SALISBURY — For more than 40 years, Horner Honda has been supplying Salisbury with motorcycles, ATVs, scooters and energy generators. Looking into the future, owner Bud Horner expects to continue operating from the same location he has since 1969 and to keep pace with Honda’s push for more efficient vehicles and generators.
Horner, whose father owned a car dealership adjacent to Horner Honda’s downtown Salisbury location, got into the Honda business young and noted that there have been huge changes in what people are looking for since the early days.
“The scooter business is definitely growing,” he said, adding that for many years Honda was only known for motorcycles.
While the store still does a healthy amount of business in the field of cycles, Horner explained the popularity of scooters as cheap and fuel efficient has sparked an incredible rise in popularity over the last several years. Horner said scooters also have the added appeal of being customizable.
“It’s sort of like a blank palette,” Horner said of the “Ruckus,” one of several models of scooter his store carries.
With the boom of scooters on the Eastern Shore in the summer from Salisbury to Ocean City, Horner advocated making an investment into a Honda instead of going with one of the less expensive brands.
“When it breaks, it’s done,” he said of the off-brand scooters.
With Honda, a motorcycle or scooter is able to run at top-level for years or decades with proper maintenance, promised Horner. Even better, he continued, is that once a Honda is off the lot it doesn’t immediately depreciate in value.
“Three to four years from now, if you want to sell them, they’re worth something,” said Horner.
Besides vehicles, Honda specializes in portable power generators. Usually weighing between 70 and 220 pounds, the generators are light, powerful, and surprisingly quiet, said Horner.
“They’ll run for a long time; they’re very fuel efficient,” he noted.
The generators have an array of applications including everything from recreation to disaster management.
“People use them mainly for camping … we also sell a lot for construction work,” he said.
Perhaps more importantly, the generators can be a source of energy during a blackout, crucial for people caught up in storms or other disasters that might leave the power out for days on end. In the event of a major disaster being predicted, Horner asserted that his store will not run out of generators since more can be brought in at a moment’s notice.
“[Honda] can have a truck sitting here tomorrow morning,” he said.
In the years to come, Horner said he has no hard plans for expansion and is content with his current location. With 40-plus years of history as well as being located next to Salisbury University, which supplies a lot of customers, Horner is a big fan of where he is today.
One thing that he will be looking forward to in the future, though, is the ushering in of more electric Honda scooters, which he expects will be popular given high fuel costs.
“They need to get the technology on batteries,” said Horner of the remaining obstacles in the scooter industry.