HOT NEWS – April 21, 2003

Corbin Motors, the Hollister, Calif., maker of three-wheel automobiles, filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition March 31, 2003. Chapter 7 of the federal Bankruptcy Act deals with liquidation of a company’s assets and gives a court-appointed trustee powers to make management changes, among other things.
The most common type of bankruptcy filing is made under Chapter 11 of the law, which provides an opportunity for management to reorganize operations while remaining in control of the business.
Tom Corbin, company president, said a major creditor demanded payment of more than $600,000 on March 21, 2003, forcing the action.
Corbin Motors is separate from Corbin-Pacific, the company that produces motorcycle accessories and apparel, although some of the owners at the same.
Corbin Motors produced 285 models of its Sparrow one-seat electric car. Unfortunately, the unit was plagued by design problems and never ran properly. A second model, the V-twin-powered Merlin roadster never went into production.
Corbin said there are more than 1,000 creditors.
The National Park Service (NPS) has announced that the management plan for the Lake Mead National Recreation Area has been approved, and that personal watercraft use is authorized in specified zones.
According to the notice, “as soon as practicable” the NPS will begin to implement the “preferred alternative” contained in the final Environmental Impact Statement.
New Chairman at Museum
The Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, Pickerington, Ohio, named Mark R. Mendell of Boston as chairman of the Museum’s board of directors.
Mendell was named to the board in 2000, and most recently served as its vice chairman. He replaces Don Emde, who stepped down from the chairman’s position to devote more time to his publishing business. Emde will continue to serve as a board member.
Mendell is president of Cannon Design, one of the nation’s largest architectural firms.
Sales Up for BMW bikes
BMW Motorrad USA
, a division of BMW of North America, LLC, Woodcliff Lake, N.J., says it posted a 64% gain in first quarter retail sales this year over the same period in 2002. Monthly retail sales for January, February and March reached record levels of 4,011 units. In fact, BMW says sales during February 2003 nearly tripled sales made in February 2002.
The top-selling model, year-to-date, is the K 1200 LT, followed by the R 1150 RT. Third and fourth most popular model sales were the F 650 series and the R 1150 GS. States reporting the highest volume of BMW motorcycle sales, year-to-date, are California, Florida, Texas and New York.
BMW Motorrad is represented by 148 retailers. Last year, the company posted its sixth consecutive year of record sales, launched four new models and became the first motorcycle manufacturer to introduce a certified pre-owned motorcycle program.
Progressive Expands
(NYSE:PGR) is in the initial stages of constructing a three-building, 300,000 sq. ft. campus on more than 30 acres in Colorado Springs, Colo. The campus will nearly double the firm’s current capacity in the area and allow it to consolidate its sales and customer service call centers.
Progressive sells auto, motorcycle, boat, ATV, recreation vehicle and PWC insurance policies to consumers in 26 states.
It has operated in Colorado Springs for nearly 20 years, and added 308 employees there in 2002. The 887 employees working in the sales and customer service call centers are scheduled to move into their new facilities by early 2004.
The Colorado Springs direct sales center is one of six that Progressive operates throughout the country. Progressive says it has grown 30% and hired more than 6,014 people throughout the U.S. during the past year.
Polaris adds legal VP
Polaris Industries says it appointed attorney Mary McConnell to the newly created office of vice president and general counsel, a position responsible for developing a corporate legal strategy to support the manufacturer’s business strategy.
McConnell joins Polaris after spending nearly 20 years practicing law for public and commercial organizations. She most recently served as counsel for the Control Products Division of Honeywell. She previously served boating heavyweight Genmar Holdings, Inc., as senior vice president, general counsel and secretary.
America’s PowerSports (APS)
, Nashville, Tenn., owner of one of the largest powersports retail dealer networks in the nation, acquired BMW of Ft. Worth and plans to relocate the dealership to Hurst, Texas, a Dallas/Ft. Worth suburb.
APS says the dealership will be moved to a new facility adjacent to another APS-owned retailer, Yamaha and Suzuki of Texas (YSOT), and will expand the dealership’s parts, accessories and apparel offerings as a part of the changeover. While a number of BMW of Ft. Worth employees have been asked to join the new dealership, management responsibilities have been picked up by Larry Lemons, the existing dealer principal at YSOT.
APS represents 25 powersports brands through its eight dealerships in three states.
GNCC Aids Combatants
GNCC Racing
, Morgantown, W.V., a division of Racer Productions and producers of the AMA Grand National Cross Country Series, has formed the GNCC G.I. Program, a project to show support to GNCC racers who are unable to race due to military commitments.
“The GNCC family misses the racers who can’t attend the GNCCs due to their commitment to defend our country,” said Rita Coombs, president of Racer Productions. “We’re thinking of them, and we want to show that by sending them a GNCC care package.”
GNCC Racing will send GNCC shirts, hats, stickers and other memorabilia to racers who follow the series. Riders and fans are encouraged to contact the series through the official GNCC Web site,, and submit the names of racers who have been deployed or called to active duty in any branch of the U.S. Military service.
Yamaha Awards Maxxis
Maxxis Wheel Company
, a subsidiary of Maxxis International – USA, was granted two awards from Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Corporation: the Supplier Excellence Award and the Cost Improvement Award.
The Supplier Excellence Award is presented to suppliers who provide deliveries on schedule, manufacture products with zero defects, engage in ongoing product development and offer on-site support. The Cost Improvement Award’s guidelines require that recipients offer cost reductions in excess of $125,000.
Based in Newnan, Ga., Maxxis Wheel is a supplier of tire and wheel assemblies for all ATV models manufactured by Yamaha in Newnan.
MAG Updates Software
Motorsport Aftermarket Group (MAG), Inc.
, Yorba Linda, Calif., took another step in the process of integrating its collection of powersports firms when it tapped IFS, a Swedish-based global business applications supplier, to formulate software solutions for its White Brothers and Progressive Suspension subsidiaries.
White Brothers Performance Products, Inc., Yorba Linda, Calif., and Progressive Suspension, Inc., Hesperia, Calif., are to receive IFS’s ERP II applications to assist with, among other things, supply chain management, customer relationship management, financials, engineering, maintenance and human resource administration.

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