April 2, 2007 – Aftermarket Digest

PUMA, Ducati Show Off First Joint Venture
The first fruits of the PUMA-Ducati Motor Holding SpA collaboration — the Panigale — arrive in stores this month.
The shoe is specifically designed by Puma with creative insights from the Ducati Design Team. The name itself refers to Borgo Panigale, the Bologna-city area where Ducati’s headquarters have been located since 1926.
Taking inspiration from PUMA research on its Moto GP boots, the Panigale has an outrigger on the forefoot as well as an exo-skeletal support structure in the heel to improve comfort without making the product heavier.
Infused with Ducati-design DNA, the Panigale uses key elements from most contemporary bike designs from the brand. The shoe is built around a 360-degree graphic, which represents the famous “racing stripe” on the S4Rs. Materials also remind consumers of the characteristics of Ducati’s bikes: glossy leather upper, carbon-optic heel construction and traditional white, black and red color combinations taken directly from the colors of the Ducati motorcycles.
The shoe will be available starting April 2 exclusively at Foot Locker throughout Europe, Puma stores worldwide and starting May in Ducati stores.
Polisport Selects PowerMadd As N. American Import Partner
Polisport Plastics, a Portugal manufacturer of plastic parts for off-road motorcycles, has chosen PowerMadd to be its exclusive North American Importer.
PowerMadd will be responsible for sales, marketing, warehousing and distribution of the Polisport Off-Road product line.
“This is extremely exciting for us,” said Randy Shimanski, president of PowerMadd. “This is a great fit with our current capabilities and strengths and it fits well with our Ride Innovation motto.
“We are looking forward to working with Polisport to increase the demand for their products in the United States and Canada.”
PowerMadd doubled the size of its Burnsville, Minn., warehouse to accommodate the Polisport line. Distributors and dealers will now have the ability to purchase directly from PowerMadd and not have to worry about the shipping costs or long lead times for overseas shipments.
Polisport products are currently sold in more than 50 countries.
N.A.D.A. Guides launches An e-Guidebook
N.A.D.A. Appraisal Guides launched a new N.A.D.A. Powersports e-Guidebook CD-ROM, which includes a database of pricing and specification information for all types of powersports vehicles. It features 22 model years of used values — from 1986 to 2007 — as well as detailed specifications in an easy-to-use format.
The N.A.D.A. Powersports e-Guidebook CD-ROM also allows dealers the ability to create custom hang tags that include the dealership name and logo, as well as specifications, pricing information and dealer add-on information.
“This powerful CD-ROM offers the best of both worlds — the ability for business professionals to utilize our industry-standard pricing and specification information they’ve come to know and respect in an easily downloadable format for desktop or laptop computers,” said Lenny Sims, N.A.D.A. Appraisal Guides’ vice president of operations.
The company’s powersports clients have indicated a need for a more streamlined delivery method of the company’s extensive database of powersports information, said Don Christy Jr., N.A.D.A. Appraisal Guides president and CEO.
The N.A.D.A. Powersports e-Guidebook CD-ROM is updated three times a year and costs $140 for a one-year subscription.
S&S Cycle Announces New Minimum Shipping Policy
S&S Cycle Inc. has changed its shipping policy for dealers placing small orders.
The new policy gives dealers the option of placing orders with a minimum order exception fee of $10 — this fee will be in addition to standard shipping charges.
S&S has had a long-standing policy of dealers placing a minimum order of $50. Dealers placing an order of $50 or more will not incur the extra fee. This new policy is expected to help dealers place small parts orders to fill common customer requests.?
“As a longtime S&S customer and American V-twin enthusiast, I was frustrated with the S&S $50 minimum order policy and the inconvenience it causes for small replacement part orders,”?S&S customer Leonard Cox from Texas said in a press release. “So I e-mailed the president, Brett Smith, and told him about the difficulty I encountered.
“After a few e-mails back and forth, S&S implemented my suggestion to allow customers to place smaller orders by adopting a minimum order exception fee for the small pick orders placed by dealers for consumers in certain circumstances.”?
Smith said, “I always appreciate comments I get from customers in the field — even the critical ones. Those critical e-mails or phone calls force us to look at things with a new perspective and often lead to change.”
Siemens VDO Introduces Special OEM Solutions Brochure
Siemens VDO, a supplier of automotive electronic/electrical systems and components, has announced the availability of a new Special OEM Solutions brochure, which includes products for the powersports market.
Siemens VDO says it has a portfolio of products and systems tailored to the requirements of the special OEM, whether it’s off-the-shelf components, system integration or customer-specific solutions. Siemens VDO employs comprehensive test and quality assurance procedures so customers can be confident that solutions will function reliably in the toughest of operating conditions.
One key area of focus is the control and optimization of engine performance. Siemens VDO offers sensors, actuators and fuel systems designed to reduce fuel consumption and emissions while helping to boost the efficiency of vehicles and machinery. The company also offers a wide range of products and systems for the cockpit, including its instrumentation, pedals and audio systems.
Bill Setter, director of instrumentation marketing stated, “Siemens VDO’s extensive experience, broad range of solutions and ability to provide systems integration make it an ideal partner for manufacturers of special vehicles and machinery.”
Siemens VDO Commercial Vehicles and Service Parts is a business unit of Siemens VDO Automotive, an international automotive electronics and mechatronic supplier. The group is part of Siemens AG (NYSE: SI) and generated sales of $12 billion in its 2006 fiscal year.
Airprotek To Distribute New Line of Safety Products
Airprotek International Inc. will distribute a range of powersports safety products in a new deal with Zicen USA, the companies announced.
The first products distributed under the new deal will be a line of motorcycle and scooter helmets under the Airprotek brand name.
“The agreement with Zicen is the perfect opportunity to extend our brand to additional safety-related apparel products for the powersports industry, and to respond to the numerous requests from retailers for a line of motorcycle and scooter helmets that match the attractive look of our airbag jackets and vests,” said Anthony Cisneros, Airprotek’s CEO.
Sean Kang, vice president of Zicen USA, stated, “Airprotek has developed a powerful North American distribution channel, and Zicen has the engineering know-how and factory production capabilities to supply this channel with quality products at highly competitive prices.”
Founded in 2005, Airprotek International is the exclusive North American distributor of a line of safety jackets and vests that utilize proprietary air bag technology to protect motorcyclists in the event of a collision with another vehicle or a fall. The jackets and vests that Airprotek distributes in North America are currently manufactured in Japan and are sold in Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and New Zealand.
American Suzuki Adds New Business Platform
American Suzuki Motor Corp. has implemented a new platform to centralize financial, inventory and sales data for the company’s powersports division.
The platform, developed by Actuate Corp. (NASDAQ: ACTU), produces a number of reports, including inventory management, financial analysis and dealer ranking. Suzuki’s field operations will rely on Actuate inventory reports to understand dealer’s floor plans, inventory types, inventory quantities and also sales information.
“We needed a way for our field and corporate offices to receive reports that consolidated inventory, financial and sales information,” said Steve Chavez, credit manager at Suzuki. “With Actuate’s Enterprise Reporting applications, all of our team members now have an easy-to-use, Web-based tool to access inventory management data and dealer performance. Now our management team can proactively address underperforming dealerships by shifting inventory or consulting with dealers on areas for improvement.”
Actuate, based out of San Francisco, has more than 4,000 customers globally in a range of business areas, including financial services and the public sector.
Firm in the Car Wash Industry Produces Cycle Products
Boston SoapWorks recently announced the launch of Perewitz Precision Cycle Care, a complete line of cleaning and polishing products for the motorcycle industry.
Co-developed with custom builder Dave Perewitz, the line is available to powersports enthusiasts.
The genesis for the product line stemmed from Perewitz’s need for a variety of application-specific cleaners and polishes that would provide performance in the shop along with ease of use on the road.
Headquartered in West Newton, Mass., the principles at Boston SoapWorks LLC have been formulating and selling products to the professional detailing and car wash industry for more than 20 years. Dealers and distributors can contact Boston SoapWorks at 888/858-0845. psb

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