SUZUKI'S BOULEVARD BRAND STOKES SALES
Suzuki Boulevard — the new cruiser brand introduced by American Suzuki Motor Corp. (ASMC) in June 2004 — has significantly increased Suzuki cruiser sales, awareness and dealership traffic nationwide, says the company. 2004 fourth-quarter sales of Suzuki cruisers increased 33% over the same quarter in the previous year.
“We put a lot of time, effort and research into identifying what cruiser riders really want — and then put all this information to good use by creating a whole new brand of cruisers called Boulevard,” said Glenn Hansen, ASMC advertising and press relations manager.
The initial launch included five 2005 Suzuki Boulevard models that hit showroom floors in August 2004 — the S40, S50, S83, C50 and C90. New this year is the 2005 M50 and M95, as well as touring models of the popular C50 and C90.
DUCATI PLANS NEW FINANCING
Ducati Motor Holding SpA said it has negotiated for up to Euro 110 million (approximately $146 million) in new financing with Unicredito Italiano SpA. Ducati said it plans to use the new financing to repay a bond expiring May 31 2005, as well as to repay bank debt and other company obligations.
No further financial details of the deal were available. Ducati posted a pretax loss of $2.4 million for 2004. It has made the looming bond repayment its top priority.
SIMON MILWARD 1965-2005
Around-the-World motorcycle rider Simon Milward, 40, passed away following a road accident March 4, 2005, near the city of Kayes in Mali (Africa). In 1989, Milward started working with the Motorcycle Action Group United Kingdom. In 1992, he established the Brussels headquarters of the Federation of European Motorcyclists (FEM) a well-known lobby group in which he became General Secretary. In 1998, FEM merged with the European Motorcyclists Association to form the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA). Milward became FEMA’s General Secretary. Affiliated to FEMA today are 22 national rider’s rights organizations from 18 European countries.
On January 1, 2000, Milward left Europe to ride his handmade motorcycle around the world on a humanitarian mission. His journey was supposed to last for 18 months, but it turned into a five-year odyssey. He was expected to arrive back in the UK around October 2005.