April 13, 2012
A quick hello and goodbye. I will be leaving on Monday for Iwata JP and a couple of weeks of meetings. The past days have been spent in preparation and my mind has not been on blogging and Sled Talk. I find it difficult when I am really focused on planning, to come up with creative topics that can be shared here. There is so much I would like to address but no way I can think of that would not jeopardize our future and my current position, (I like my job). It’s much like watching an iceberg, you get to see a chunk floating along and are left to wonder whats lurking beneath the surface, waiting for the balance to shift before it becomes exposed.
This past winter season has left dealer inventory higher than we would like, and from what I have seen in the figures, we are not alone. Overall though things are not so bad. The western region has had record snowfall and the east had a good finish as well. There will no doubt, be some aggressive sales programs going into the fall on non-current and production will likely be adjusted by all 4 OE’s in consideration of same. But snowfall and mother nature has always dealt the trump cards in this game and we always seem to persevere.
The economy has had it’s impact on us as well. One positive thing that has come out is in regards to our parts pricing in Canada. The traditional model was to take our FOB cost from the factory and add margins to average costs, dealer net and retail, based on the Canadian dollar / yen exchange. Most of this was done when the Cdn / US dollar had a significant spread, and was fairly accurate. That has all changed now with a par dollar and as a result we have taken on a pricing alignment project to balance our pricing with that of the US. Contrary to what many of you believe, some of our parts were actually cheaper in Canada but many of the higher ticket items were significantly more expensive. The adjustments have seen some prices go up, especially on parts under 10 bucks but many of them have come down (a lot). The formulas to make this work are quite complicated and effects thousands and thousands of lines. There is still a split between the two countries largely based on the economies of scale, but we are now much more closely aligned with Yamaha USA.
I’ll try to give you an update on our progress in Japan or at least a hint or two of what we had for dinner 😉 cheers cr