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Sept. 27, 2004 – Distributor Report

Automatic Distributors, Bangor, Maine, is offering dealers the ability to customize product catalogs. Automatic sold off the lawn-related portion of its business and expanded its product offerings to include dirt bike, ATV, snowmobile and trailer parts and accessories.
Now distributing product from more than 75 companies, Automatic splits its four categories of product into three separate catalogs. The company’s Off-Road and Snow catalogs come printed with Automatic’s item numbers and suggested retail prices, but do not contain the Automatic name anywhere.
Dealers can choose from Total Cover Customization, which includes a four-color design; Printed Name on Generic Cover, using black ink and some graphics; or Plain, standard with a blank white area appropriate for labeling.
As a further benefit to its dealer partners, Automatic also offers blind shipments. In other words, dealers now can drop ship to their customers from the Automatic warehouse without the customer ever knowing the difference.
Place an order, supply the customer’s shipping address, and for a $3 drop ship fee (plus applicable shipping charges) the order will be delivered to the customer’s door. Completely untraceable to Automatic, the box and packing list feature only the labeling information supplied by the dealer.
Call 800/341-1658 x621 for more information regarding availability and pricing of the catalogs, or for further information regarding blind shipping.

Valencia Sport Group, LLC of Valencia, Calif. – owner of body protection specialist SixSixOne – has purchased control product specialist Sunline. Paralleling the Valencia/Sunline deal, Bob Barnett, founder of ARC levers, signed an exclusive agreement giving worldwide rights for ARC levers to Sunline beginning Sept. 1. Terms of the two deals were not disclosed.
Eddie Cole is founder and president of Valencia and SixSixOne. Christina Van Houdr, who has been with Sunline for 24 years, has been tapped as Sunline brand operations manager, and Greg Berg, formerly with Berg Racing, is Sunline vice president of brand and product development. Dave Ekins, founder and creator of short levers in 1977 and half waffle grips in 1987, came out of retirement to lend a hand in Sunline’s transition from its Reseda, Calif., facility to the Valencia Sport Group offices in Valencia.

Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A., says its long-standing partnership with motocross apparel designer Thor has been extended through 2005.
Under the agreement, Kawasaki will market and distribute its own branded-version of Thor riding apparel for adults and children. Also a part of the deal, all Thor products will be made available through Kawasaki’s network of 1,500 powersports retailers.
As is usual, the Kawasaki-branded pants, jerseys, gloves, and chest protectors will be available for purchase through Kawi’s dealer network.
Unusual, however, is the OEM’s plan to also offer the gear for purchase online at www.buykawasaki.com.
KMC USA is based in Irvine, Calif. Thor has offices in El Cajon, Calif.

Hot Rods and Wiseco Piston, Inc. have ended their alliance in the marketing and distribution of Hot Rods performance crankshafts and connecting rod kits.
Based in Urbandale, Iowa, Hot Rods is a sister company of Pivot Works and Hot Cams. Wiseco, based in Mentor, Ohio, was granted master distribution rights to Hot Rods product six years ago.
Hot Rods crankshafts are sold complete with Hot Rod connecting rods, top end bearings and inner crankshaft webs. Products are available for Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha off-road bikes; Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha ATVs; and Sea-Doo and Yamaha PWC.
Names of distributors stocking Hot Rods product will be made available in the near future. To learn more about the Hot Rods line, call 760/900-9599. For further information regarding Wiseco, call 440/951-6600 or visit www.wiseco.com.

Canada-based Motovan has a new house brand devoted to ATV parts and accessories. Called Quadrax, the brand was developed for Motovan by powersports industry veteran Carlo Paladino. The new brand catalog features 52 pages of product for sport and utility quads, including fairings, storage boxes, bumpers roll bars, winches, etc. For more information, visit www.motovan.com.

Jeff Kinney, sales and marketing director at California-based Acerbis USA for the past two years, left his position Aug. 31.
Based in Italy, Acerbis has decided to alter its profile in the U.S. and is hooking up with Idaho-based Scott USA, which is charged with administering and marketing the Italian brand as of Sept. 1. (See the Aug. 16 issue of Powersports Business for more about this story).
While Scott USA reportedly offered Kinney a position based in Southern California, Kinney says he has decided to go another direction. Instead, he plans to join The Garage People as sales and marketing director. Based in Escondido Calif., The Garage People (www.thegaragepeople.com) specialize in custom garage, floor coatings, cabinets and equipment.

EVS Sports will accept rider resumes through Nov. 30, 2004, for the 2005 season.
Submit resumes online at www.sponsorhouse.com, or via mail or email: EVS Sports, c/o Rider Support, 1821 Milton Ave., STE 6, Janesville, Wisc. 53545; ridersupport@evs-sports.com

Eric Putter has been hired as the marketing manager for Phillips Motorsport Group, which includes the Lockhart Phillips USA, Options Italia and TeamLine brands, effective immediately.
A former motojournalist, photographer and public-relations executive, Putter will report directly to PMG President Wendell Phillips and be responsible for the company’s advertising activities, catalog production, marketing programs, media relations and website presence. He can be reached at 949/498-9090, ext. 222 and eputter@lockhartphillipsusa.com.

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