U.S. subsidiary posts record 2015
With a marketplace awaiting additional 50-inch-wide, trail-legal models, CFMOTO USA has entered the field with the release of its 2016 ZFORCE 800 Trail and ZFORCE 500HO Trail sport side-by-sides.
The new UTVs are part of an impressive lineup that includes a new high output motor that can be found in in both 2016 ATV and side-by-side models. In addition, CFMOTO has launched an all-new CFORCE 400 ATV that features a new chassis, the new engine, and fully independent front and rear suspension. Other lineup enhancements include a new CVTech drive and driven clutching for improved performance and durability on several models.
Honda’s Pioneer 500, the Arctic Cat Wildcat Trail and the Polaris RZR 900 are the lone offerings in the trail-ready UTV marketplace. And it’s one that has attracted CFMOTO USA vice president sales and dealer development Dave Auringer for years, as the ZFORCE 500 will retail for $8,799 and the ZFORCE 800 at $9,999 ($10,799 with EPS). The new enhancements from CVTech are part of the package on both models, along with front and rear stainless steel bumpers, 14-inch alloy wheels, compression and rebound adjustable shocks, cargo and side nets, three-point seat belts with alarm light, tilt steering wheel, multi-function digital dash, Yuasa AGM sealed battery, four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes, mechanical parking brake, 3,000-pound winch, 2-inch hitch receiver with power socket, contoured roof and an optional windshield.
“Unlike some segments in the market, not every manufacturer has a trail offering,” said Auringer, who recently provided Powersports Business with an exclusive look at the lineup. “We’ve been wanting a trail-ready machine for the U.S. market since Day 1, just because there are so many trail systems that require the 50-inch stance.”
“We’re real excited because there are so many manufacturers without one. Some dealers are calling us because they know we now have a trail unit, so they’re signing up with us because we offer one. We’re hearing from a lot of dealers in the Northwest, and we’ve already signed up a few because of the trail machine.”
No other China-based manufacturers offer 50-inch wide, trail-ready UTVs, Auringer said.
“The big thing is we listened to the dealers, and we try to accommodate what’s selling in their market,” he added.
Also in the 2016 sport UTV lineup is the ZFORCE 800EX ($10,799; $11,599 with EPS).
For 2016, the utility side-by-side offerings include the UFORCE 800 ($9,999, $10,799 with EPS) and UFORCE 500 EPS ($8,999). The UFORCE 500 is standard with EPS, and features the new CFMOTO high output engine (also found in the ZFORCE 500) that provides 11 percent more torque than the previous version.
Roofs remain standard on all ZFORCE UTVs, as has been the case since the 2014 model year.
“It’s expensive to ship a roof due to their size, so we decided to put them in the crate,” Auringer said. “At first we had a roof program, because the unit looks unfinished without a roof. When customers come into the showroom and see one with the roof, it looks complete. The customer says ‘I want that one or one like that one.’”
Known throughout the industry for its engine-building expertise, CFMOTO’s 2016 lineup includes the following ATV offerings: CFORCE 800 EPS ($8,999); CFORCE 500 HO EPS ($5,999), which offers 15 percent more horsepower with the new 500cc HO engine than the previous 600cc engine; CFORCE 500 ($5,499), with its 493cc single, 4-valve, 4-stroke motor; and the all-new, $4,499 CFORCE 400.
“This is far and away one of our most exciting model year introductions to the U.S market,” Auringer said. “Our new 500 HO engine offers better performance than the 600 engine it replaces and does so with greater reliability and of course even greater value; and our two new 50-inch wide ZFORCE models expands riding opportunities for our customers.”
The all-new 500 HO engine is the most advanced engine yet from CFMOTO. The single-cylinder, four-valve overhead cam, liquid-cooled engine features Bosch electronic fuel injection. The new engine delivers 15 percent more power and 11 percent more torque than the 600 engine it replaces.
The CFORCE 400 has some impressive standard features, including independent front and rear suspension, CVTech clutching, an all-new 400cc engine and standard racks with integrated rear trunk storage.
“The CFORCE 400 is a brand new platform with a brand new motor,” Auringer said. “When you look at the 400cc segment and a retail of $4,499, it’s a home run. The dealers love it. They wanted to offer a unit at that price point, so it comes without a winch, and it has steel wheels. The dealer reception has been great because now they can add the accessories like a winch kit. They can sell the alloy wheels or mud wheels. I like it because each dealership will have their own version with winches or without, different wheels, different tires. It’s interesting to see what dealers do to all units that come standard. An aggressive dealer accessorizes everything. The non-aggressive dealer just puts it on the floor, and you know who sells more.”
The new 400 CFORCE and all models featuring the new 500 HO engine will also feature new drive and driven clutching from CVTech. Known throughout the industry as a leader in continuously variable transmission technology, the new combination clutch delivers improved shifting, greater performance, durability and longer belt life. The system also features integrated engine braking for greater control on steep descents.
Auringer reports the ZFORCE 500HO Trail and ZFORCE 800 Trail will be in dealerships by mid-January. CFMOTO recently saw its franchised dealer footprint reach 200, and sales to dealers have grown by 75 percent in 2015 compared to 2014, setting a new U.S. benchmark for the brand.
A host of durability improvements are part of the attractive 2016 lineup, including new Sumitomo electrical connectors that seal out the elements and improve performance in wet conditions. More durable front differentials also have been added.
“These and several other durability enhancements and improvements found throughout the line makes these 2016 models the most durable and reliable vehicles we’ve ever manufactured,” Jim Osterberg, CFMOTO USA vice president of service.
Among the 2015 models, the ZFORCE 800 EX EPS was CFMOTO USA’s top seller, followed by the CFORCE 500 EPS and CFORCE 500. EPS has proven to be an interesting feature for CFMOTO customers.
“When we introduced EPS last year for $800 more, we were curious to see if that would make a difference to the buyer — do I need EPS or not? The industry has proven that everybody wants EPS. Not having EPS, we didn’t have any history of that. We ordered 50-50, and quickly found out that our demographic wanted the EPS models. We sold out of them right away.”
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