A change in exports for metric manufacturers
Metric manufacturers increased the number of motorcycles they shipped to the United States in April over the year-ago period.
Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki exported 23,168 motorcycles to the United States in April, a 12 percent rise over April of 2008, according to the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.
Exports to Canada also rose. More than 2,500 motorcycles were exported to Canada in April, a 25 percent increase over a year ago.
In contrast, metric motorcycles exports to the United States decreased the previous two months, including by 37 percent in February.
Yamaha adds new offering to its demo program
Yamaha Motor Corp. announced recently that select scooter models will be available for demo rides at participating Yamaha dealers through July 31.
Models available for testing during the Yamaha Ride First program include the Zuma, C3, Vino, TMax, Majesty, Zuma 125 and Vino 125.
“This program will allow consumers the chance to ride our most popular scooters, including the new Zuma 125 and TMax models,” Yamaha Motorcycle Marketing Manager David Docktor said in the release. “We are pleased that over 700 dealers have committed to the Ride First Demo Program.”
Genuine Scooter partners with Progressive Insurance
Genuine Scooter Co. made an agreement with Progressive Insurance to provide its customers immediate insurance coverage for their new scooters, reported Genuine Scooters Co. in a press release.
The partnership will allow Genuine’s customers to get a quote while they’re still at the dealership by phone or visiting a specifically dedicated Web site, www.progressive.com/genuine.
“This arrangement with Progressive will make it faster and easier for our customers to get insurance right away,” Philip McCaleb, CEO of Genuine Scooter Company, said in the release. “Instead of hesitating and wondering whether they’ll be able to insure their scooter, they’ll be able to ride right out of the dealership knowing they’re covered by the No. 1 name in motorcycle insurance.”
Progressive is providing Genuine Scooter dealers a welcome packet that includes FAQs and a life-size cut-out of “Flo,” the popular character in Progressive’s superstore commercials.
BMW’s worldwide motorcycle sales fall
BMW Group’s worldwide motorcycle sales have fallen by a double-digit percentage through May compared to the year-ago period, the company recently announced.
BMW’s worldwide motorcycle sales totaled more than 37,500 through May, a decrease of 16.6 percent from last year.
The company’s sales in May also fell below last year’s levels. The month’s sales of 10,172 motorcycles represented a 12 percent decline from the past-year period.
The company did not provide data on the North American market.
BMW also reported its worldwide car sales are off more than 20 percent from a year ago.
Indian Motorcycle announces summer sales event
Indian Motorcycle announced its summer sales event with a reduction in the price of the 2009 Chief Standard. Effective immediately the MSRP of the Chief Standard has been reduced to $25,999.
“With this price reduction, the most beautiful motorcycle on the market is available at a great value,” said Chris Bernauer, general manager of Indian Motorcycle Company. The Chief Standard features a redesigned 105 cubic inch PowerPlus V-Twin powertrain with electronic closed loop fuel injection.
The Chief Standard is available in Thunder Black with a silver Indian script or headdress option or Indian Red with gold Indian script or headdress. This motorcycle features laced wheels, black wall tires and a solo seat in optional black or tan leather.
For more information on the motorcycles, events, dealerships, accessories, apparel and gifts visit www.indianmotorcycle.com.
KYMCO expands its accessories lineup with exclusive deal
KYMCO USA signed an exclusive agreement with SHAD USA that will expand its accessory lineup for KYMCO scooters. The partnership gives KYMCO USA dealers the ability to sell SHAD’s line of top cases, the companies reported in a press release.
The agreement also calls for the two companies to develop a line of items branded exclusive by KYMCO. SHAD will develop a full line of cases with built-in backrests that will cover every KYMCO model. SHAD also will create a matching hard case for every color in the KYMCO scooter palette as well as special mounting brackets to fit each model.
SHAD USA initiated the agreement, says Michael Schuiten, managing director of SHAD USA.
“We approached KYMCO as we have been impressed with what they have accomplished over the past five years, clearly establishing a leadership position,” Schuiten said in the release. “Like us, their focus is on delivering a high-quality product, and this agreement gives us the opportunity to leverage off their dealer network and distribution system, which is second to none. We are confident that this joining of forces will bring synergies to both our enterprises.”
This agreement will allow KYMCO dealers to offer another line of products, says Al Golding, accessories manager for KYMCO USA.
PIAGGIO builds new Far East manufacturing facility
The Piaggio Group has begun manufacturing Vespa scooters in Vietnam in a facility that by the end of this year is expected to have more than 250 employees, the company said in a press release.
The new site was built in less than two years, with an overall investment of more than $30 million, according to the press release. When fully operational, the facility will have an annual production capacity of 100,000 vehicles. That output could be doubled in the future, the company said.
“After establishing a presence in India and China, with the marketing start-up of Vespa scooters produced in Vietnam, Piaggio now completes its strategic investment plan in Asia, taking a new step of the greatest importance toward the globalization of its production operations,” Piaggio Group CEO Roberto Colaninno said in the release.
Sales of Vespa scooters produced in Vietnam are initially estimated at approximately 15,000 units during the second half of this year.
California Sidecar releases Volusia Trike Conversion kit
California Sidecar has announced the release of the new Volusia Trike Conversion kit for Harley-Davidson Softails. Inspired by Formula 1 Racecar technology, the Volusia is California Sidecar’s sportiest and best handling trike to date, the company said.
The Volusia offers an entirely new concept in Harley-Davidson trike conversions. Unlike other kits, which are old concepts redesigned to fit various Harley motorcycles, the Volusia was designed specifically for Softails. With its low center of gravity, stiff chassis and proven CSC Independent Suspension, the Volusia offers a smooth ride coupled with a sleek look.
For more information on the Volusia or California Sidecar, call 800/ 824-1523 or visit www.californiasidecar.com.
Martin Racing acquires OEM’s replacement parts
Martin Racing Performance (MRP) has extended its parts inventory by now supplying CPI replacement parts in North America, reported MRP.
CPI, a Taiwanese scooter manufacturer, closed its U.S. facilities and distribution point and will sell vehicles direct to multiple distributors and U.S. dealers from Taiwan. All the parts are expected to be on Martin Racing Performance’s Web site in July.
“MRP saw this as a great opportunity to expand our dealer base and to capture more of the OEM parts business, plus CPI can operate leaner without the expenses of a parts warehouse,” MRP President Joel Martin said. psb