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HOT NEWS – November 13, 2006

Sabelli resigns as CEO of Piaggio
Rocco Sabelli has resigned from his position as chief executive officer of Piaggio & C. SpA and will be replaced by chairman Roberto Colaninno.
Piaggio’s board of directors will vote on Colaninno’s appointment at a Nov. 13 meeting. The meeting was previously scheduled to discuss a management reorganization aimed at consolidating the business in core European markets as well as strategic markets identified for growth, according to a prepared statement.
Colaninno and Sabelli worked together since founding investment-holding firm Omniainvest in 2002. Later that same year, in November 2002, Omniainvest purchased control of Immsi SpA. Exactly one year later, in November 2003, Immsi purchased control of Piaggio. After the purchase, Colaninno became chairman of Piaggio and Sabelli, at the time chief executive at Immsi, took the reigns as CEO of Piaggio.
Sabelli left Piaggio for personal reasons, according to the company.
In July, Piaggio opened 31 percent of its stock to public trading for the IPO price of Euro 2.30 ($2.90) per share. Shares hovered around Euro 3.15 ($3.95) on the Milan Stock Exchange following Sabelli’s
Oct. 26 announcement.
AMA’s Moreland Named to Federal Advisory Group
Edward Moreland, American Motorcyclist Association vice president for government relations, has been named to the newly created Motorcyclist Advisory Council to the Federal Highway Administration.
The 10-member council, established by the federal transportation bill passed last year, will advise the Secretary of Transportation on infrastructure issues of concern to motorcyclists, such as the design, construction and maintenance of roads and barriers, as well as the implementation of intelligent transportation system technology.
Joining Moreland on the council are: Jeff Hennie, vice president for government relations, Motorcycle Riders Foundation; Ken Kiphart, chairperson and a member of the executive committee of the National Association of State Motorcycle State Administrators and Administrator of the Nevada Department of Public Safety; Darrel Killion, state coordinator for ABATE of South Dakota; Steven Zimmer, state executive director, ABATE of Ohio; Gerald Salontai, president and CEO of Kleinfelder, Inc.; Robert McClune, executive vice president and general manager of North American Potters Industries; Kathy Van Kleeck, vice president for government relations, Motorcycle Safety Foundation; Mark Bloschock, manager, Special Projects Branch, Texas Department of Transportation; and Donald Vaughn, chief engineer/deputy director of operations, Alabama Department of Transportation.
WyoTech Unveils New Training Facility
WyoTech has some good news for dealers facing the never-ending battle of finding enough technicians — a new motorcycle technician training school is opening up.
WyoTech, part of the privately held Corinthian Colleges, Inc., unveiled its new 100,000 square foot training facility in Daytona Beach, Fla., on Oct. 18.
WyoTech previously was operating out of a smaller campus that had once housed the American Motorcycle Institute.
The new campus is not as big as other WyoTech campuses — its Laramie, Wyo., campus is at least four times larger — but it will focus squarely on marine and motorcycle training, with the latter being the overwhelming subject taught.
N. Carolina Launches Motorcycle Council
The North Carolina Motorsports Association (NCMA) recently created the NCMA-Motorcycle Council, a subgroup focusing on motorcycle motorsports.
Council representatives say the goal is to grow North Carolina’s share of the overall motorcycle industry and to position the state to benefit from future industry growth.
Based in Concord, N.C., the NCMA is the central organization and voice for the motorsports industry in North Carolina.
The members of the council are business leaders committed to the growth of the motorcycle industry in North Carolina. The interim chairman for the council is Ed Kuhlenkamp of Build-Momentum, LLC.
NCMA members receive networking opportunities, exclusive access to industry contacts, a voice in the industry, industry information and news, and other member benefits and special discounts.
The organization hopes to attract companies headquartered in North Carolina that cater to the motorcycle industry, such as Indian Motorcycles, Powersport Grafx, SPEED Channel, CV Products, Xceldyne, Givi and the All Harley Drag Racing Association.
Arctic cat Seeks Employees in Eastern Europe
Arctic Cat is seeking people to manage the brand in various countries in Eastern Europe.
In June, the Minnesota-based manufacturer set up bases in Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia. To implement the brand in these new markets, the company is seeking what it has titled country managers.
These managers will be responsible for the development and implementation of a sales strategy, setup and support service of a dealer network, sales activities for ATVs and accessories, sales and marketing coordination, and reporting to the European headquarters in Austria.
Arctic Cat products are sold via a network of about 1,500 dealers in more than 30 countries.
Arctic Cat AG, St. Johann, Austria, serves as the manufacturer’s headquarters in Europe. The 50 employees of Arctic Cat AG manage the assembly, sales, support and distribution of Arctic Cat vehicles and products to more than 15 European countries, including delivery to new Arctic Cat subsidiaries in Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom.
In a Sept. 25 story on Honda’s exclusivity requirements with the company’s AquaTrax line, Steve Crowe was misidentified as representing World of Powersports, in Decatur, Ill. In fact, Crowe is with Foothills Motorsports in Piedmont, S.C. The story also raised some questions about the differences between Honda’s Powerhouse program and the company’s requirement of exclusivity. As Honda reps state, Powerhouse stores, at any level, are exclusive Honda dealerships.
However, a dealer does not have to have a Powerhouse store to sell AquaTrax PWC, they just have to be exclusive to the brand. Honda reps also point out that customers from terminated AquaTrax dealers that require service or warranty work will be directed to other AquaTrax dealers in the area. PSB

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