TTRNO Brings BMW Showroom To Big Easy Bikers
The Transportation Revolution New Orleans (TTRNO) will celebrate a Grand Opening on Saturday, July 14, of the recent remodel of its 6,000 square foot 901 Julia St. showroom to accommodate BMW Motorcycles of New Orleans – the first BMW dealership in the heart of New Orleans in more than 25 years.
TTRNO reps said it’s a move sure to accelerate sales and rev up interest in new and pre-owned BMW Motorcycles, parts, accessories, apparel and service capabilities.
“We really feel that BMW Motorcycles is the cherry on top of our already incredible lineup of the best European, two-wheeled brands,” said Gayle Materne, TTRNO’s co-owner. “There has been a BMW Motorcycle void in the New Orleans area for decades, and we feel that after 16 years of building our own brand, we are the perfect location to grow BMW in New Orleans and the Gulf South.”
According to IBIS World’s industry research, motorcycle parts and manufacturing is a $6 billion dollar a year business. Statista reports the U.S. is BMW’s fourth largest target country for motorcycle sales, and projects motorcycle sales in North America will exceed 1.93 million units in 2018. There’s also been a double-digit boost in the percentage of female motorcycle ownership.
“In only 10 months, BMW has become the most profitable brand in our store,” Materne said. “We expect BMW to make up more than 25 percent of our total business. With the addition of BMW Motorcycles, our goal is to hit $5 million in revenue this year.”
TTRNO is owned and operated by locals Gayle and Stephen Materne and their sons Zachary and Maxwell, and Saturday’s Grand Opening, from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., will coincide with TTRNO’s 16thanniversary in business and offer showroom tours and specialty cocktails from Seven Three Distilling Co. Attendees will also get an exclusive sneak peek of the new, limited-production BMW HPR RACE motorcycle.
“The Materne family is a motorcycle and scooter leader in the Gulf South,” said Michael Peyton, vice president, BMW Motorrad Americas. “As the BMW Motorcycles of New Orleans dealership, TTRNO truly has a passion and knowledge of this business that’s a natural fit to serve the BMW riding community in Greater New Orleans and beyond.”
When the Materne family took a trip to Rome, Italy in 1999, they fell is love with riding Vespas and admired their two-wheeled European efficiency. Back in New Orleans, they wanted to kickstart a similar “urban mobility lifestyle” and opened Vespa New Orleans in Bayou St. John in 2002 and built the dealership into one of the largest and fastest growing Vespa markets in the nation. By 2004, the Maternes needed to expand and chose a larger, more visible location at 901 Julia St., breaking ground in April 2005. Hurricane Katrina put the brakes on the Materne’s plans when the storm hit on Aug. 29, 2005, but by February 2006 Vespa New Orleans reopened its new downtown location. The Maternes soon added the Triumph and Ducati brands to their motorcycle mix and switched gears to rebrand as The Transportation Revolution New Orleans.
TTRNO reps said they are now the only full-service motorcycle dealership in Orleans Parish; the only Vespa dealership in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi; the only Triumph dealership in Louisiana; the only Ducati dealership in Louisiana and Mississippi; and now the only Beemer motorcycle dealership between Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Pensacola, Florida.
Named a Powersports Business Power 50 Dealer for five years in a row, TTRNO was listed in the Top 10 in 2017. The program recognizes and rallies around the best powersports dealers in North America and the TTRNO family said the addition of BMW Motorcycles of New Orleans will only strengthen their position in these rankings moving forward and steer the motorcycle riding public to their quality merchandise and service.
“Only two percent of the U.S. population rides a motorcycle, and the European brands combined sell less than some of the American or Japanese brands alone,” Materne said. “Diversifying our inventory allows us to cast a wider net. TTRNO and BMW are two brands that really were meant to be together. We found we were able to represent and grow the Vespa, Triumph and Ducati representation from nothing into a major player in the market, and BMW needed that same representation in the area.”
Materne said TTRNO’s showroom has been remodeled to accommodate the BMW brand presence and the growing custom motorcycle-building platform. She said it will enhance the customer experience, increase programming and serve as a community space.
TTRNO announced it will offer a series of Tech Talks that will be open to the public including students interested in auto or engineering careers, Sunset and Side Stands up at 1 (www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3cRvfNvkrc)free organized rides on Thursday evenings and Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. respectively, motorcycle race watch parties, space for local business and entrepreneurial pop-ups and access to a dynamometer tool that measures the force, torque, speed and power of two-wheel performance.
”We are honored to add the BMW brand of motorcycles and scooters to our portfolio at TTRNO and introduce more riders in the Gulf South to this premium level of innovation, customer service and design,” said Zachary Materne, TTRNO’s general manager. “Doubling the size of our facility, we’re excited to offer a world-class service department specializing in performance, and to continue to be the go-to destination for motorcycle and scooter enthusiasts.”
“Our people and our processes have allowed us the success that we have had over the last 16 years,” said Gayle Materne. “We are constantly measuring and evolving with the market. In this industry, if you are not evolving, you are dead.”
TTRNO’s BMW dealership is the first to be located in the heart of New Orleans in more than 25 years.
PHOTO CREDIT: Cory James