Officials at Wisconsin-based Kolpin Outdoors, Inc., a manufacturer and marketer of powersports and outdoor accessories, launched a new business unit to sell the company’s ATV-related products as well as two small displacement Kolpin branded quads.
Scheduled to be sold at Gander Mountain locations beginning in the Fall, the ATVs — 50cc and 90cc youth models — are to be marketed through a newly created company, Kolpin Powersports, Inc. Beginning in January 2005, Kolpin Powersports also will be charged with handling all Kolpin branded ATV Accessories.
Kolpin officials say the two companies — Kolpin Outdoors and Kolpin Powersports — share common ownership, but have no legal or subsidiary relationship. Both are located in Fox Lake, Wisc., but function out of separate facilities.
Kolpin Powersports currently has six employees on the payroll. The leadership team includes President Tom Lutes, Vice President of Sales Jim Schoenberger and Vice President of Product Development Doug Kortbein.
Sourced from Taiwan, the Kolpin 50cc (MSRP $1,599) and 90cc models (MSRP $1,799) are powered by two-stroke engines and feature speed restrictors, a safety/training tether, an extra large brake and whip flag.
“I think the primary reason we initiated this new venture stemmed from seeing consumer buying preferences,” Lutes told Powersports Business. “I believe we’re in the early phases seeing consumers electing to purchase their powersports products through what I’d call nontraditional retail outlets — not the traditional independent powersports dealers, but the larger retailer, big-box, mass-merchant type format.”
The Kolpin brand is already well-established in large outdoor and sporting goods stores, and Lutes said he believes the brand name will lend itself successfully to ATV product.
“We do believe we have the brand to take advantage of that consumer preference and to be successful,” he said. “Gander Mountain has been one of our top customers in the ATV accessory business, and so that’s why they are our primary retail outlet for the ATVs.”
The Kolpin ATVs will be sold alongside Arctic Cat quads at Gander Mountain. While Arctic only sells its product through the dozen or so Gander Mountain locations with full shop capabilities, Kolpin’s plan is to retail from 75 Gander stores.
“Gander has full shop capabilities at some of their powersports stores. They will provide the parts and service, and Kolpin will carry out service also, plus offer a full line of replacement parts, and back up the warranty in a way very similar to OEM type products,” Lutes said.
While Kolpin officials see retailing from Gander Mountain locations a good first step, Lutes said the plan is to introduce distribution to other retailers in 2005.
“Our product plan with this ATV inititaive is to go upstream with larger displacement size units in the adult category and to expand distribution to other outlets,” he said. “Throughout the rest of the year, and in 2005, you’ll see additional announcements regarding that expansion.”
For more information on Kolpin’s new Youth ATVs, call 877/956-5746 or visit www.kolpinpowersports.com. psb
Copyright 2004 Powersports Business