HOT NEWS – August 16, 2004

Stellican wins Indian brand
Stellican Limited, a London-based private equity firm, says it has acquired the trademarks and related intellectual property of Indian Motorcycle from CMA Business Credit Services of Burbank, Calif.
CMA Business Credit Services sold the Gilroy, Calif., Indian plant and operating assets following the closing of the company last September. The remaining piece, the Indian intellectual property, also was assigned to CMA which then conducted an auction on June 29. Stellican’s winning bid was not disclosed.
“Our primary goal is to return Indian to its rightful position as a premium motorcycle brand, selling beautifully designed, high quality products and delivering world-class services,” said Stephen Julius, founding partner of Stellican, in a prepared statement.
“We are long-term brand builders, obsessed with product design and quality,” says Julius.
Julius and his partner, Tampa-native Stephen Heese, met as students at Harvard Business School.
Stellican Ltd. specializes in acquiring and reviving distressed companies, almost all with heritage brands, mainly in the recreational products area. Capital is provided by the firm’s own principals, who actively manage the portfolio companies.
Julius, through Stellican Ltd., re-launched Chris-Craft boats after purchasing it from Genmar Holdings. Additional acquisitions and turn-arounds include Italian yacht manufacturer, Riva, and the Italian Premier League soccer team, Vicenza.
The most pressing issues for Stellican now, according to Julius, include where to manufacture in the U.S., which engine technology to utilize, which dealers to appoint and when to re-start production.


Motorsports Hall of Fame Hits the Road
Detroit’s Motorsports Hall of Fame of America plans to launch a unique, two-year traveling exhibit, set to premier during Speedweek festivities just prior to the Daytona 500 in February.
The mobile tour will create significant marketing opportunities, and help generate funds to locate a new venue for the Motorsports Hall of Fame, currently housed in Novi, Mich., say organization officials.
Dubbed the Heroes of Horsepower Mobile Tour, the traveling exhibit will be produced by Mobility Resource Associates (MRA) of St. Clair Shores, Mich. The 75-foot-long mobile version of the Motorsports Hall of Fame, housed inside a double expandable, tractor-trailer rig, will feature computer kiosks, racing memorabilia, detailed scaled models of famous cars, and a gallery of motorsports legends.
Ehlert Publishing Group, of Maple Grove, Minn., is the tour’s media partner and will link the campaign to its 12 powersports magazines, two TV shows, and their advertisers. Ehlert publishes Powersports Business magaazine.
“This is an exceptional marketing opportunity for us,” said Dick Hendricks, Ehlert executive vice president. “And with more than 1.6 million readers, magazines can deliver outstanding promotional exposure for the Heroes of Horsepower Mobile Tour,” he said.
Call 800/676-3520 for more information or details about sponsorship participation.


Stoddart Joins MZ Na
John Stoddart, former sales and dealer development manager at Moto Guzzi North America, has been appointed president and general manager of MZ Motorrad of North America, the Florida-based importer and distributor of MZ brand motorcycles, scooters and small displacement quads.
MZ Motorrad of North America is a subsidiary of MZ Motorrad and Zweiradwerk GmbH (MuZ), Zschopau, Germany, which is owned by Malaysian conglomerate Hong Leong Industries.
Stoddart replaces Ray Campanile, who left the position after 11 years and who now reports to the president of MuZ. MZ Motorrad of North America was incorporated under Campanile’s leadership in 1997.
With over 20 years of experience in the European motorcycle industry, Stoddart began his career as an apprentice at a Moto Guzzi, BMW, Laverda and Moto Morini dealer.


Pearson Goes to Lemco
David Pearson has been named a trainer and moderator for Lemco Management Group, Inc. He will handle dealership management development programs, training seminars and moderate dealer 20-Clubs.
Pearson spent 10 years in the banking/financial industry prior to switching to the powersports industry. He started his powersports career 15 years ago racing Enduro’s and has worked in management roles at Foothills BMW in Lakewood, Colo. Pearson will work out of the corporate headquarters in Denver, Colo.


CCM Ceases Operations
Off-road and dual-purpose motorcycle specialist CCM Motorcycles, Blackburn, Lancashire, UK, ceased operations on July 8, 2004.
Founded by Alan Clews, CCM was controlled by Murray VCT, a venture capital company specializing in start-ups and product development. Fifty employees reportedly were laid off with the closing.


Johnson Lays Off 69
Johnson Outdoors Inc. (Nasdaq: JOUT) says it will outsource manufacturing at its Grand Rapids, Mich., facility, and shift production from Mansonville, Canada, to its Old Town, Maine, operation.
Johnson Outdoors is an outdoor recreation company that designs, manufactures and markets watercraft, marine electronics, diving and outdoor equipment. The company has 26 locations around the world, employs 1,500 people and reported annual sales of $315.9 million in 2003.
The plan to shift production is part of the company’s on-going efforts to improve the profitability of its watercraft business unit.
The company estimated that costs and charges associated with these plans will be about $3 million. The move will result in the loss of 69 jobs in the two locations, according to Johnson.


Gladden takes on CMSP
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), Irvine, Calif., has named Robert Gladden as project manager for the California Motorcyclist Safety Program (CMSP).
Gladden joined the MSF in 2001 to take the helm of the organization’s DirtBike School, the MSF’s newest curriculum product at that time. Gladden has 14 years of industry experience, including sales, marketing, and management positions with Scotts Performance Products, Answer Products, and Acerbis USA.
As project manager for the CMSP, Gladden will be responsible for developing relationships with training sponsors; monitoring quality assurance and delivery systems; evaluating proposed site installations; directing program processes and administrative readiness; and managing general business aspects of the program.


Suzuki Sales PRO honored
The Suzuki Sales P.R.O. (Professional Retail Outlet), an in-store marketing tool offered by American Suzuki Motor Corporation (ASMC), has been given two awards by KIOSK Magazine during its 5th Annual Kiosk Awards in June. It also was named the Most Innovative Product with its partner EON Reality, Inc., which produces the Sales P.R.O. 3-D modeling.
Sales P.R.O. was developed in house by Steve Bortolamedi, ASMC Dealer Network Manager, Rod Lopusnak, Marketing Manager, and Mel Harris, Motorcycle/ATV Division Vice President . The software is produced by EON Reality, Inc. and Matrix Consultants.


Cycle Sales climb in Italy
A total of 263,018 motorized two-wheelers were sold in Italy from January through June, a 7% increase compared to sales during the same period last year, reports Ancma, the Italian trade association for motorcycle, bicycles and related equipment.
Ancma says 100,322 motorcycles were sold during the first six months of the year, a 15.84% rise in sales compared to the first half of 2003. Of that total, 29,701 units were produced in Italy and 70,621 were imported.
Scooter sales were up 2.19% for January through June. Of the 162,696 scooters sold, 61,446 units were imported.
In other powersports-related news from Italy, Guidalberto Guides, 63, has been named the new president of Ancma. He fills the position following the departure of Ivano Beggio.


Indonesia Cycle Sales up
Industry-wide domestic motorcycle sales in Indonesia rose to 330,363 units in June from 310,904 units in May.


Trailer makers comply
The National Association of Trailer Manufacturers (NATM), Topeka, Kansas, says more than half of its members are taking part in a recently initiated manufacturing compliance program.
NATM officials say the organization has spent the past few years working to improve the under 26,000 pound gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) segment of the trailer industry through the promotion of acceptable manufacturing practices.
NATM’s guidelines, a compilation of federal rules and regulations that govern trailer construction, are the basis for the program. It’s designed to evaluate members who voluntarily undergo an inspection by NATM to ensure that their trailers comply.
Members in compliance then receive a three-inch red, white and blue decal, the NATM Compliance Decal, to affix to their product. NATM marketing materials, which include posters and counter top displays, can be distributed to dealers who sell trailers with the Compliance Decal.


Japan’s June motorcycle Production increases
The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) says motorcycle production in Japan during June was recorded as 136,879 units, up 5,972 units or 4.6% compared to the 130,907 units registered during the same month in 2003.
June 2003 unit totals are shown below, followed by June 2004 production totals from each of the major OEMs in Japan.

2003 2004
Honda 52,585 49,211
Yamaha 43,127 53,721
Suzuki 26,172 22,419
Kawasaki 8,983 11,482
The total number of motorcycles exported during June 2004 was recorded as 94,221 units, up 24,599 units or 35.3% as compared with the 69,622 units recorded for export during June 2003.
The total value of motorcycles exported during June 2004 was $420.13 million — $298.63 million for vehicles and $121.50 million for parts — an increase of $95.45 million or 29.4% compared to $324.68 million recorded for the same month of the previous year.
June 2003 export totals are shown below, followed by June 2004 totals from each of the major OEMs in Japan.

2003 2004
Honda 23,411 28,606
Yamaha 30,616 38,028
Suzuki 11,020 16,593
Kawasaki 4,575 10,994
JAMA says 45,371 motorcycles were sent to the U.S. during June 2004 compared to 37,796 units during June 2003.


Deere studies Fuel Cells
Deere & Company, manufacturer of John Deere products, has entered into a five-year agreement with Hydrogenics Corporation for continued research and development efforts on the use of hydrogen and fuel cells in commercial vehicles.
Under the agreement, the two will collaborate on fuel cell developments and engineering to integrate them into vehicles. Hydrogenics, based in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, has operations in Japan, the U.S. and Germany.


BRP to sell Industrial unit to Camoplast
Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) took another step to streamline its operations when it reached an agreement to sell its Industrial division headquartered in Granby, Quebec, to Camoplast, based in Sherbrooke, Quebec.
The deal is scheduled to close Aug. 30. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Proceeds from the sale will be used for operations and to pay down debt that BRP incurred when it was purchased from Bombardier, Inc., last December, said a company official.
BRP chose to sell the operation, said Pierre Pichette, BRP vice president of communications and public affairs, because it didn’t fit with the company’s increased emphasis on consumer products. Jose Boisjoli, BRP president and CEO, said in a prepared statement that the sale will help BRP “maximize the synergies between our various products and manufacturing facilities.”
Pichette said production at the Granby facility is “very seasonal, and it’s always been a very difficult operation for us. We couldn’t bring business to the plant because it’s not the same (as our other operations). It’s very different from the rest. We’ve tried different things to no avail.”
Sales from the Industrial operation were not disclosed by the privately-held BRP.
Camoplast, a former BRP operation that was spun off in 1982, is one of BRP's biggest suppliers of rubber tracks and composite materials.
The BRP Industrial division employs 300 persons in Granby and four regional offices. It manufactures snow groomers and tracked vehicles for specialized work in difficult terrain.
Camoplast employs 1,200 persons and has 10 manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Canada and Europe. Its customers include Arctic Cat, John Deere, Polaris, Kawasaki, Honda and Yamaha. The new unit was seen as becoming one of Camoplast’s most important businesses.


Polaris 50th Party
Polaris and more than 25,000 riding enthusiasts and music fans turned the Minnesota State Fairgrounds into an 83-acre “Polarisville” during the celebration of the company’s 50th anniversary July 23 and 24.
The celebration included the launching of the Polaris Hall of Fame and the introduction of new 2005 ATVs, Victory Motorcycles, RANGER utility vehicles, personal watercraft and sport boats.
On Friday, July 23, the company’s 3,800 employees and nearly 3,000 Polaris dealers and international distributors enjoyed a party at the fairgrounds that included a cavalcade of displays, activities and musical performances.
Saturday’s events featured more than 700 Victory motorcycle riders and celebrities such as stock car racing legends Richard and Kyle Petty and rock music hall-of-famer John Fogerty.


Polaris creates company Hall of Fame
10 Inducted as Charter Members
Individuals and business partners who have played significant roles in the founding and growth of Polaris Industries, Medina, Minn., have been honored with induction into the new Polaris Hall of Fame. The induction of the charter honorees took place Friday, July 23, 2004, as part of the Polaris 50th Anniversary Celebration at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in St. Paul, Minn.
“These are the people and partners who helped launch Polaris and who are responsible for its growth over the years,” said Polaris President and CEO Tom Tiller. “They’re a big part of why we’re here to celebrate 50 great years of Polaris.”
The charter inductees into the Polaris Hall of Fame are:

  • Original partners Edgar Hetteen, David Johnson and the late Allan Hetteen. Edgar Hetteen founded Hetteen Hoist & Derrick in Roseau, Minn., and in 1954 the company was incorporated as Polaris Industries Inc. David Johnson oversaw manufacturing for the better part of his 42 years with Polaris before retiring in 1988. Allan Hetteen in 1960 succeeded his brother Edgar as company president and directed Polaris through the 1960s. Allan left the company in the early 1970s and passed away as a result of a farm accident in 1973.
  • W. Hall Wendel, Jr., who joined Polaris in the late 1970s, when it was a division of Textron. He helped form a group of investors who purchased Polaris from Textron in 1981, and he led Polaris for more than two decades.
  • Orlen Johnson, one of the first employees hired by Edgar Hetteen, this 37-year employee was a critical participant in the creation of the first Polaris snowmobile in 1956.
  • Raynold Monsrud, a 36-year Polaris employee who raced snowmobiles, directed the snowmobile racing program and currently leads the ATV Way Out Training Tour, a dealer training program.
  • Mies Outland, a leading Polaris dealer in Watkins, Minnesota, since 1965 and now is in its third generation of family ownership.
  • Headingley Sport Shop, a Headingley, Manitoba, Canada, Polaris dealership since 1967 that plays a leading role in its local riding and racing scene.
  • Fuji Heavy Industries, a Polaris engine supplier since the late-1960s, when it began supplying Polaris with engines designed specifically for use in snowmobiles. Fuji remains a Polaris engine supplier and partner today.
  • TEAM Industries, a Bagley, Minn.-based manufacturer of precision-machined components, many of which are used in Polaris clutches and transmissions.
  • All Polaris Riders. Tiller called loyal and active Polaris riders “the fuel for this company” because their passion for the riding experience drives the company’s efforts to develop the world’s best powersports products.

    Victory adds new Hammer and low-priced 8-Ball for 2005
    By Mark Tuttle, Jr.
    Contributing Writer
    In addition to a long list of exciting changes to its existing cruiser models, Victory Motorcycles has banged us upside the head with its new 2005 Hammer, which features a 100 cubic-inch (1,634cc) 50-degree V-twin with a six-speed transmission and 250-series rear tire. Victory says the transmission is a true overdrive unit, with a 13.6 percent reduction in rpm from a standard 1:1 ratio in top gear. The new Freedom 100/6 engine is oil- and air-cooled and has electronic fuel injection, overhead cams, four valves per cylinder and hydraulic lifters. The new engine delivers 10 percent more horsepower than the Freedom 92/5 V-Twin and 22 percent more torque via a narrow belt final drive, according to Victory.
    The Hammer's big 250mm-wide rear tire is an industry first and is capped by a sportbike-inspired bobbed fender. All-new dual exhaust, a single rear gas shock and a male-slider 43mm telescopic cartridge fork are some of its other highlights. The Hammer is expected at Victory dealers in early 2005.
    The New Victory Vegas 8-Ball is available now and is a basic black version of the Vegas with a suggested retail price of just $12,999. At about $2,000 less than the Vegas, the 8-Ball is priced lower than some competitive models but still sports the Freedom 92/5 V-twin. Chrome and colorful paint were stripped away on the solo-seat 8-Ball, “leaving behind a blank canvas, perfect for customizing or delivering a high-value dream bike.”
    Victory is also bringing back its Arlen Ness Signature Series bikes for 2005, which now include both Kingpin and Vegas models with wild paint schemes and buckets of bolt-on chrome and special accessories. The standard Vegas, Kingpin and Kingpin Deluxe tourer return for 2005 as well. The Vegas gets a new, more comfortable seat, and all Victory models receive self-canceling turn signals for 2005. The Vegas and Kingpin will also be available in a limited-edition two-tone paint schemes commemorating the 50th anniversary of Polaris, Victory’s parent company. Finally, the Victory Touring Cruiser model with hard saddlebags and the Freedom 92/5 engine will also return for 2005.
    Victory’s Custom Order Program also is back for 2005, allowing customers to configure their motorcycles online and then have them built to order. Options include a full range of paint, chrome, leather and equipment in nearly 2,500 possible combinations.

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