Metro-East News

Frieze Harley-Davidson dealership in O’Fallon to be sold

Frieze Harley-Davidson dealership in O’Fallon.
Frieze Harley-Davidson dealership in O’Fallon. News-Democrat file photo

The longtime owners of Frieze Harley-Davidson in O’Fallon plan to sell their dealership on Thursday to another Harley franchise owner.

Jenny Frieze said the O’Fallon dealership will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday to take inventory and then it is scheduled to reopen Friday under the ownership of Brad Holzhauer, of the St. Charles, Mo., Harley-Davidson and Holzhauer Auto and Motorsports Group in Nashville, Ill.

Holzhauer could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Frieze said all employees are expected to remain with the new owner, who will rename the dealership.

Frieze said she has been involved with the company since 1975 and she is ready to retire to spend more time with her family and travel. Her late husband, Russell Frieze, founded Frieze Harley-Davidson Sales Inc. in 1963 in East St. Louis.

Russell Frieze died in 2002 and since then, Jenny Frieze has overseen the dealership along with her daughter, Etta.

Jenny Frieze has since married Larry Sledge, who has been with the dealership but will step aside under the new ownership.

“It been way over 40 years and I would like to retire,” Jenny Frieze said. “I would like to spend more time with my grandchildren and their sporting events and their school activities, as well as travel some with my husband seeing the many friends that we have across the country that we’ve made in the business in the dealer network.”

Harley-Davidson fans have associated the Frieze name with Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the metro-east for 55 years.

“Yeah, I’ve had some sad moments since I chose to sell the business,” Frieze said. “There’s a lot of history here and a lot of my own energy in the business but I really feel that it is a time for me to hang up my spurs and spend more time with my grandkids.”

Frieze said her daughter also plans to leave the dealership but her husband, Steve Madura, will remain on staff.

Frieze declined to disclose the sales price for the dealership.

Frieze Harley-Davidson opened its dealership at 1560 N. Green Mount Road in O’Fallon in 2007 after closing its stores in O’Fallon and Belleville.

After the dealership opened, the U.S. Green Building Council honored the Frieze family because the structure was built in an environmentally friendly way. Its features include a power-generating windmill, innovative natural lighting and renewable materials such as bamboo flooring.

The dealership received the Gold Level award in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, program and Jenny Frieze told the News-Democrat in 2008 she was proud to oversee the first Harley-Davidson dealership to earn this award.

Before opening the dealership on Green Mount Road, the company had stores at 517 S. Illinois St. in Belleville and at 1607 W. Highway 50 in O’Fallon.

Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson has announced that U.S. retail sales for its motorcycles have been dropping in recent years.

Second quarter sales this year were down 6.4 percent as compared to last year. And the company has said U.S. sales dropped 8.5 percent in 2017 and 3.9 percent in 2016.

Harley-Davidson Inc. announced early Tuesday, January 30, 2018, that it plans to close its manufacturing plant in Kansas City, North, by the summer of 2019. The company said it will consolidate the operations with its manufacturing plant in York, Pa.

BND reporter Cara Anthony contributed to this report.
Mike Koziatek: 618-239-2502, @MikeKoziatekBND