Contracts terminated

Service Dealer has been told this week that Yamaha is parting company with some long-established ATV dealers.

Anthony Deacon, managing director of MKM Agri with branches in Bedford and Suffolk, told us that themselves and Yamaha Motor Europe will end their working relationship on 14th August 2022. Anthony said this comes after nearly 10 years of success, as he put it, ". . meeting and exceeding targets every year."

Yamaha confirmed to Service Dealer that through their implementation of what they describe as their ‘Customer Journey’ approach, they would be losing certain dealerships. Adam Kelley, Yamaha's general manager, land sales, said "the enhancement of our brand and dealer network will not be aligned to every dealer and we accept in some cases we may part company with some established dealers during this journey."

You can read Adam's statement in full below.

Mono dealerships

Anthony Deacon informed us that over the last few months Yamaha Motor Europe have been encouraging the UK dealer network to purchase a large value of showroom display materials. He says this is designed to create an image the manufacturer wishes to see across their commercial ATV dealerships throughout the United Kingdom.

Anthony told us he is aware of some dealerships who have been reluctant to do this, with some refusing, which has led to the termination of long-serving, successful, commercial dealerships across the UK.

He also believed that Yamaha's intention for dealers was to be 'mono’ dealers - i.e not wanting their products to be displayed alongside competitor machines.

Anthony explained, "I had an unplanned, last minute visit from my Yamaha ASM recently. The news he delivered was no real surprise to be honest, as I have been hearing that quality Yamaha dealerships from all over the UK were having their accounts terminated.

"I had engaged into conversations with Yamaha regarding the visual identity for our new showroom that we plan to build later this year. They asked, if I wasn't prepared to terminate agreements with competitor brands, that we build a separate showroom for the Yamaha products. However, there is just no way this can be justified financially.

"It is a shame because we had been very successful with Yamaha."

MKM say they will continue to carry out warranty work with Yamaha until 14th August 2024 and offer full aftersales support to all Yamaha ATVs and UTVs for many years to come. 

Yamaha's statement in full

Service Dealer reached out to Yamaha ATV for a comment and received the following statement from Adam Kelley, general manager, land sales, land sales division.

"Yamaha is on an exciting journey, focussing on delivering a customer experience in line with our brand position. This is through a ‘Customer Journey’ approach which supports customer engagement before, during and after their purchase. We have always been proud of our innovative, durable and reliable product and together, with our dealers, we have enjoyed many years of sales across various areas of the ATV business. However we feel that we can achieve a better overall experience by adapting the approach to our customers. More lately we have been focussing on the customers motivation behind buying their products and this leads us into the three block strategy. MOVE (I need my Yamaha) – RACE (I perform with my Yamaha) – FEEL (I love my Yamaha). We feel our products fall into one of these three motivations behind their purchase decision and on that basis, how we market our products and talk to our customers reflects this direction and we are implementing a Visual Identity (VI) programme across all our dealer networks to truly reflect this direction.

However, these are just the fixtures and fittings and our approach must be consistent and in line with the overall customer experience. Other supporting projects being introduced include a new Salesforce data management system which will include many benefits. This will allow us to communicate the right engaging messages to the right customers based on their buying motivation. Other benefits include on line test ride booking, service and maintenance and through opening a MyYamaha account, will allow customers to view their products, purchases and manage their marketing permissions with Yamaha. This will be possible both at distributor and dealer level - It’s an exciting time for our brand. 

Yes, this direction has involved some dealer investment in the VI programme and dealers who have now completed the installation are reporting a real positive impact in the showroom environment. It also involves investment in managing our customer relationships and this is an area which has always been particularly strong in the ATV business as we know our dealers pride themselves on their customer service. We are taking that platform and building on it to include a digital approach to support all our activities with the aim to best support our loyal customers.

We understand that some dealers are not fully aligned with this direction and have taken the decision that this direction is not correct for their own business. We fully respect their decision in this regard, however we must have a consistent approach across the UK to support our objective of a premium brand experience. Where possible we do indeed encourage a mono dealer approach as we feel this can maximise the best Yamaha experience, however we do realise that we have some excellent multi franchise dealers in the Yamaha Network. Our multi franchise dealers will know this is our preferred route to the customer and it is down to us to ensure we can offer a realistic and sustainable business proposal for a dealer to commit to Yamaha on a Mono basis. We feel that our direction of improving every customer touchpoint in conjunction with our dealers will help us to achieve this objective.  

In summary, the enhancement of our brand and dealer network will not be aligned to every dealer and we accept in some cases we may part company with some established dealers during this journey."

Comments (2)

  • agriman


    04 March 2022 at 15:29 |
    this not good news is this super dealer approach again .


    • Jon


      22 April 2022 at 21:21 |
      Having worked in the ATV sector for many years alongside being employed in an American corporate setting, this is 'pie in the sky' accountants thinking. The agricultural industry couldn't care less about the 'journey', or logging on to any portal; they want to know a price, and that it will do the job with a good warranty back up. My personal feeling is that this will result in Yamaha losing market share instead of gain it. There was never a better time for Yamaha to start taking market share from the competitors with the current line up. So sad that this policy/global marketing strategy will destroy any actual chance. And how about we skip past the fact that Yamaha has been demanding this expensive change across the dealer network at a time when they've been unable to supply bikes to the dealer network. Talk about bad form, on the back of the last 2 years of covid as well. Bad Yamaha corporate, very bad.


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