JD Power released their Competitive Information Study on motorcycles today. Among the highlights is this:
The population of motorcycle buyers is aging, with the average rider age increasing from 40 to 49 years since 2001—an indication that many owners may soon exit the market. Additionally, the percentage of first-time buyers has declined for a second consecutive year, making it more critical now than ever for manufacturers to focus on attracting new customers.
So, motorcyclists are getting older every year, and new entrants to the sport are down for the last two years. These are bad trends for the industry as a whole, of course.
The key for manufacturers and dealers is to deliver on the best customer service practices they can. For the manufacturers, this means a laser-like focus on build quality, and delivering a solidly reliable product. For the dealers, pro-active communication with customers, and quality service are key. Missing out on any one of these seems to have a sharply negative effect on customer satisfaction, and on the chances of return business. Manufacturers and their dealers really do have to work hand in hand–now more than ever–to ensure a seamless and satisfying customer experience.
Those that don’t may find that surviving the current economic doldrums increasingly difficult.
The full JD Power press release is below the fold.