BEFORE the end of this year, the Indian and Victory Motorcycles dealerships in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne will close their doors, with importer Polaris deciding to switch to a private dealer network.
The company announced yesterday it is restructuring its Indian Motorcycle dealer operations in the Australian and New Zealand markets and intends to move to an independent network of dealers starting later this year.
Polaris has managed the retail operations of its motorcycle brands through a network of
corporate-owned and independent dealerships since it entered the Australian and New
Zealand motorcycle market in 2008.
The decision to move from corporate-owned dealerships to solely independent network of dealers will be a new retail approach for Indian Motorcycle in Australia and New Zealand, but brings these markets in-line with how the company operates globally.
“Setting up corporate-owned dealership has been the right model for the past decade as we worked to introduce brands, like Indian Motorcycle, to the Australian and New Zealand markets,” Polaris managing director Allan Collins said.
“However, the response to Indian Motorcycle has reached a point where our customers
now need and demand more – more locations and more support. We have big and bold
goals as we look to grow the Indian Motorcycle brand in this market,” he added.
“Moving to an independent franchised network of dealers is more sustainable for us and our partners as we look to grow in order to meet demand, while also enabling a broader network of support and options for our customers.”
Polaris anticipates no interruptions to sales or customer service during the transition, which will ultimately result in a significant expansion of its dealer network, with plans to double the number of franchises over the next two years.
Collins stated the change will provide far greater coverage, support and accessibility to customers across Australia and New Zealand, and that it will be business as usual at company-owned stores in the interim.
New dealer partners will be brought on board in the meantime and Polaris is committed to working directly with each of the locations it will close, and will provide support for effected staff.