Oct. 16, 2006 – Aftermarket Digest

MLS launches system upgrade
Marketing Loyalty Solutions Inc. recently launched an upgraded Customer Management System (CMS), a system that allows powersports dealers to track customer retention and marketing campaign effectiveness.
The company says six major powersports OEMs – Arctic Cat, BRP, Eton, Honda, KTM and Suzuki – endorse CMS.
Dealers who have used previous versions of the CMS provided their input for upgrading the program. The upgraded CMS includes online reporting, more customization options and better data management.
The CMS was on display during the September BRP Ultimate Playground CLUB 2007 in Nashville, Tenn. This new product is currently included as part of the BRP co-op advertising program. Any powersports dealer currently participating can ask their OEM to have each customer’s warranty information downloaded directly into their dealership system as a hassle-free benefit.
New Biker’s Choice director named
Scott Hakins has been named director of Biker’s Choice.
In his new role, Hakins will be reporting to Tim Pritchard, Tucker Rocky’s vice president of sales and marketing.
Hakins most recently rejoined Tucker Rocky/Biker’s Choice in June 2005. He had originally been with NEMPCO beginning in 1992 and most recently with CCI in a sales capacity in the Boston area from 2000 through June 2005.
Power Trip, Army Sign gear Agreement
Randy Robison, president of Robison’s Inc., manufacturer of Power Trip, a premium custom motorcycle apparel brand, announced a licensing agreement with the Army.
The agreement calls for Power Trip to manufacture a line of technical on-road motorcycle and casual gear.
“The U.S. Army has a long history of motorcycle association,” said Robison, “and we believe there will be a strong emotional attachment for both enlisted soldiers and veterans alike.”
“As one of America’s leading motorcycle apparel brands, Power Trip has used their design expertise to incorporate many unique features required by active duty soldiers who ride while serving in the U.S. Army,” said Derrick Welch, vice president of Sullivan’s USA Inc., the exclusive distributor of the U.S. army apparel line. “At the same time, it gives all motorcyclists an opportunity to show support for our nation’s soldiers and the ongoing efforts of the U.S. Army.”
Look for the “Tactical Motorcycle Gear” officially licensed Army collection by Power Trip to be available soon.
Razor’s Edge Hires Senior Operations Specialist
The Razor’s Edge Difference (RED), a powersports company that specializes in dealer management systems and operations, has announced a new hire.
RED, which has partnered with RPM Group and Softek Software, has hired Senior Operations Specialist Max Barker, who previously worked as controller and operations manager for a high volume import dealership in Utah. While there, he also supervised a major software conversion as the project manager.
“Max is a very hands-on guy, but he’s also able to see the big picture with phenomenal clarity,” RED founder and President Debbie Thibault said in a news release. “That’s such a rare combination of talents.”
Since 2001, RED has been providing on-site support to dealers across the country as well as remote and telephone support. RED specializes in conversions between dealer management software systems, helping dealers obtain accurate and timely financials from their dealer management system and automation of composite reporting for 20 groups.
Yamaha Taps New Marketing manager for Parts, Accessories
Briana Droege recently accepted a position with Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A. as assistant manager, marketing for Yamaha’s Parts and Accessories Division.
Based at Yamaha headquarters in Cypress, Calif., Droege will be responsible for a variety of deliverables related to advertising, public relations and events execution specifically for the Yamaha Parts and Accessories Division.
Droege previously worked for Global Motorsport Group, Inc. as advertising and communications manager, and with Ducati North America as advertising and promotions manager.
“I am looking forward to further integrating elements of our accessories marketing and business development into our overall communications activities,” Droege said.
Downs Energy Picks Up VP Fuels
VP Racing Fuels, an industry leader in the manufacture of racing fuels and other performance products, announced the signing of Downs Energy, based in Corona, Calif., as its newest distributor.
“Downs Energy has the resources to become one of VP’s premier distributors on the West Coast,” said Bruce Hendel, VP’s global sales manager. “Downs Energy’s primary marketing area is focused on Riverside, San Bernardino and Eastern Orange County in Southern California. They will carry VP 110 for off-road applications, and VP’s StreetBlaze 100 street-legal unleaded available at their Corona and Temecula card lock stations and will also carry the full line of VP’s specialty fuels at their Corona warehouse.”
Tokyo Motor Show Seeks Sponsors
The 40th Tokyo Motor Show will be held at Makuhari Messe in Chiba City Oct. 26 to Nov. 11 and the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) is looking for aftermarket suppliers willing to serve as sponsors.
JAMA Chairman Fujio Cho said the program will provide participating organizations a combination of various privileges, such as the opportunity to have an exclusive booth and advertising signage at the show, rights for show logo use, sales promotion activities at the show, exposure of sponsor names in advertisements and notices for the show, and the provision of invitation tickets.
A range of sponsorships will be available, and the sponsorship fee will be expanded to start from 5 million yen ($42,300) to 50 million yen ($63,300) to make it easier for organizations to participate.
The Tokyo Motor Show will change its format to a biennial “new-style comprehensive show” covering the whole automotive range of passenger cars, motorcycles, commercial vehicles, commercial vehicle bodies and vehicle parts, beginning with the 40th show in 2007. psb

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