Jul. 13, 2009 – Hot News

Honda and Kawasaki announce changes

Two major players in the powersports industry, American Honda Motor Co. and Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A., recently announced reorganizations.
Honda’s reorganization process began with the offer of a voluntary separation program, which was accepted by 60 Honda associates. There were no layoffs, according to Honda.
The now leaner organization retains Honda’s traditional branches of sales, marketing and service. Effective immediately, Assistant Vice President Chuck Boderman will oversee American Honda’s marketing efforts, Assistant Vice President Bob Gurga will oversee sales and Senior Manager Gary Higgins will supervise service functions. All three will report to Ray Blank, senior vice president of Honda’s Motorcycle Division.
“Today’s focus is on the ‘must haves’ that are vital to our business,” Blank said. “The level of service we provide to both our dealers and our consumers is paramount and must continue to be second to none. As the economy regains strength, we will then reach out in more traditional Honda ways as we have in the past.”
At Kawasaki, its reorganization includes a realignment of a number of departments.
The company’s press release did not say whether layoffs were part of the reorganization.
“We have seen how significant alterations in economic conditions can create an environment that places pressure on all levels of our business,” Takeshi Teranishi, Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A president, said in the release. “It is important that we continue to take steps to position Kawasaki to respond to immediate needs while also enhancing long-term support for our dealers.”
The OEM’s sales and marketing divisions have been combined and also now include the accessories division and trademark licensing. The information systems division, overseeing all back-end data services, will now become part of the company’s product operations division.
Departments that have been realigned include product planning, which moves to the corporate planning division, and human resources and public affairs to Kawasaki’s legal division.

PowerSport Institute offers Yamaha Training

The PowerSport Institute (PSI) is now offering a technical training allegiance with Yamaha Motor Corp. U.S.A. The Yamaha Technical Academy training classes will be held at the 207,000 square-foot PSI facility with more than 10,000 square feet dedicated to the Yamaha training program, according to PSI.
In addition, Yamaha will support PSI’s own student training program, Yamaha Power Sport Academy, by supplying curriculum and donating the latest technology for student training.
“We recognize the excellent training capabilities available at PSI to help us conduct our dealer training programs and we endorse the PowerSport Institute as a valuable addition to our nationwide training program effort,” Ron Leming, Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. service division manager, said in the release. “We believe that PSI will play an important role in supporting our dealer network.”

GE Money launches new lending tool for dealers

GE Money-Sales Finance, a provider of consumer financing programs, is bringing lending tools to its partners through its new Web-based portal, the Business Center.
The Business Center is a comprehensive suite of online tools that GE Money partners — retailers, dealers, service providers and contractors — can use to manage their credit programs and better serve their customers. It provides them with secure, one-stop access to all the sales, operational, marketing and training tools they need at the click of a button. GE Money’s Sales Finance unit launched the new technology July 1.
“This market-leading capability essentially takes our back office and places it on the business’ desktop, with real-time sales information, analysis and training tools they can’t get anywhere else, to manage their promotional financing programs more productively and profitably,” said Mark Hayes, chief marketing officer for GE Money-Sales Finance. “The Business Center has been in development for nearly a year, piloted across 200 programs, and tested and approved by our various advisory boards.”

Tom Gray Solutions Launches Web Site

Assurant National Sales Trainer of the Year Tom Gray announced the launch of a Web site to establish and promote his new independent consultancy, a training service available to business owners and managers in the motorsport, powersport and watersport industries.
A nine-year veteran trainer with industry leader Assurant Solutions, Gray has provided education to thousands of successful clients nationwide.The new Web site, www.tomgraysolutions.com, offers a wide spectrum of training. psb

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