Indian closes Aussie company stores

Motorcycle industry dealer showroom deal stores

Indian Motorcycle Australia will close its company-owned stores in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth and move to a system of privately owned dealerships.

Changes will occur gradually throughout the year with their stores closing as alternative dealerships can be found. Existing customers will be notified.

They say it will increase the spread of dealerships throughout the country.

The Christchurch dealership is not affected as it is independent.

Company history

 stores Victory-Indian-Perth-Dealership-Artistic-Render.jpg
Perth store opened in 2016

The model of a mix of company owned and independent dealers has been operating since they started in Australia in 2008 with Victory Motorcycles.

Indian Motorcycle was added in 2013 after being bought by Polaris. They sold 102 Indian Chief models in their first year.

The traditional brand has experienced substantial growth since, even during the past few parlous years of motorcycle sales, but last year recorded a 3.9% decrease to 803.

That’s still far better than the 11.9% slump in total road bike sales in Australia.

Sales should increase with the launch of the new Challenger range early this year.

Indian Challenger
Indian Challenger

In 2017, Polaris axed the Victory Motorcycle brand, but continued with the company owned stores just for Indian.

However, it was only a matter of time before they switched to the conventional system as used elsewhere in the world.

Polaris Australia boss Alan Collins says in an official press release that the model of mixing company-owned and independent dealers had worked over the past decade to establish the new brand.

“However, the response to Indian Motorcycle has reached a point where our customers now need and demand more – more locations and more support,” he says.

“We have big and bold goals as we look to grow the Indian Motorcycle brand in this market.

“Moving to an independent franchised network of dealers is more sustainable for us and our partners as we look to grow in order to meet demand, while also enabling a broader network of support and options for our customers.”

Stores close this year

Sydney Indian and Victory store - platforms halogen
Sydney Indian and Victory store

By the end of 2020, Indian Motorcycle in Australia and New Zealand will operate solely with an independent dealer network.

Indian Motorcycle says it will “communicate directly with customers regarding our specific plans in each market”.

“We anticipate no interruption to sales or customer service during this transition, which will ultimately result in a significant expansion of our dealer network – we plan to double our network over the next two years – to provide far greater coverage, support and accessibility to customers across Australia and New Zealand.

“It will remain business as usual at our company-owned stores in the interim while we bring new dealer partners onboard.”

The company’s official press release was followed by an email to all customers.

It says they plan to “double the size of the Indian Motorcycle dealer network over the coming 12-24 months, which means we’ll have far greater coverage, support and accessibility for our customers”.

“We plan to expand our independent network the right way, with the right people, who will represent the values of Indian Motorcycle and provide you with the service you need and deserve.”

Warranties are not expected to be affected.

Customers are invited to call their Indian Motorcycle Australia Customer Service Centre on 0460775949 “for a chat” or contact them via email.

20 Comments

  1. When seriously considering buying a new Indian last year, the salesman told me that Polaris ‘guarantee’ a higher trade-in price to keep the values up. Will this change without their support, bringing their second hands down to the s… level they were offering me for my non-Indian trade?

  2. I feel for Indian owners. This is the same model BRP uses to kick the customer from pillar to post. Any contact with any issue to BRP direct is met with “contact your dealership” who are often as in the dark as we the owners are. There are BRP people in Aus, but we have never been able to figure out what they do or comtribute. As an example, my spyder was meant to come with roadside assist, and still didnt have it after 3 months. I could see the dealer was getting stuffed around so made some calls my self. Was 1st told “we dont have anyhting to do with that” to being sent a list of insurance companies and told to call them all to see if any had my bike listed as having roadside assist. WTF. Thankfully Fair Trading got involved and got it sorted

  3. Sounds like the typical Harley Rider. Have you rode the Indian Challenger? For the most part it’s stomps both glides easily everywhere.

  4. Not being a fan of franchises which squeeze
    Every drop of money out of independent owners that they can do I’m not so sure of the value of this. But of course Indian is a high-end product with high end customers willing to dish out big money. So I wish the company and all good luck with this decision.

  5. Reminiscent of the old days when H.D. supported independent shops. The competition kept used and new parts cost low.
    Now with a older model everything is ordered from the dealership only

    1. Contact Rollies Speed Shop in Brisbane , who sell massive ammounts fo the dealers network of aftermarket accessories , like SnS , Baker , Arlen Ness etc etc .

  6. Indian is not for me personally, but I think it is great that they are marketing to blind motorcyclists, those most inclined to buy a Challenger with that unique fairing.

    1. I guess Indians are cool if you want a hideous plastic version of a once-cool company that died in the 1950’s and you’re either a woman, or a man who literally can not work with his hands to save his own life. Or if you’re blind.

      1. So you left out of your comment , what you enjoy . Maybe a HD Shovel , or maybe an xs650 yammy . Modern motorcycles are made to a much higher std than either of those or similar . You obviously never liked Indians , as Polaris has done an amazing job of recreating that Iconic Indian style . If you can get past your mindset , take one for a ride . Press the button and enjoy that great ride .

  7. Kim – Do you really think Indian corporate sold the bikes cheaper than an independent dealer would? I’m surprised Indian chose this route in the first place, instead of hooking up with proven retailers – marketers – in each state.

  8. I purchased my Chieftain for Adelaide Motorcycle Centre in Stepney and as it is already an independent I doubt there will be any difference in service for me. I think independent dealers is the only logical way to go as they can have a mix of makes & models to suit their customers.

    1. IanJH, I agree mate. It’s good to purchase from a couple of dyed in the wool motorcycle enthusiasts like Mike & Brenton at Adelaide motorcycle centre. Down to earth with a personal touch. Look what’s happening with Harley Heaven, punters are now prefering to deal with Blair at Adelaide Bike Works than dealing with corporate goodies like HH. Just my opinion

  9. Yep, the only change will probably be increased costs to the end users. As happens to all companies that change to stand alone agent based distrobution systems. Each independant outlet is there to make a profit, as is The Indian brand owners, hence end user pays.

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