Ski-Doo manufacturer stands by pullout from Jim’s Performance

The Ski-Doos and BRP products filled the yard at Jim's Peformance at the family firm's late-summer open house, Sept. 8, 2018. Hoards of snowmobile and ATV fans visited, with dreams of winter in their heads despite the heat that day. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News.

Iroquois dealer has sold BRP products for decades

IROQUOIS — Customers of Jim’s Performance in Iroquois are expressing chagrin and outrage with Ski-Doo maker Bombardier Recreational Products for its decision to not renew the popular South Dundas retailer’s dealership agreement.

Owners Jim and Patti Primrose have been in the business of selling and servicing Ski-Doos for over 40 years.

But manufacturer Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) — though expressing empathy — continues to go full throttle on its intended product line withdrawal from the Flagg Rd. business.

Elaine Arsenault, BRP senior media relations advisor, says the non-renewal is about maintaining a “level playing field” among BRP dealers who “must adhere to and comply with the same standards.”

“BRP is continuously evolving and reviewing its business model to establish high service standards that better meet the needs of its dealers and customers,” explained Arsenault in an email to Nation Valley News late last week.

“To maintain a level playing field, our dealers throughout Canada must adhere to and comply with the same standards. BRP is empathetic to the situation involving Jim’s Performance Plus. However, BRP stands by its decision not to renew the dealer agreement in order to deliver on its business model and be equitable to all its dealers in Canada.”

BRP, she added, “will not comment further on this matter.”

News of the Primroses’ loss came to light in a public Facebook group launched late last month. An email campaign aimed at BRP company officials is now underway.

“As some of you know BRP is trying to close Jim’s down, hoping if we can get enough people together we can keep this dealership going and be able to purchase new BRP products through them,” wrote Jason Caird in the first post on the Keep Jim’s Performance Open public group. Caird added that customers drive the distances that they do to the retailer “for that small family dealership feeling, instead of a huge box-store dealership.”

“Customer service and friendship. Patti & Jim always go the extra mile,” wrote Barry Thompson. “I have dozens of people not wanting to lose them and their small business. Keep the story out there. Send emails and calls to your local MP & BRP!!”

“This is a no brainer….people buy because of people not because of how big and beautiful a building may be,” wrote Shivawne Manor in a post on the page. “When you walk into Jim’s you are walking into a place where they care about you being comfortable and happy with your purchase. They are not pushing just to make a sale. Pushy salespeople are a large reason why we choose to leave a store.”

He added later in the post: “I hope BRP listens to their customers and makes the right decision because they can be guaranteed that there will be quite a few people changing their brand just as quickly as they chose to rip the carpet out from under our friends at Jim’s.”

“I’m new the sledding world and I bought my first sled from Jim. He made sure it was what I wanted and everything,” Tanya Lynn posted.  Patti Primrose spent over an hour with me making sure I would be warm and had the correct sizes in all my gear. I think BRP will be loosing a great deal of business if they decide to close Jim down. #BRP BRP Shame on you!! His loyalty over what??”

NVN has reached out to the Primroses for comment. It’s not immediately clear if they were given the opportunity to make upgrades or changes to satisfy BRP. (An answer to that question may have appeared on the Facebook group at one point but may have been deleted.)

BRP did not answer NVN‘s question on whether the firm intends to “sell its products in places that look more like modern car dealerships and in more urban environments.”

A participant on the Facebook page has suggested the former Kmart building in Cornwall is slated to become the site of a new BRP dealership.

The impending loss of the Ski-Doo dealership arguably represents the most significant vehicle manufacturer pullout from South Dundas since General Motors tried to yank its product line from Upper Canada Motors, just down the road in Morrisburg, several years ago. Upper Canada, of course, was successful in pushing back against GM and remains a dealer for that corporation.

Scroll down to share this article. Scroll down to search Scroll down to comment.