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Discussion Starter #1
Is it just me or is there a lot of employee turnover at Harley-Davidson dealerships? I have two different dealerships I visit on a regular basis and it seems like every time I stop in, there are new employees and the old ones are gone. Are the working conditions, pay, treatment of employees, etc. contributing factors? When I retire from teaching in 10 to 14 years, I was thinking about working part time at a dealership and that it might be a fun/interesting job but with the constant turnover in employees, now I am questioning if that would be worth my time.

Your thoughts . . .
 

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Old Skool
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We had 2 Dealers, now down to 1. They had a Hiring Event last week. Positions open, Sales, Parts, Mechanics, Motor Clothes. All the Sales Folks that nearly tackled you when you walked in are gone. They'll have a new batch in the Spring, only to be gone in the Fall.
 

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I suspect you are talking more about bike salespeople than you are about other dealership employees. And a sales job is a tough nut to crack. Lots of folks are looking for a good job with good benefits and get hired as a salesperson. But for most of them it just doesn't work out and, after a while, they leave on their own or management lets them go. You've got to be good to make it as a vehicle (bikes, cars, trucks, boats) salesperson and if you can't make the grade you will get replaced.
 

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Most salespeople in the vehicle segment are hired to bring in customers, once they have exhausted their list of friends, relatives, former coworkers, etc, they are done, Next.

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OP it all depends on the part of the country the dealership is located in. You're up north, the up north dealerships slow down considerably in the winter, layoffs happen and employees move on. I'm also up north and have witnessed the winter employee turnover.
Summer work hours can go 50-60 hrs. whereas the winter hours can be reduced to 20-30 hrs. or 3-4 day weeks. Kinda tough working a budget around that.
 

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Road Junkie
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As noted above, the front-line employees (bikes sales, parts sales, Motorclothes sales) are seasonal and follow typical retail compensation and turnover trends. Bike sales personnel are under the most pressure to perform. Pay is relatively low with back-end earnings on commission (direct or shared). The technicians are more stable once they start progressing towards their master certification, as the dealer often uses that training as a retention incentive. Once they attain master certification, they tend to stay put if happy with pay and working environment. Management turnover is usually performance based. If the dealer is part of a multi-store company (which more are today), it’s common practice to rotate upwardly mobile employees to different stores as part of their development.
 

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OP it all depends on the part of the country the dealership is located in. You're up north, the up north dealerships slow down considerably in the winter, layoffs happen and employees move on. I'm also up north and have witnessed the winter employee turnover.
Summer work hours can go 50-60 hrs. whereas the winter hours can be reduced to 20-30 hrs. or 3-4 day weeks. Kinda tough working a budget around that.
The OP is from the Twin Cities......Mogadishu/St.Paul , so imagine it is a seasonal thing.
 

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Is it just me or is there a lot of employee turnover at Harley-Davidson dealerships? I have two different dealerships I visit on a regular basis and it seems like every time I stop in, there are new employees and the old ones are gone. Are the working conditions, pay, treatment of employees, etc. contributing factors? When I retire from teaching in 10 to 14 years, I was thinking about working part time at a dealership and that it might be a fun/interesting job but with the constant turnover in employees, now I am questioning if that would be worth my time.

Your thoughts . . .
HA ! Do you really think we'll be driving fossil fueled vehicles in 10 - 14 years ? Hell by that time we might not be allowed to drive anything, the hi-ways might be all automated.
Hell 50 years ago we could project our retirement but now 10 - 14 years is almost light years!
IMO keep teaching and you'll keep learning.
 

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Former H-D sales guy here. Just isn’t good money in it if you aren’t in the front office or head mechanic. We see tons of turnover.

Fun job just crappy pay.


Don’t take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone for the replies . . . I was thinking about this more as a post-retirement job for fun or something to do part time, and not necessarily for the money/benefits as I would be drawing my retirement, taking mandatory payouts from my IRA's, investments, etc. Seems like it would be a fun atmosphere to work in - even if I was the guy that just shined up the bikes, helped in parts, or something like that! I am one of those guys that can't sit still and always have to be working on something around the house/yard/garage.
 
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