Dec. 24, 2007 – Hot News

Former Suzuki Exec Joins National Distributor
A former American Suzuki Motor Corp. executive has joined national distributor Tucker Rocky.
Rod Lopusnak, the former ATV operations manager for American Suzuki Motor Corp., has been named vice president of business development for the Fort Worth, Texas-based Tucker Rocky.
“What really drew me here is they have a real good management team,” Lopusnak told Powersports Business in a phone interview from Texas. “They’ve been expanding (the management team) in the last few years as their business has grown considerably. So it was a real interesting opportunity and a good opportunity.”
Lopusnak says he will work closely with Tucker Rocky’s sales team in his new position as well as bring new marketing concepts and product ideas to the privately owned distributor.
The potential to work with a greater part of the industry, rather than just concentrating on the ATV market, plus the possible future opportunities at Tucker Rocky appealed to Lopusnak.
“I think it was just time for a change for me,” said Lopusnak, who also has previously worked with the American Motorcyclist Association but never in the aftermarket industry.
In a company press release, American Suzuki Motor Corp. Vice President Mel Harris said, “We thank Rod for all his contributions to our ATV growth over the past few years. His aggressiveness and valuable input on product have lead to our success.”
U.S. Senators Push for H-D in China
U.S. senators are urging the Bush administration to heighten pressure on China to make it easier for Harley-Davidson to conduct business there, news agency Reuters has reported.
“The Chinese market should be a hog heaven for U.S. motorcycle companies, but China’s unfair trade practices are slamming the brakes on Harley sales,” said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).
“Fair trade must be a two-way street,” said Sen. Robert Casey (D-Pa.). “China’s roadblock to Harley-Davidson is unacceptable. There will always be a demand for a classic like Harley-Davidson motorcycles, but artificial barriers are threatening U.S. jobs.”
Fellow Democratic Senators Herb Kohl of Wisconsin and Claire McCaskill of Missouri joined Schumer and Casey in urging U.S. Trade Rep. Susan Schwab and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez to press China on municipal regulations that limit or even ban heavy-duty motorcycle use in urban areas.
Yamaha Motor and Mitsui & Co. Establish New Company
Yamaha Motor Co. and Mitsui & Co. have established Yamaha Motor Middle Europe B.V., a new, joint venture sales and marketing company within Europe on Nov. 28, according to a Yamaha press release.
Yamaha Motor Middle Europe seeks to combine the strengths of Yamaha Motor and Mitsui & Co. to achieve synergistic results across a vast market covering seven European countries. The new joint venture also is aimed at growing business in Germany and the United Kingdom, while strengthening the group’s structure in Eastern Europe, where significant growth is forecasted.
In addition to Germany and the United Kingdom, Yamaha Motor Middle Europe oversees sales and marketing activities in Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland.
In January, Mitsui Motor Polska Sp. z o.o. will change its name to Yamaha Motor Polska Sp. z o.o.
With the establishment of Yamaha Motor Middle Europe, Yamaha Motor will take the initiative in these key European markets to further expand sales and the Yamaha brand.
Ural Seeks Investors For Business Expansion
IMZ-Ural Group Inc., the Washington-based owner of the Ural motorcycle sidecar brand, has retained Hardcard Holdings LLC to consult and introduce potential investors from the powersports industry to the company, IMZ-Ural Group said in a statement Nov. 30.
Ural, which underwent a management buyout in 2003, has more than doubled worldwide unit sales, reduced operating expenses and improved quality since its restructuring, the company reported.
Discover Today’s Motorcycling Celebrates 20 Years
Discover Today’s Motorcycling is celebrating its 20th anniversary, according to its press release. The company has spent two decades promoting motorcycling for fun and practical transportation.
Discover Today’s Motorcycling encourages riding training, safety gear, sober cycling and starting out on smaller bikes before working up to big ones as well as the industry’s efforts at growing demographics for women, youth and minorities.
DTM Chairman Gary Christopher says celebrity motorcycle enthusiasts have helped DTM promote motorcycling. psb

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