Naumes Oregon Motorsports in Medford closed this week. “We just feel horrible for our workers, but when do you say 'Enough is enough?' ” owner Sam Naumes said Thursday. - Jamie Lusch

Naumes closes as sales stall

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 Highway, 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 Oregon Motorsports isn't alone.

Naumes cited an industry source reporting Japanese motorcycle imports have declined for 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.

"It affects sales, parts and service departments," he said.

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.

The farm machinery Naumes sold was essential. Not so with the motorsports lines.

"If you are farming you have to have a tractor, depending on the size of your operation, maybe more," Naumes said. "You don't have to have any of our motorsports things. The change with construction was horrible. We sold them their toys for when they weren't working. People aren't buying motorcycles right now; they just don't have the discretionary income or they are afraid they might lose their job or know people who have (lost a job). It's just a vicious cycle."

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."

He said a seasonal approach, such as winter sports stores use, wasn't an option because it doesn't fly with manufacturers such as Yamaha.

"We really hope to reopen on smaller scale," Naumes said. "In doing that, we know we run the risk of not giving the level of service we want to give or that people expect, so it's a tough issue."

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."

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or e-mail

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