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"S. Fla. Harley dealer lays off 41 workers"

BY DOUGLAS HANKS/MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Worried open-road thrills will be no match for a slowing economy, Harley-Davidson's top South Florida dealer dismissed 41 workers this week.

The firings were spread over four South Florida locations: Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Sunrise and Boca Raton. Twenty-eight of the dismissed employees worked for the company full-time, according to a statement from Bruce Rossmeyer's Harley-Davidson, Florida's top dealer for the high-end choppers.

''Nothing disturbs us more than having to respond to the slowdown in the economic marketplace,'' said Jeff Cheek, general manager of the company. "Our employees are like family, and we look forward to improvements in the South Florida economy.''

No payroll purges were announced for Rossmeyer's dealerships in Daytona or New Smyrna Beach. The company also will trim hours at its stores in Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach and Sunrise stores.

The purge follows a down year for Harley sales, which were off 4.7 percent nationwide as of September, according to company filings. Company executives predicted a challenging year in 2008, too.

Consumer spending continues to grow across the country, posting a 3 percent gain in the third quarter. But with depressed real estate sales, record gas prices and a chaotic stock market, analysts see the American urge to buy at its most vulnerable point since the 2001 terrorist attacks.
 

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Looking at Rossmeyer, he could have laid off the 41 pallets of Twinkies it looks like he ate instead of employees and probably saved as much. :hystria:
 

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Hum-m-m-m, read thru the article over on the Miami Herald and the comments/blogs related to the story. Wonder who this Jeff Cheek is...????

When we did our annual AARP ride to Key West this year we stopped at all of Rossmeyer's stores (I collect shot glasses) and it did look like he had employee's crawling over employee's in some of his stores.

o~\o
 

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think nixdad had anything to do with the layoffs?

he's been spreading the word....far and wide...:laugh:
 

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Esterhaus said:
"high-end choppers?" What's that got to do with Harleys?
I suspect the reporter was a non rider who knew nothing about motorcycles and thought he was being cool by calling them "choppers" instead of motorcycles. He probably dosen't know the difference.
 

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One or our local Harley dealer has reduced his staff by about 25% and cut overtime. All sales & service are down a lot, of course part of it is due to winter coming but this is the biggest cutback the service manager can remember.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
utrvp said:
I suspect the reporter was a non rider who knew nothing about motorcycles and thought he was being cool by calling them "choppers" instead of motorcycles. He probably dosen't know the difference.
Rossmeyer's Daytona HD store also sells customs (chopper looking bikes). Interestingly, those motorcycles were the only ones with price tags!
 

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The article is confusing because it mentions high-end choppers. It seems like Rossmeyer owns about 60% of the HD dealers in Florida. Everywhere you see a dealer, you seem to see his name. Plus, there are Iron Horse bikes and shops right at a lot of his dealerships. I am wondering if he owns those too? Could the layoffs be related to falling sales in the cookie cutter chop market and not HD?

Like was said, his shops seem to be teeming with workers too. Especially the ones around Daytona. I'd never seen a HD dealer where the employees are tripping over each other until I was in there.
 

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utrvp said:
I suspect the reporter was a non rider who knew nothing about motorcycles and thought he was being cool by calling them "choppers" instead of motorcycles. He probably dosen't know the difference.
Ft. Lauderdale HD also sells American IronHorse & Sucker Punch Sally. I wouldn't doubt that they are South Florida's #1 chopper store, in addition to selling a fair # of Harleys.
 

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Rossmeyer always tries to get a $595 dealer fee on every new and used bike sale. It can be negotiated in the form of an overallowance on the trade, or a $1000 gift certificate, etc., however it always stays on the final buyers order. This is on top of the $495 shipping charge that is added to every bike.
Petersons HD, a nearby competitor, charges a flat MSRP. And that's where the fun starts. Peterson's typically stays at MSRP on parts and labor for accessories added at the time of sale, while Fat Bruce loves to wheel and deal to make the sale. Bottom line? If you are a strong negotiator, buy from Fat Bruce. If negotiating is not your thing, buy from Peterson's.And then there are the goofy deals being made on the leftover '07's. Both of these dealers will literally kiss your a$$ to get rid of an '07.
 

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utrvp said:
I suspect the reporter was a non rider who knew nothing about motorcycles and thought he was being cool by calling them "choppers" instead of motorcycles. He probably dosen't know the difference.

don't they carry a line of custom bikes as well as Harley's
 

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I was there having a meeting with the GM of one of the stores when he had to go fire 11 people and then came back and signed a contract for bike night events.

Bike sales are way off while the rest of the store is doing very well. 10% off for HOG military and police does make a difference.

Now if they would just go ahead and extend that to ABATE members....
 
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