Aftermarket exhaust and electronics manufacturer LeoVince is making distribution changes for its North American product line, reverting back to a combined system of dealer direct and a national distributor.
The U.S. subsidiary, based out of Richmond, Calif., had used a similar distribution system up to December of last year. At that time, LeoVince committed to a full distribution model, working with three national distributors.
Going forward, LeoVince USA will work only with Tucker Rocky and once again have an internal sales team to work individually with North American dealers.
Tim Calhoun, executive vice president of LeoVince USA, said the company did not see a return of investment for the distributor-only model, noting globally the company has only seen sale declines in those markets where product was sold strictly by distributors.
“What we found after 10 months is that we had retained more than 70 percent of our (in-house) business without calling anybody, which told me there was a bit of an issue with product selection or availability” at the distributor level, Calhoun said.
LeoVince USA has hired a team of in-house salespeople that are expected to once again start calling on dealers Dec. 1.
“We’re going back to a lot of dealers that we had great relationships with and hopefully rebuild those relationships,” Calhoun said, adding, “on top of that we plan to build a lot of new relationships. We just want people more than anything to experience what I think is the best customer service in the exhaust business.”
Calhoun believes the dealer-direct model will work with dealers who want access to the company’s full line of products where Tucker Rocky sales staff is expected to mostly handle the company’s higher-volume products.
“They were willing and able to work with us, fully understanding that we are going to be aggressive in our direct sales and we are going to move forward as a company doing that,” Calhoun said of Tucker Rocky. “We discussed every possibility, from in-house sales to the on-the-road sales with them in our meeting.”
To start with, Calhoun said LeoVince USA will only have in-house sales, but that could change in the future.
Calhoun was asked if the change in distribution was a direct result of the difficult retail environment.
“Sometimes if you’re all having success and there’s a lesser degree of success in certain places and a higher degree of success in other places, as long as it’s all success you don’t pay that much attention to it,” he said. “When you come into a market that is strained, to put it mildly, those areas where there are issues become more apparent.”
LeoVince is a division of Sito Gruppo Industriale, an Italian company that is the largest exhaust manufacturer in Europe.
A new “carbon fiber” division has been set up within LeoVince, which besides providing accessories for exhaust systems (exhaust guards, muffler straps, mounting brackets and heat shields) is now developing special motorcycle components, both aesthetic and functional pieces for enduro and motorcross bikes.
The range, which initially is being launched with fitments for Honda and Yamaha models, will expand to include pieces for Kawasaki, Suzuki, KTM and Husqvarna motorcycles.
The line currently will offer front and rear disc covers, the first of which were tested and used by MX1 World Champion Antonio Cairoli, and extends to other items, such as brake caliper guards, chain guides, right/left engine protectors, front sprocket covers and skid plates. psb