ISMA Prepares Go Snowmobiling Campaign
Attendees at the International Snowmobile Congress in Salt Lake City in early June got to preview three potential television commercials on snowmobiling. The commercials were created through the trade group International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association (ISMA). The commercials, which are meant to draw newcomers to snowmobiling, depicted three family-friendly scenarios. The commercials are the start of ISMA's Go Snowmobiling media campaign, modeled after the successful Go RVing advertising campaign. A Go Snowmobiling Web site is in the works. So far, the project is funded through ISMA, but the organization is seeking aftermarket and snowmobile industry-related business support.
Hetteen Retires from ASV
Snowmobile pioneer Edgar Hetteen has retired from his position as Vice President and Secretary of ASV, Inc., a company he co-founded in 1983. Hetteen also co-founded the companies now operating as Polaris Industries Inc. and Arctic Cat Inc.
Hetteen announced his retirement May 27 following the company's annual shareholder meeting. Hetteen also chose not to stand for reelection to ASV's Board of Directors.
Hetteen and ASV Chairman and CEO Gary Lemke founded ASV in 1983 with a goal to develop and manufacture rubber track work vehicles. ASV, based in Grand Rapids, Minn., finished 2004 with net sales of $161 million and 230 employees.
In related news, ASV shareholders elected Kenneth J. Zika, retired Caterpillar Corporate Controller and Treasurer, to its Board of Directors. Zika was nominated as the new Caterpillar Inc. designate to the ASV Board. Zika will occupy the position previously held by Edward J. Rapp, Vice President with Caterpillar's Building Construction Products Division, who chose not to stand for reelection to ASV's Board.
Caterpillar currently owns approximately 23% of ASV's outstanding common stock, but has chosen to maintain just one Board seat on ASV's current Board of nine members.
Carl's Cycle Re-Launches Online Superstore
Boise, Idaho-based Carl's Cycle Sales has re-launched Carl's Online Superstore in mid-May. The company will sell aftermarket snowmobile and motorcycle parts, accessories and apparel, as well as Carl's Performance proprietary products and services via its Web site at www.carlscycle.com. The re-designed commerce site includes new performance pages with information and stories on Carls' products, as well as field test information and product reviews. Returning to the site is the “garage sale” pages that feature closeout items and take-off parts. Carl's Cycle Sales, owned by Jack Struthers, sells Polaris snowmobiles, as well as ATVs and motorcycles.
Wisconsin Noise Rule In Limbo
Laws to regulate snowmobile noise are at a standstill in Wisconsin, as parties debate the appropriate decibel level for the machines. The draft of the requirements are with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources awaiting approval. The Wisconsin DNR is vying for a 86 decibel limit; the snowmobile community and others are seeking an 88 decibel limit, as most fan-cooled machines will not pass the higher requirement. A stationary sound test has been approved, however, which enforcement officials can use on the trail.
Dates Set For Safety Week
International Snowmobile Safety Week will take place from January 8 to January 14, 2005. The program, run through the International Snowmobile Manufacturers' Association is designed to create awareness of snowmobile safety. Snowmobile clubs and associations are encouraged to sponsor safety related events. Elected officials, community leaders, school teachers, safety trainers are encouraged to work together to increase awareness for the need to have safe, responsible behavior while snowmobiling.
Vandals Hit New Hampshire Trail
Steel gates blocking sections of snowmobile trail maintained by the Belknap Snowmobilers' Club in the Belknap Mountain area of New Hampshire were damaged and removed in late May.. In addition, the trails were covered with garbage and damaged with ruts from off-road vehicles. In 2004, the snowmobile club raised more than $3,000 and built with volunteer labor six steel gates to protect the trails from unauthorized access. At least four of the six gates were destroyed or otherwise rendered useless. Vandals in trucks have also damaged wooden snowmobile bridges that were not designed to support a full-sized vehicle. Club members worry that the damage, some of which is on private land, will reflect poorly on the snowmobile club, despite its efforts to prevent unauthorized use. There are concerns that the angry landowners will restrict snowmobile club access in response to the off-road traffic, and trails will become closed.