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Thread: Bay Area dealer shut down!

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Bay Area dealer shut down!

    A shocking thing happened this morning. BMW corporate pulled the plug on MotoMarin, San Rafael CA. They called first thing this morning to give owner Cary Littell the news, then the trucks arrived a couple of hours later to begin removing bikes, parts, etc. This was a truly outstanding dealership, owned and staffed by dedicated enthusiasts. When Cary bought the franchise, it was just a hole in the wall, going nowhere. He put, literally, everything he had into the business and had just signed the contracts and leases on a major expansion when the economy collapsed. The only choices then were to either throw in the towel, or go forward and fight like hell. Cary is not the quitting type. It has been tough the past few years, and he was deeply in debt. But he tried everything to stay afloat and felt that he could make it if only his creditors would give him enough time. BMW North America wouldn't. He and his staff will be sorely missed by many long term customers and friends of the shop.
    Bill Mayer
    MOA #98888
    R1200RT

  2. #2
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    On their website this morning:

    To all MotoMarin enthusiasts -

    It is with great sadness that we tell you that our doors are currently closed for business.

    We've weathered many storms since the opening of the original BMW of Marin in the 70's, adapting to all kinds of variables throughout the decades of being in business. Unfortunately, the current economic storm has brought such a decline in revenue that we have lost our credit facilities with BMW.

    The BMW, Aprilia, and Moto Guzzi franchises are intact for the near future, but we have lost our credit facilities that are necessary to have bikes on the sales floor. We will do our best to transfer the franchises so that you can continue to get local Parts, Sales and Service here in Marin County. In the meantime, you will need to work with other Bay Area Dealers.

    If your bike is here, you should have been contacted by now to arrange its return in the same state it was left here, or repaired. Our service operations will remain open until all current Repair Orders are completed.

    If you have further questions or require assistance please call 415-454-2041 and leave a message in the appropriate departmentÔÇÖs voice-mail box and someone will get back to you

    Thank you very much for your patronage these past years. Stay tuned for more information.
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison
    http://darryl.crafty-fox.com

  3. #3
    Registered User 88bmwjeff's Avatar
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    Moto Marin to close

    Bummer, Moto Marin (Marin BMW) is closing it's doors. Another casualty of the economy.

    Their website states this:

    To all MotoMarin enthusiasts -

    It is with great sadness that we tell you that our doors are currently closed for business.

    We've weathered many storms since the opening of the original BMW of Marin in the 70's, adapting to all kinds of variables throughout the decades of being in business. Unfortunately, the current economic storm has brought such a decline in revenue that we have lost our credit facilities with BMW.

    The BMW, Aprilia, and Moto Guzzi franchises are intact for the near future, but we have lost our credit facilities that are necessary to have bikes on the sales floor. We will do our best to transfer the franchises so that you can continue to get local Parts, Sales and Service here in Marin County. In the meantime, you will need to work with other Bay Area Dealers.

    If your bike is here, you should have been contacted by now to arrange its return in the same state it was left here, or repaired. Our service operations will remain open until all current Repair Orders are completed.

    If you have further questions or require assistance please call 415-454-2041 and leave a message in the appropriate department’s voice-mail box and someone will get back to you

    Thank you very much for your patronage these past years. Stay tuned for more information.


    http://www.motomarin.com/
    Last edited by 88bmwJeff; 06-04-2010 at 06:19 PM. Reason: Added text of website
    Jeff in W.C.
    1988 R100 RT (the other woman)
    "I got my motorcycle jacket but I'm walking all the time." Joe Strummer

  4. #4
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    Very sad turn of events. He was nationally known as a BMW enthusiast. He started the BMW Sport Touring forum and the folks there have nothing but good to say about him.

    I wish him well!
    Ride Well

  5. #5
    Off shore and glassy calnalu's Avatar
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    and guess whose ride is currently in the service center at MotoMarin?? Fortunately, Nick and the service guys are (whew!) going to finish up my bike before closing the service area. Sad to say that my bike will be one of the last serviced by this version of MotoMarin. Ditto on the positive comments to Cary and his group. You will be hard to replace. Let's hope this is only a temporary thing.
    Marty Takimoto
    1999 R1100R
    BMWMOA #107071/IBA #44006
    El Cerrito, CA

  6. #6
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    Marty, if you need a ride out there, let me know.
    Bill Mayer
    MOA #98888
    R1200RT

  7. #7
    Off shore and glassy calnalu's Avatar
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    Thanks, Bill.

    It sounds like it will work out OK. Once I get Nalu back, let's figure out a ride!
    Marty Takimoto
    1999 R1100R
    BMWMOA #107071/IBA #44006
    El Cerrito, CA

  8. #8
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    That's really sad. I've been meaning to visit those guys. I guess the next nearest dealer to me, now, is in Livermore? That or San Jose.
    The only honest answer to your question is "It depends".

  9. #9
    Registered User 88bmwjeff's Avatar
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    FWIW, Diablo BMW is located in Walnut Creek; however, they don't seem to stock much in the line of parts except routine maintenance items.

    Also in the Bay Area is San Francisco BMW and California BMW in Mountain View. I've been to all the dealers except SF.
    Jeff in W.C.
    1988 R100 RT (the other woman)
    "I got my motorcycle jacket but I'm walking all the time." Joe Strummer

  10. #10
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    From Dixon, of course, your closest dealer is A&S in Roseville. But you have a lot of choices within a couple hours or so:

    (In roughly ascending distance)

    Tri Valley in Livermore
    Diablo in Walnut Creek
    Santa Rosa
    San Francisco
    Cal BMW in Mountain View
    San Jose
    Santa Cruz County in Watsonville
    Ozzie's in Chico
    Sparks, NV

    It's a real shame that Cary got shut down. His new store was beautiful and located directly off the freeway, and they had a lot of great stuff to see in person. But his timing was really bad. I hope he'll come back again in some way because his enthusiasm for the sport is catching.
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison
    http://darryl.crafty-fox.com

  11. #11
    2 Wheeled Troubador oldhway's Avatar
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    Threads Merged.

    Merged the two MarinMoto threads together.
    Steve Marquardt, 2004 R1150RT

  12. #12
    Registered User johntena's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarrylRi View Post
    It's a real shame that Cary got shut down. His new store was beautiful and located directly off the freeway, and they had a lot of great stuff to see in person. But his timing was really bad. I hope he'll come back again in some way because his enthusiasm for the sport is catching.
    Correct. MotoMarin was a class business. Their timing for expansion was worse than unfortunate. They assumed a lot of debt just in time for the well known economic downturn.

    For those that don't know, Marin BMW moved and expanded their dealership to a snazzy, beautiful new facility, and added new lines of bikes in addition to BMW, thus the name change to MotoMarin. As we all know, sales are down, and there wasn't adequate capital to weather that storm.
    I feel very badly for Cary and all of his staff.
    John and Tena Gallagher
    '06 R1200RT
    '75 R90S
    '66 R69S

  13. #13
    The Ogre
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    Latest I've heard is that they will be open on Fridays and Saturdays for the near term -- able to provide service with in-stock items.

    There is hope! This is actually more of a restructuring than a closure, at least at this point.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattman View Post
    There is hope! This is actually more of a restructuring than a closure, at least at this point.
    Last Thursday when there were smarmy young "suits" walking around MotoMarin giving orders like they owned the place, and the tractor-trailors were pulled up in the parking lot, loading bikes, it sure didn't seem like it. I kept asking James and Greg and Cary if there was any chance that this could be reversed. I wanted to know if there was anything that their loyal customers could do to help change this decision. At that time the answer was that this was the end. Perhaps something has been worked out since then. I would certainly advocate that those of us who care about the place offer our support and solidarity to Cary, in whatever way we can.
    Bill Mayer
    MOA #98888
    R1200RT

  15. #15
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    You know, by the time the flew in the "smarmy young suit(s) (more than one???) on expense accounts, probably from NY. And brought in the Semi trucks at $1.75 a mile, hired lumpers to load the trucks, I am sure they could have restructured things and saved money.

    Business schools do not really teach business, common sense, critical thinking etc. They teach at the answer to the question, what does 2+2 equal, is "what would you like it to be" rather than 4. They teach how to measure results using measurements that are simple, and easy to teach, rather than reflect the realities of the business.

    A now long gone place where I once worked, because of the lenders rules, threw out many many 10's of thousands of dollars of good inventory, simply because it took over a year to turn, and was excess, and charged off at 2X what it cost. No exceptions. Even little parts that were necessary to sell the big parts. These parts had to tossed, they could not be sold at a loss because they were penalized more for that than scrap. They had to be scrapped. When they did sell they had 500% profit margins, tossed to keep the 15% stuff. A cyclic business was expected to have consistent month to month performance. That is like an Ice Road trucking company, hugely profitable 2 months of the year, denied loans to buy trucks and equipment they could easily pay for, because they have no revenue in July and August. Of course the management of the company made many stupid decisions of their own, and gave themselves bonus to stay to the end, for fear they would "destabilize" the company more if they were gone. Best of which is I an others begged them to cut off a certain company line of credit, and they did not. When that company finally died, they were owed 3 million, not one.

    I suspect the lenders charged off more in $$ than would have been necessary to keep them going. But by following the rules, the "suit" saves his job and more important"bonus".

    Business American style.

    Rod

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