Agent Vernon W. Goodwin of Lincoln, Nebr., writes that his dry ice distributorship helped keep him going over the rough spots in MC. sales. “I went to work on the assembly line in a scooter factory, then did what servicing on cycles I could do with the parts I had. Sometimes working as late as midnight. During the early part of the day my wife and 12-year-old son did what they could until I arrived from the scooter plant.” Give him a good lightweight motorcycle and, Goodwin asserts, he’ll really go to town in a big way in sales.