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2012 Dealer Expo
A shrunken, more efficient powersports trade show
Twenty-aught-six, the height of U.S. powersports glory, when motorcycle sales were topping one million units per year, the Indianapolis Convention Center was bursting its seams with aftermarket manufacturers pimping their wares at the annual International Dealer Expo.
Six years on and the contraction of our industry is apparent in the empty breezeways of the facility and unused square footage of Lucas Oil Stadium, the previous domain of V-Twin specificity.
Many in attendance this year claim the shrinkage a necessary house cleaning – a trimming of the fat leaving the strong to rebuild and restructure our industry as TV news talking heads whisper insinuations of a financial rebound.
The wake of the Great Recession is no barrier to innovation and could, in fact, be responsible for some of the more progressive products on display at this year’s show. At least the less-crowded paths between booths made it easier for MO to find the note-worthy hardware on display.
No show would be complete without celebrity sightings. While some like Jason Britton, Josh Herrin, Larry Pegram, Eddie Krawiec and Andrew Hines were signing autographs, others including Malcolm Smith, Scot Harden, Troy Corser and Scott Russell were representing products or merely walking the show floor.
In related show news, EICMA, the big southern Euro show in Milan, Italy, will celebrate its 70th anniversary this November, while INTERMOT, the northern Euro show returns to Cologne, Germany, in October. Show news that was no news was the expected announcement from the American International Motorcycle Expo regarding the dates and location of its 2013 show, that on-going contract negotiations kept the organization from finalizing. Touted as approaching the pageantry and prestige to the Euro shows, AIME alluded to a warm climate for its show and will be able to make public the location for its show soon.
In addition to the aftermarket on display, Dealer Expo hosts an array of seminars meant to educate motorcycle dealership owners and management, the Top 100 dealer contest, a motorcycle auction and various other events geared to industry business owners. In addition to City Cycle Sales winning Dealernews’ 2012 Dealer of the Year award, John Parnum of J&P Cycles fame took home the Don J. Brown Lifetime Achievement award.