LOOKING at the success of Burswood-based JCS Motorcycles over the past 30 years, it is fitting the family-owned shop is a specialist Triumph dealership.
When it comes to selling the UK-headquartered motorcycle’s new models in Australia, none is doing a better job than JCS Motorcycles, which has been the number one dealer for the past three years.
JCS recently sold its 2,000th new Triumph, a milestone surpassing all 48 Australian and three WA Triumph dealerships.
Latest figures from the global motorcycle manufacturer show that the small business – which is owned and operated by John and Judy Slehofer and their two sons – is now the fifth largest Triumph dealer in the world.
While the shop had climbed from being the 14th largest dealer globally in terms of new Triumph motorcycle sales, Mr Slehofer remained humble about his shop’s success.
“I just love motorbikes full-stop, regardless of what it is,” Mr Slehofer says.
“I’ve always had a soft spot for British bikes, although I drive a Jaguar, and while I have nothing against Japanese or European made (motorbikes) I just have a soft spot for things British-made.”
Starting as a second-hand motorcycle repair shop in 1979 before specialising in Triumph in the late 1980s, Mr Slehofer puts his success down to remaining a family-oriented business.
He says while many motorcycle dealers suffered during the global economic crisis, JCS managed the downturn by focusing on customer service.
“The biggest dealers up until the global recession were Italy and Spain where they were doing quite big units, so when the recession happened it happened everywhere else but Western Australia,” he says.
“The majority of the motorcycle industry has had a downturn. Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki; they’ve all suffered.
“Triumph is a British brand and they do come out with some good models each year, which always increases our sales because they bring out these better models and each year they get better.
“So between that and WA escaping the recession other places felt, we have been able to climb the world (Triumph) dealer ladder.”
Mr Slehofer says when customers who put a deposit on a motorbike lost their jobs during the downturn and could not afford to follow through with the purchase, JCS offered to refund the entire amount.
When the economy began to recover and the employment rate improved, these very customers returned to JCS to purchase their motorbike.
“I think people like the personal family business that we offer, which has been the reason for the success of it,” Mr Slehofer says.
“Look, not everybody we keep happy and that’s just life you know.
“My policy here, which I think has given us a good reputation, is if you pay the full retail price, then we’ll look after you for the rest of your life.”
This includes offering customers of new motorcycles a 15 per cent discount on accessories, as well as a 20 per cent discount on the hourly service rate in the workshop.
Triumph plans to increase the number of its motorcycle models from 16 to 23 by 2011, as the company attempts to gain market share in an industry dominated by Japanese manufacturers.