Parts supply, servicing capabilities and warranty support have long been key issues in the long-term viability of a distributor’s operations. As a result, many of the nontraditional-brand distributors started providing extended warranties. The parts situation continues to improve for the nontraditional brands, simply because some manufacturers are finally beginning to understand U.S. consumers’ demand for parts.
Parts support and performance parts are also catered to by companies such as Martin Racing Performance and Parts for Scooters, as well as the distributors’ own efforts. This has helped close the gap in the supply chain between the Chinese suppliers and the U.S. dealers, many of whom have been frustrated by parts availability issues in the past.
It appears that consumers are buying more on price than brand reputation alone. With distributors contending with stricter regulation and enforcement of existing rules, and with a reduction in the subsidies that China provides to its manufacturers, the prices of the nontraditional brands will have to increase — closer to those of the established quartet of MIC-reporting OEMs.