Producer and racer, Steve Keys has taken to Facebook to blast Yamaha on their recent decision to close his Sussex Dealership.
Known for the TV series, The Easy Riders, where Danny John-Jules and Steve ride their bikes on different adventures around the world, the news of this closure has come as a real blow.
Back in 1947 Keys Motorcycles was born, after Basil Keys won the Lightweight Clubmans TT on an AJS. The quick thinking Worthing man took advantage of an offer and set up the business with his brother as the AJS sales franchise for the area. In 1963 they became the 2nd Yamaha dealer in the UK and are now the oldest dealer in the UK and, the second oldest in Europe.It was in 2003 that Steve bought the business from Basil and relocated to larger premises, becoming the Yamaha Premier Exclusive dealer for Sussex. Steve continued to grow the company adding a floor for clothing and accessories, and in 2005 he opened a museum.
It’s clear to see that racing runs through the blood of the Keys family and they have a real passion for Yamaha, with a strong relationship for over 60 years. So this weeks announcement that Yamaha had decided to close dealerships across the UK, citing they had too many, has hit the Keys family pretty hard.
Yamaha said the decision was based on the economic impact to Yamaha. Sadly, this often means that dealerships who don’t have massive debt are the first to go and Steve Keys wasn’t shy about calling out the company on this. Stating, on the company Facebook page, “we are surprised” and later blasting Yamaha saying “So much for loyalty to its customers.”
It’s no surprise there is upset from this decision. With a successful business and years of heritage, it is so sad to see a company shut due to the financial impact on Yamaha. Steve goes on to say “Essentially we owed Yamaha no money, there was no debt, which meant it cost them nothing to close us. Other dealers owe considerable sums to Yamaha and are therefore uneconomical to close.”
Steve has thanked customers for their loyalty and for being a part of the adventure. He has also recommended Alf’s Motorcycles and praised the team highly.
His advice for anyone looking to buy a Yamaha was simple “I’d advise you go online for the best deals. Yamaha is not performing significantly (hence the cuts), and there are many dealers out there who will need to move stock quickly. So buy online for value for money.”
The future for Steve Keys and his team include a new service center offering full backup. He says he will remain in the industry. But the big Question is, where will The Cat buy his bikes now?
Motofire want to wish all the team at Keys the very best in their new venture