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Local entrepreneur helping Harley-Davidson to fire on all cylinders

Manchester-based marketing startup GL Digital has been hired by two Harley-Davidson franchises in Louisiana, USA, to expand business.

GL Digital Automotive Marketing, founded and operated by Gary Lewis Cheetham (25) to support the growth of vehicle dealerships, has been personally selected by two American Harley-Davidson franchises to increase motorcycle sales in the new online-first, direct-to-consumer environment thanks to the development of proprietary software.

As with so many other product purchases, vehicles are being increasingly bought online. From AutoTrader and Cazoo, to Tesla selling cars from its own website and stores, the showroom is no longer the default choice. The coronavirus pandemic only accelerated this change in behaviour, and two-thirds of buyers in the USA now want to purchase their vehicle entirely online.

GL Digital’s automotive direct-to-consumer technology, which Gary began developing as a teenager, allows local and independent dealerships to offer buyers the same polished experience as Cazoo, Cinch, and Carvana. This helps local dealers compete with larger, VC-backed startups and continue serving their community.

On the strength of this technology, GL Digital has been appointed by Mike Bruno's Northshore Harley-Davidson and Mike Bruno's Freedom Harley-Davidson, both in Louisiana, USA, and is generating hundreds of sales enquiries every month. They have also built a dedicated website to generate pre-qualified finance leads and allow riders to easily sell their motorcycle to the franchise using a simple chatbot that automatically handles the process - with maximum efficiency for the seller and dealership.

Randy Bugnitz, Marketing Manager for both Harley Davidson franchises, said: “Our process is changing the motorcycle sales experience and how it is perceived, this is what separates our dealerships from the competition. Gary came in with fresh and clear ideas of where he saw our digital marketing presence heading. His process, skill set and knowledge in the digital advertising world has allowed us to test, re-test and clearly define where our marketing budget should be allocated towards. This is where Gary and GL Digital excel.”

Gary Cheetham, founder of GL Digital, said: “The days of being required to visit a dealership to purchase a vehicle are over. What we’re doing with this technology is empowering smaller, local outlets to offer their community the same polished, slick online experience that the larger, well-financed companies like Cazoo have. But more than that, it removes reliance on third-party sites which can increase their fees whenever they want to. Our technology puts power into the dealerships’ hands, giving them the ability to generate their own leads at lower costs and offer a superior service to the customers.

I’m very proud that this development has enabled us to establish GL Digital across the Atlantic and to work with such a legendary, storied brand. Harley Davidson was founded over 120 years ago, and we’ve come together as a result of Randy’s obsession with customer experience and staying on top of new trends. His team is proof that even older, established brands can continue to thrive in a modern sales environment.”


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