90,000 ATTEND CYCLE SHOW IN TOKYO
More than 90,000 persons attended the 32nd Tokyo Motorcycle Show in Tokyo last week to take a look at the latest motorcycles from around the world. Attendance was up more than 20% over last year. Motorcycles on display during the three-day show included a racing bike that can run at speeds of up to 186 per hour. A total of some 450 motorcycles were on display.
Show-stoppers included sportbikes with more than 160 hp displayed by Japanese manufacturers, customized bikes from the U.S. and Europe, and a bevy of futuristic design models.
PIAGGIO BOARD APPOINTS NEW PRESIDENT
The Board of Directors of Piaggio &C. SpA appointed Daniele Discepolo as president. Discepolo replaces Piero Faraoni, who resigned.
Meanwhile, Piaggio reported first quarter sales of Euro 310 million ($399.3 million), up 1.1% compared to the same period in 2004.
LML COMPLETES FINANCIAL RESTRUCTURING
LML Ltd., India’s second largest motorbike manufacturer, says it completed a financial restructuring which included mobilization of fresh funds through the issue and allotment of equity shares, warrants and Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds (FCCBs) from overseas investors.
LML received Rs 2 billion ($45.72 million) from the transactions. The company says the funds will allow it to reduce debt from approximately Rs 3.2 billion ($73.15 million) to Rs 1.1 billion ($25.14 million).
A former partner to Piaggio, LML had been undergoing serious difficulties arising out of a shift in the market from geared scooters to motorcycles which disabled it from realigning its business model to the needs of the market due to circumstances beyond its control. LML sold approximately 280,000 two- and three-wheelers motorbikes last year. The company says its facilities have a current annual production capacity of 720,000 units.
LML says it will continue internal restructuring during the next two to three months. Main projects include streamlining organizational structure, controlling costs, and expanding its sales and service network.
Chicago-based Genuine Scooter Company’s 150cc Stella model is manufactured by LML. Retailing for $2,899, the Stella comes with a Grimeca disc brake, Bitubo gas shocks, Continental Zippy tires, and a two-stroke motor catalyzed to meet Federal emissions standards in 49 states, California excluded.
DUCATI HOSTS DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE
The third edition of the international conference “Development Trends of Motorcycles” was held April 21-22 at the Ducati Auditorium in Bologna, Italy.
Organized by Haus Der Technik e.V. and by FTZ — the Research and Technology Association of West Saxon University in Zwickau, Germany — the conference included professors from some of the most prestigious Italian, German, English and Austrian universities to present topics in bike development and production components: engines, braking, vehicle dynamics, design, electronic control, communications and safety systems, styling, technology and materials.
FIAT, BMW, Honda Europe and MZ attended the conference, as did suppliers such as Brembo, Pankl, dell’Orto and TÜV — the German National Homologation Board. Federico Minoli, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A., opened the event with an analysis and reflection on the future of the motorbike.
The first conference was held at Zwickau University in 2002. The second, sponsored by BMW, occurred in Munich in 2003.