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A change in distribution for 4 brands

Aftermarket company Valencia Sport Group is not only entering the upcoming selling season with a number of plans in place for its four brands, but a changed distribution plan.
Vice President Gary McClelland told Powersports Business that the owner of the SixSixOne, Sunline, Tag Metals and Filtron brands will rely much more on national distributors this year than in years past.
Previously the company has worked with several of the larger national distributors, including Parts Unlimited and Tucker Rocky, but also used its internal staff to sell product.
That has changed this year as McClelland says Valencia Sport Group will only sell internally to a few key dealers and the rest of the business, the bulk of it, will go through distributors.
“They’re really excited that they are the ones selling it now,” McClelland said of the distributors. “They don’t have to compete with our own guys. They’ve made big commitments to carry bigger inventory levels, servicing the dealers better.
“The advantage for us is we don’t have the expense of having the inside (sales) guys,” he said, noting the move also benefits the distributors. “We have a bigger commitment from the distributor. They’re more excited about our product.”
Valencia Sport Group has owned SixSixOne, the protection gear brand, for roughly eight years. Two years after starting that brand, the company purchased Sunline, which has a line of hard parts for motorcycles, including levers, sprockets and footpegs.
The company’s other two brands — Filtron and Tag Metals — were acquired in the past two years. The Tag Metals line includes handlebars, sprockets, grips and other hard parts. Filtron manufactures air and oil filters. “The brand kind of disappeared for awhile and we’ve brought it back,” McClelland said of Filtron.
This year will mark the first year that Valencia Sport Group will have product, riders and distribution in place for all four brands, McClelland says. The latter issue, distribution, had been a problem for the Filtron and Tag brands in the past.
“That was an issue with a lot of the products,” McClelland said. “They had great marketing, big demand and no follow through in doing the product. And that’s a thing of the past.”
McClelland is one of the founding members of Valencia Sport Group, which was acquired by a holding company in November 2007. Will the company continue to look for more brands to acquire to add to its product lineup?
“It’s possible but it has to fit what we do,” McClelland said. “We don’t want to get so crazy we dilute what we’re doing now. We’d like to focus on our product. We’re actually streamlining a lot of our brands, taking out a lot of the me-too products and getting rid of a lot of that stuff that is just taking up inventory space and dollars.”
— Neil Pascale

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