30 percent growth breaks 2006 record
Ural, the Russian manufacturer of sidecar motorcycles, posted a record year for sales, surpassing the previous record set in 2006. Two consecutive years of growth in 2010 and 2011 set the company on track to see growth of more than 30 percent in 2012.
“We fell really hard in 2009, maybe harder than others in the industry. So it’s very reaffirming to surpass our biggest number. Next year’s goal is the same — 30 percent sales growth or die trying,” said Madina Merzhoeva, vice president of North American distribution. “Our small team is ready to take on the challenge. If we can manage to do that every year for the next few years, we might outsell some big names.”
The company attributes its success to an ability to connect with today’s outdoor and adventure enthusiasts. Ural’s year-end limited edition releases have been key contributors to Q4 sales numbers. The 2012 limited edition release, the Ural Yamal — based on a Russian icebreaker — was a runaway hit. The Yamal comes with a paddle and satirical instructions on how to survive a water hazard. The 50-bike production run sold out in seven days.
Not all improvements to 2012’s numbers were outward facing. The company was able to reinvest and make considerable production improvements at the factory, company officials said. The company also established a relationship with Siemens and improved their powder coating facilities. In the U.S., a consolidation and relocation of the parts department led to tighter inventory control and quicker delivery times to dealers, officials added.