Dec. 25, 2006 – Aftermarket Digest

Carrillo buys K1 Technologies
Connecting rod supplier Carrillo Industries Inc. has purchased the assets of K1 Technologies, a supplier of connecting rods and crankshafts.
Carrillo, San Clemente, Calif., has been building rods for more than 43 years. It is now a unit of Performance Motorsports, Inc., a group of seven independently managed businesses that are all owned by Dover Corporation. PMI group businesses include Wiseco, JE Pistons, Vertex, ProX and Chambon SA.
K1 Technologies President Tom Molnar said Carillo offers K1 a wealth of experience and technical know-how, as well as financial support, direction and synergy.
“It’s a unique partnership,” Molnar said. “Both companies strive to provide the best internal engine components to the customer and having the support of Carrillo is a tremendous added value for our customers.”
“Carrillo has made efforts to offer a rod for every type of application. Folding K1 into the Carrillo family, customers now have choice of a quality rod for every budget,” said Jack Sparks, vice president of Carrillo Industries, Inc.
FTM Changes Name
FTM Enterprises Inc. officially changed its corporate name to RK EXCEL America, Inc. effective Jan. 1.
The move, spurred by RK EXCEL Co. of Japan, is a part of a plan to further develop the wheel brand internationally.
The new company will continue to operate from the same current offices and warehouse, and Frank Miyake will remain as president until December 2010, or until the date he chooses to retire. Miyake also will continue to rely on FTM’s team of Kipp McGowan, sales manager; Farrah Bauer, advertising/marketing manager; Gary Taylor, product/purchasing manager; and Susan Kelly, office/communications manager.
Miyake founded FTM as a manufacturer representative organization in 1977. FTM became the exclusive sales and marketing arm for RK Takasago Chain in 1980 and, in 1986, assumed the same responsibilities for Takasago Excel Rims. In 1989, when their parent company, Nippon Steel, restructured the two Takasago steel companies, the companies merged to become RK EXCEL Co.
The shareholders of the new RK EXCEL America will be led by RK EXCEL Japan and joined by minority shareholders Carat srl of Italy and Mitsuboshi Boeki Ltd. of Japan. Carat is a leading sales and distribution company in Europe providing OEM and aftermarket sales and service for RK EXCEL Japan. Mitsuboshi — part of the Mitsuboshi Belting Group —is a trading company with strong manufacturing and sales channels throughout Asia, Europe and the Americas.
RK EXCEL America says it plans to continue with the Honeywell Group’s Fram and Autolite products, Ken Sean Mirrors and Napoleon Mirrors.
Global Shifts Management of Far East Ops
Global Motorsport Group plans to transition the management of its Custom Chrome Far East business to Harness Inc., an aftermarket motorcycle parts and accessories supplier.
The move will enable GMG to carry a broader product offering while compressing the development cycle time to deliver new products, said GMG CEO Dan Cook.
“Simply put, we believe that Harness is better positioned to more effectively deliver new products to market in connection with our domestic design and development teams,” Cook said. “Harness has been a proven partner with GMG for over 15 years. Together we have an established track record of procuring the parts our customers want, at the right price, and getting those parts to market quickly.”
GMG intends to complete the management transition by March 31.
GMG designs, manufactures, markets and distributes aftermarket motorcycle parts and accessories and does business as Santee, Custom Chrome, Custom Chrome Europe, Custom Chrome Far East and Motorcycle Stuff.
Holger Mohr heads up GMG’s Custom Chrome business worldwide, while Tim Dodd maintains responsibility for the company’s Motorcycle Stuff operation.
Cook replaced John Lott as CEO of GMG in September. He reports directly to Jeff Fenton, chairman of the board at GMG.
LeMans Corp. Adds Five
LeMans Corp., the Wisconsin-based parent company of Parts Unlimited and Drag Specialties, recently hired five new employees, two for the Parts business and three for Drag.
New additions to the Parts Unlimited team are Adam Nystrom of Braham, Minn., and Jay Verly of Sioux Falls, S.D. Both have been tapped to serve as North Region sales representatives.
Nystrom worked for two Minnesota dealerships before joining Parts Unlimited. He spent five years as a parts salesman at Excel Motorsports in Coon Rapids, Minn., and two years as a parts manager at Hitching Post in Fridley, Minn.
Verly spent seven years in the parts department of Midamerica Motoplex in Sioux Falls, S.D., and has competed in WPSA Snowcross and Hillcross events for several years aboard a Ski-Doo.
New additions to the Drag Specialties team include James McGlynn, Greg Matter and Matt Soares.
McGlynn relocated from Pompano Beach, Fla., to Tennessee to become a Southeast Drag Specialties road rep. A PHD-certified technician, McGlynn has been building his own bikes since opening Raw Power Customs in Pompano Beach, Fla., in 1999.
Matter and Soares joined the Western Region sales team. Matter most recently served as general manager of a multi-location Harley-Davidson dealership. Soares spent several years at Cycle Center of Freemont in Freemont, Calif., where he served as a parts salesman and parts manager.
Motorcycle Stuff Adds Nine
Motorcycle Stuff has made several new additions to its sales support and customer service team, responsible for answering incoming calls, assisting dealers with questions and order entry.
New hires include Garrett Baker, Tim Morrison, Don Spillman, MeKisha Owens, Melanie Little, Rhonda Gray, Joey Brindley, Ron Gilmore and Chris Morgan.
Baker, Morrison and Owens also will serve as a backup to assigned road reps, and Gilmore will be servicing dealers setting up new accounts while also helping existing dealers.
Industry Execs Launch New Marketing Firm
Two former marketing executives with Yamaha Motor Corp., USA, have levied their combined 50-year-plus experience in the powersports industry to launch Vantage Strategic Marketing, a firm dedicated to providing brand marketing, publication production, Web development, advertising and sales and marketing services.
Rit Lefrancois most recently worked with Yamaha as a product planner, marketing director and parts and accessories manager. He also served with Kawasaki Motor Corp., USA.
Andrew Bossenmeyer served Yamaha Motor Corp., USA, as a customer service supervisor, publications supervisor and marketing director for parts and accessories.
“Getting the consumer to understand the benefits, see the need, feel a personal attraction for a product is the responsibility of quality marketing,” Lefrancois said. “If you have a superior product or service, a one-time brochure is not going to do the trick, you need long-term strategies. The key is creating an image.
“By developing an overall market strategy we will better appropriate marketing dollars into result-driven marketing materials and programs that will attract new customers, promote loyalty and increase profits.”
LeFrancois said he envisions the Vantage customer base to include manufacturers, distributors and dealers. For more information, check Vantage on the Web at www.vantagesmg.com or call 714/372-2260.
Emissions-control company purchased in China
BASF Corp. has acquired a motorcycle catalyst business in China in an effort to meet a growing demand for emissions-control technology.
BASF Catalysts LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary formed by BASF, will acquire Guilin REEcat Catalyst Co., Ltd, a motorcycle emissions-control catalyst manufacturer based in Guilin, China.
The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2007.
“As a world leader in catalysts, we believe it’s important that we continue to expand our strong technology presence throughout the world, particularly in the fast-growing China market,” Wayne Smith, president of BASF’s Catalysts division, said in a prepared statement.
In 2008, China will adopt Euro III emissions regulations, which call for significant reductions of hydrocarbon, NOx (oxides of nitrogen) and carbon monoxide emissions from two-wheel vehicles.
Founded in 1991, REEcat is a pioneer developer of mobile emission-control technologies in China. The company manufactures and sells catalysts and systems for motorcycles and small engines. The company has a manufacturing plant and a research and development center in Guilin, and sales offices in Guangdong and Chongqing, China. psb

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