HOT NEWS – March 13, 2006

MV Agusta deal finalized
Malaysia’s Proton Holdings Bhd has completed the sale of its 57.75 percent stake in MV Agusta to Italian investment firm GEVI SpA.
The two entities revealed the finalized deal March 2. Proton proposed to sell its stake in MV Agusta to GEVI in December for the asking price of one Euro ($1.19) plus all of MV Agusta’s debts. Bursa Malaysia approved the deal in mid-February.
Up to the end of August, Proton’s total investment in MV Agusta was Euro 98 million ($117 million), which included the initial investment of Euro 70 million ($84 million), a cash advance to the manufacturer and a line of credit extended to suppliers as part of a component purchase assistance program.
Proton’s earnings for the fiscal third quarter ended Dec. 31 were MYR86.5 million ($23.3 million), down 38 percent from the MYR140.9 million ($38 million) net profit in the year earlier quarter. But it was up from a MYR154.3 million ($41 million) loss in the second quarter and a MYR12.5 million ($3.3 million) loss in the first.
Revenue in the third quarter rose to MYR2.15 billion ($580 million) from MYR2.10 billion ($567 million) in the year earlier period, due mostly to better automobile sales and lower provisions for MV Agusta, the company said in a prepared statement.
Proton said MV Agusta obtained approximately MYR90 million ($24 million) of the MYR160.7 million ($43 million) in provisions in the fiscal second quarter. By comparison, provisions in the third quarter were only MYR2.71 million ($731,750).
“There was no doubt that by continuing to have MVA in Proton’s stable would definitely have put Proton at great risk, should MVA fall into bankruptcy,” Proton Managing Director Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir told Malaysia’s Bernama news service.
Honda to reorganize its R&D structure
Honda Motor Co. plans to reorganize the structure of its wholly owned research and development unit, Honda R&D Co., to better respond to the surge in the number of vehicles under development and the complexity of technological components for those vehicles.
At present, Honda’s R&D centers are organized according to their locations. Starting in April, the units will be reorganized into five centers according to the products they’re developing.
The five entities will be named Automobile Development Center, Motorcycle Development Center, Power Products Development Center, Aero Engine Development Center and Basic Technology Research Center. Each center will have separate offices for planning, product development, technology development and administration with clearly defined roles.
MIC Announces Election Results
The results of the Motorcycle Industry Council’s 2006 Board of Directors election were revealed at the annual member meeting on?Feb. 17 in Indianapolis with one new name being added to the official roster.
The MIC is a non-profit, national trade association dealing in government relations, statistics, communications and technical and aftermarket programs within the U.S. powersports industry. The MIC Board of Directors consists of 12 directors: six elected directors, voted on by member companies, and six appointed directors, placed by manufacturers/distributor members who pay maximum dues.
The newly elected motorcycle manufacturer director is Allan Hurd, general manager, (Polaris Industries, Inc./Victory Motorcycles,) who replaces Mark Blackwell, general manager of (Victory Motorcycles/Polaris Industries.)
Eric Anderson, vice president, Scorpion Sports, Inc. and Larry Little, vice president and publisher, Hachette-Filipacchi and Cycle World Magazine, were re-elected to the board representing Aftermarket/Allied Trades members.
The remaining three elected directors will serve one more year of their two-year term that expires in February 2007. They are Don Emde, owner/president, Don Emde Productions; Frank Esposito, vice chairman, Global Motorsport Group, Inc.; and Fred Fox, chairman, Parts Unlimited/Drag Specialties.
The six directors appointed by the Motorcycle Manufacturer/Distributor members who pay maximum dues include Mark Pearlstein, assistant vice president motorcycle division, American Honda Motor Co. Inc.; Mel Harris, vice president, motorcycle & marine division, American Suzuki Motor Corp.; Arturo Pineiro, vice president, BMW of North America, LLC; Roger Hagie, director, public affairs, Kawasaki Motors Corp., USA; Selvaraj Narayana, vice president, KTM North America, Inc.; and Mike Schmitt, divisions manager, Yamaha Motor Corp., USA.
— Compiled by Guido Ebert

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