Thursday, April 25, 2024
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“Trade is good”

A message from Philip Youles, Chair of the National Motorcycle Dealer Association (NMDA) and owner of Youles Motorcycles, Manchester & Blackburn.

Trade is good and the market buoyant. I don’t know about other dealers but I’ve really enjoyed some of the challenges of lockdown. I don’t want to sound crass and insensitive as it’s obviously caused a lot of heartache and emotional stress for many people. But hasn’t it been wonderful to be able to just get on with the job, Manufacturers take note. I’m not just talking about the ones I deal with, as other dealers from brands I don’t represent have uttered these words. It’s just been bliss to be able to actually focus on putting the customer first, and putting them on the product. The feeling has been, you are open and we are grateful for everything you’re doing both in terms of looking after the customers and the brand. No nonsense dealing, this brought the really good old days into the fore of my memory when I first started dealing with a manufacturer ak Wilf Green of MZ fame. ( John Feathers did mention Wilf in his column first but it was I who prompted him) Simple product simple pricing sold on a simple HP agreement with a simple to administer insurance scheme. Oh and with no floor funding, you paid up front cleared funds and a very abrupt style of motivation to his network. For a few weeks it’s felt like the clock had been turned back to 1989. I know that actually things probably weren’t as rosy as I remember them but we suddenly seem to have being selling bikes again. Maybe there is a lesson there in keeping it simple mind you, I’ve never liked complicated.

Blackburn is seeing a rise in Covid-19 cases or at least they are testing more people and therefore finding more of the virus. Face masks are looking like they are going to become mandatory. There are plenty of column inches related to the benefits versus the negative impact of wearing and not wearing a face mask but for me the big negative will be not being able to see the customer smile. I delivered a few bikes in the van during lockdown and that was truly the best job I’ve done for a while. In fact I’d forgotten how good it is to see the beaming face of a customer as you turn up in the van with their new steed.

With renewed vigour I’ve got excited about the job again. Two wheels just makes so much sense. As an industry we have a superb product that only needs a bit more recognition from the road planning bods and we have a truly effective transport solution. I’ve tried to instigate a petition to allow motorcycles and scooters into bus lanes and had hoped the petition would be up there and I’d be encouraging everyone to sign it, in fairness I was warned this wouldn’t be straight forward. I’ve had to start this in my own name as an association is not allowed to create a petition, that was mistake  number one. The NMDA are supporting this and Fred from the NFDA has helped with the submission. It seems as though the government are kicking all these requests into the long grass and giving all these COVID excuses as to why their normal two week turn-around is taking forever. Maybe a petition to ask why petitions aren’t being dealt with is in order!!  Just thought I’d keep everyone up to date as at least we are trying something and rest assured I’m like a dog with a bone now so you won’t hear the last of this.

 

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