Industry Leaders: Emil Gomez – April 24, 2006

Emil Gomez transformed a hobby into a worldwide corporation.
Gomez has gone from a messenger rider in New York City to motorcycle seller to importer to corporate CEO.
“I just get the biggest kick in the world out of doing this business,” Gomez said. “It’s so enjoyable, the motorcycle business. The people you meet in the business are just great people. So I hang on.”
The corporation he founded and presides over, EMGO International, has done much more than just hang on.
EMGO sells to wholesalers, distributors and OEMs in the United States, Canada,
Mexico and more than 35 other countries. The company, which has offices in the United States, Taiwan and Thailand, supplies aftermarket parts for all major American and imported brands of motorcycles.
What’s the biggest challenge for the industry and what should be done about it?
“The biggest challenge we have is keeping our eyes and ears open for legislation that’s going to put restrictions on our business or on the general motorcycling aspect of our lives by legislators who think bad of motorcycling people. We just got to keep very, very vigilant that legislation that can harm the business and the sport is not stuck on us as a group. Motorcycling is being more and more accepted. That’s one good thing. But at the same time, it’s drawing more and more eyes of people that like to control other people and that can maybe harm the industry in the long run.”
What’s been the biggest challenge in your current position?
“The biggest challenge we have here is trying to figure out what people are going to need a year-plus down the road. In other words, right now we are finished with the ’06 season even though it’s March. We now start worrying about the ’07 season. We have to try to figure out what the riders are going to be interested in, what the new fads are going to be next year. Then what the wholesale distributor is going to be looking to purchase in ’07. We then have to get those items in a production line and setting up schedules, testing some samples and getting it all ready before September or October so that people will have it available in the ’07 catalogs.”
How does EMGO deal with planning so far in the future?
“We work the trade shows. We get feedback from dealers. We get feedback from riders whenever we can. So we have first-hand discussions with riders, with the dealers we meet, with industry people that we run into. We’re always trying to pick other people’s thoughts as to … what’s coming onboard. … It’s all feedback.”
What’s the best advice you can give to others in the industry?
“Just work your heart out for it (the industry) because it’s got good paybacks, you got great people you’re going to deal with. It’s just a good way to make a living.”

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