Buffalo, NY: In February this year, Dunlop Motorcycle Tires introduced its Dunlop Pro Dealer Program. This innovative program provides qualified dealers with significant benefits to help boost sales, including an exclusive road hazard program, in-store marketing, customizable marketing materials, product training, Pro Dealer exclusive consumer rebates and other promotions to drive traffic to their store.
In September, Dunlop selected its first Dunlop Pro Dealer Council to tour the Buffalo, NY, manufacturing facility, to discuss how Dunlop is doing in the marketplace, and to provide feedback on Dunlop’s Pro Dealer program. This group of 10 Principals, General Managers, and Parts Managers were selected from the over 2,100 Dunlop Pro Dealers around the country.
“Dunlop has introduced several industry changing initiatives in 2016,” said Rob Montasser, Director of Sales at Dunlop. “We introduced the Dunlop Pro Dealer program, we became the first major motorcycle tire manufacturer to implement a MAP policy, and we re-organized our field team to enable us to visit several thousand more dealers than we normally visit in a year. We selected this great group of dealers for our Pro Dealer Council to give us feedback on those initiatives as well as to gain their insights on what they are seeing in the marketplace.”
In addition to getting their feedback and perspective, Dunlop took the group on a plant tour through the Buffalo, NY, facility. This was a particularly enlightening experience for the dealers.
“I think my concept of the way the tires were produced was turned on its head,” said Paul Trew, Parts Manager of Cycle World of Athens. “It’s not as automated as I thought it would be. There’s a lot more hands-on production than I assumed. I thought they just spit tires out on a line, and that is not the case at all.”
“It’s not what I was expecting at all,” added Ozz Demirjan, Parts Manager of Pro Caliber. “During the tour, I kept hearing the word custom and how many ingredients it takes to make a tire. The grip, the amount of compound, it’s incredible.”
Dwayne Yeary, General Manager, Cycle Outfitters, said, “I have a whole new respect for Dunlop’s Made in the U.S.A. statement after seeing the quality that goes into the product.”
David Koup, General Manager of Koup’s Cycle Shop, added, “On the assembly line at the quality control station, they check and double check the quality of tires being made. The hands-on aspect of quality control impressed me and opened my eyes up to the manufacturing process.”
One of the big takeaways by the dealers was a shift in thinking. Perry Dubois, Parts Manager of Honda of the Ozarks, put it best. “As dealers, we have moved away from speaking about value in presenting products to customers because we’re trying to compete and are always immediately discussing discounts. When you’re speaking about Dunlop tires, you can talk about quality and value and move the conversation away from discounts. The tour really opened my eyes to what quality really means in a tire.”
After the tour, the Pro Dealer Council and the Dunlop team spent the rest of the day discussing the effectiveness of Dunlop 2016 initiatives and what the Dealer Council would like to see from Dunlop in the future.
“I would say our inaugural Dealer Council meeting was a success,” said Montasser. “We certainly learned a lot from the group, and we plan to use their feedback for our 2017 planning and beyond. In addition, and equally important to us, we had the opportunity to show this group that Dunlop motorcycle tires are not just round and black. Every tire is touched by almost 50 sets of hands from folks who take great pride in what they do, and many who ride on those tires themselves.”
The Dunlop Pro Dealer Council agreed.
“It was refreshing to spend one whole day with other dealers and people that know the industry,” stated Paul Zublionis, Owner of Honda Powersports of Crofton.
“Dunlop’s willingness and wanting to hear the truth shows a lot,” said Brian Steel, Parts Manager at Triangle Cycle.
“Eye opening,” said Brian Johnston, Parts Manager from Barney’s of Brandon, “I didn’t think I could come here and talk about tires for hours, but I learned a lot.”
The 2016 Dunlop Pro Dealer Council Attendees
– Brian Johnston – Barney’s of Brandon – Tampa, FL
– Paul Trew – Cycle World of Athens – Athens, GA
– Paul Zublionis – Honda Powersports of Crofton – Crofton, MD
– David Koup – Koup’s Cycle Shop – Harrisburg, PA
– Perry Dubois – Honda of the Ozarks – Springfield, MO
– Brian Steele – Triangle Cycle – Danville, VA
– Ozz Demirjan – Pro Caliber- Vancouver, WA
– Dwayne Yeary – Cycle Outfitters – Indianapolis, IN
To find out more about the Dunlop Pro Dealer program, go to dunlopprodealer.com, or contact your distributor representative.
About Dunlop Motorcycle Tires
Dunlop is the largest supplier of original equipment and replacement motorcycle tires in the U.S.A. and the only manufacturer of motorcycle tires in North America. For more information, visit www.dunlopmotorcycletires.com.