Medford's Naumes Motorsports closes, citing tough economy

When construction of homes, commercial projects and infrastructure were booming a few years ago, so were sales at Naumes Oregon Motorsports. Those jobs began drying up when the economy fell into a deep recession and this week owner Sam Naumes closed the doors at 2233 S. Pacific Hwy., putting 10 people out of work.

"Our business is down 70 percent from '08 and it's just killing us," Naumes said today. "We just feel horrible for our workers, but when do you say 'Enough is enough?' We have customers come in and they can't get financing. We go through the whole sales process and then they can't get financed. It's disheartening."

Naumes cited an industry source reporting Japanese motorcycle imports have declined 31 straight months, falling 62 percent in February and 71 percent in March. Sales were down 8 percent overall, Naumes said. In the West, the decline was closer to 15 percent.

Neighboring Naumes Equipment — started by Sam's father "Nooks" — ended a 62-year run in December 2008 when demand for farm equipment dwindled. At the time, it appeared the motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle, scooter and snowmobile business would survive the downturn.

Naumes said he and his daughter Sarah Primerano are reviewing their options over the next few days, hoping they can reopen the shop.

"It's not a permanent thing at this point," he said. "Our intent is to regroup and get back in the hunt. We want to see if we can continue with the level of sales we have and improve our level of efficiency."

If a comeback isn't in the cards, an inventory sale will follow.

"Medford doesn't need any more bad news," he said. "It's just depressing how many empty buildings there are around."

— Greg Stiles

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