ADP buys Lightspeed
The dealer services group of Automatic Data Processing, Inc (NYSE:ADP), the nation’s leading provider of dealer management systems to car and truck dealers, has acquired ProQuest Business Solutions, Salt Lake City, from ProQuest Company, Inc. (NYSE: PQE).
The newly-formed business unit within ADP Dealer Services will be called Lightspeed after the acquired unit’s widely-used Lightspeed dealer management software that serves nearly 3,000 motorcycle, marine, and RV dealerships in North America.
With over $7 billion in revenues and approximately 500,000 clients, ADP is one of the largest independent computing services firms in the world.
ADP provides Web-based dealer management tools and integrated computing solutions to more than 17,000 automotive and truck dealers and 30 manufacturers in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
“Moving into the powersports and recreational vehicle segments is a natural extension for ADP Dealer Services,” said Paul Andraschko, vice president of ADP’s Allied Services. “Since ADP provides software to dealerships of various sizes-from large chains to independents and used car outlets-we will be able to leverage our extensive experience to meet the demands of Lightspeed’s customers.”
Rob McBratney, Lightspeed vice president and general manager, said Lightspeed’s 124 employees will continue to serve its DMS customers from Salt Lake City.
Under ADP, the Lightspeed unit will manage all ProQuest Powersports management software including Lightspeed, Lightspeed Windows, Lightspeed Discovery, and Lightspeed Evolution. ProQuest has retained ownership of electronic parts catalog publishing and distribution.
“This acquisition is a win-win situation; it enables ProQuest to focus on its core publishing business and Lightspeed to concentrate efforts entirely on DMS solutions,” said McBratney.
NADA, E-LOAN partner
NADAguides.com, a leading vehicle information Web site, and E-LOAN, Inc., an online consumer direct lender, have formed an exclusive partnership, naming E-LOAN as the lead provider of auto and motorcycle loans for NADAguides.com automotive, classic car and motorcycle consumers.
Consumers visiting the automotive, classic car and motorcycle verticals at the NADAguides.com web site can access E-LOAN’s full suite of financial services for new and used vehicles. Consumers can research vehicle loans, shop for rates without entering personal information, compare products and apply for loans using a five-minute online application. Approved customers can go to a dealership to purchase their new or used machine as soon as 24-hours after they apply.
“Because our vehicle information is so diverse, we need a financing partner that understands and meets the special financing needs of our online consumers,” said Len Sims, vice president of NADAguides.com.
Officials at Aprilia say they are negotiating with up to 15 companies that have submitted offers to acquire or invest in the brand.
An Aprilia spokesman was quoted as saying the Bombardier-Rotax Group has shown a greater interest in Aprilia than some of the other companies involved, which include Piaggio and BMW. However, Jose Boisjoli, president and CEO of BRP, told Powersports Business that the Canada-based company has made no formal offer.
Eleven to be Honored
Each year, the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum in Pickerington, Ohio, recognizes 11 individuals who have made significant contributions to motorcycling, including those known for their contributions to road riding, off-road riding and all categories of racing, as well as those who have excelled in business, history, design and engineering. The Class of 2004 includes:
Joe Bolger – Five-time New England Scrambles Champion, mid 1960s and 1970s. Designer and manufacturer of motorcycle tools. Long-time contributing editor for Cycle World, Cycle Sport; engineer and designer, including work on Yankee motorcycles.
Willard “Red” Bryan – Eight-time National Hillclimb Champion, 1938 through 1951. Built his own engines, made heads, cast cylinders, designed and built frames.
Roy Burke – 1947 Class A National Hillclimb Champion, 1952 Open Class C Hillclimb Champion, 1955 Big Bear Grand Prix winner. Motorcycle dealer.
Wes Cooley – 1979 and 1980 AMA Superbike Champion. Eight AMA Superbike race wins. Member of two winning Suzuki Eight-Hour endurance race teams.
Linda Dugeau – Pioneer and Founder of the Motor Maids of America, the oldest motorcycling organization for women in North America. Motorcycle rider and enthusiast throughout her life.
E. Paul duPont – Major investor and former president of the Indian Motorcycle Company in the post-Depression years from 1929 through 1945. Saved the company from financial ruin.
Jeff Emig – Three AMA Motocross Championships, one AMA Supercross Championship. 1999 US Open of Supercross winner, 37 National victories, member of six Motocross des Nations teams 1992 through 1997.
Johnny Gibson – Winner of 1956 Daytona 200 and over 100 dirt-track, road-race and TT races. Helped organize speedway-racing revival in U.S.
Steve McLaughlin – Successful road racer in the 1960s and 1970s. Winner of the first AMA Superbike race at Daytona, member of the Transatlantic Match Races team, originated the World Superbike Championship in Europe.
Steve Morehead – Career spanning three decades; dirt-track racer from 1972 to 1999. Upon retirement he was ranked tenth on the all-time AMA Grand National win list, and fourth-ranked in half-mile victories. Currently operations manager for AMA Flat Track.
Dal Smilie – Passionate advocate for motorcyclist rights throughout his 35-year industry career. Longest-serving AMA director, first American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation chairman. Recipient of Motorcycle Safety Foundation Award of Excellence for national safety leadership.
The goal of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum is to tell the stories and preserve the history of motorcycling. The Class of 2004 will be inducted during ceremonies at the Museum Oct. 9.
Coombs quits AMA Board
Davey Coombs has resigned from the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) board of directors, citing available time as a factor. A successor for Coombs, a corporate member of the AMA board since 2001, has not yet been named.
WholesaleTrader.com Begins Online Auctions
WholesaleTrader.com, an electronic network that allows dealers in the powersports, RV and marine industries to exchange inventory online, now offers an online repo auction.
The first electronic auction featured 107 vehicles and lasted for five days. Although sales were lower than anticipated, Mark Taylor, the company’s marketing director, said more than 80% of the vehicles attracted bids on the dealers-only site.
“Our dealer-members were just learning how to use the Repo Auction feature of our site,” said Taylor. “They’ll get the hang of it, though. We expect the dealers to grow a lot more confident as our auctions continue.”
WholesaleTrader.com began operations at the beginning of March.
“We knew that the first dealers to join the network would be the larger, more aggressive ones,” Taylor said. “They’re profit-driven, so they quickly see the benefit in sharper management of their costly inventory.”
The online repo auctions are expected to be held every few weeks, throughout the industry’s busy season. Dealers may participate by obtaining a password at the Web site, www.wholesaletrader.com.
Tucker Rocky Sponsors HatField-McCoy Trail
Tucker Rocky, has partnered with Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Authority to outfit its staff members and rangers in Answer and MSR riding gear. Pants, jerseys, gloves, helmets and other apparel will be donated to office and trail employees of the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System in Charleston, West Virginia.
Executive Shake-Up at MZ
MZ Motorrad, manufacturer of motorcycles and other vehicles, said that Petr-Karel Korous, one of the firm’s two senior executives, has left the company.
Owned by Malaysian conglomerate Heong Leong but based in Zschopau, Germany, the company is now led by Ramasamy Vasuthewan, who also assumes responsibility of MZ Engineering GmbH.
Raus to Leave Weld
Rick Raus vice president and general manager of Weld Racing Motorcycle, said he plans to start his own marketing company serving the motorcycle industry. Raus says he plans to continue working with Weld as a consultant, handling PR efforts as well as special projects. For information about Weld Racing, contact Boyd Coddington, 816/922-6524.
Ducati N.A. Hires Two
There are two new faces at Ducati North America, based in Cupertino, Calif. Greg Zanghi has been named national after sales manager. He’s responsible for customer care, service communications, legal matters, systems and development.
John Cupp, who previously served as district sales manager at American Honda, will serve as sales manager for California, Arizona, Hawaii, and Nevada. Cupp replaces Brad Hagi, who joins Ducati’s export sales department in Bologna, Italy.
Indian’s Intellectual Property to be sold
CMA Business Credit Services, Burbank, Calif., has been assigned to auction the Indian Motorcycle intellectual property. The auction was scheduled to be held June 29, 2004. CMA will sell the Indian intellectual property without representation or warranty.
New Chief at Designworks
Verena C. Kloos has been named president of DesignworksUSA, the international strategic design consultancy owned by BMW Group. She will oversee the company’s day-to-day operations and strategic direction.
Kloos succeeds Adrian van Hooydonk, who will re-locate to Munich later this year to head the BMW automobile brand studio.
DesignworksUSA is headquartered in Newbury Park, Calif. with a branch office in Munich, Germany. Founded in 1972 by designer Charles Pelly, the company was acquired by the BMW Group in 1995, and covers four main areas: Product Development, Transportation Design, Automotive Design and Advanced Communication. The studio’s work can be seen in BMW cars, motorcycles, sports equipment and lifestyle products. For more information, visit http://www.designworksusa.com.
Yamaha launches User Manual Program
User and service manuals for motorcycles built by Yamaha Motor Co. during the past 30 years are available through the company’s dealer network. Prices of the manuals range from approximately $12 to $95. The company also plans to launch manuals for its ATVs and snowmobiles. psb
HOT NEWS – June 28, 2004
ADP buys Lightspeed