Jan. 18, 2010 – Hot News

A sign of a recovery
Looking strictly at same store sales information compared to the previous year, November represented the latest sign of a recovery in industry sales.
Those are the conclusions from an ADP Lightspeed dealer survey that examines data from more than 300 metric and V-twin dealerships for Powersports Business.
According to that survey, November sales were off 13.8 percent compared to November of 2008. That was the smallest year-over-year drop since January of 2009.
The difference between 2009 and 2008 monthly sales have been diminishing in earnest since August. Before that, in April through July, same store sales totals were off more than 30 percent compared to the previous year.
The same store sales data includes sales information from a dealership’s service, parts and accessory and new unit departments. For more details on November’s results, see p. 8.

Metric oem suspends its road racing for 2010
Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. will not participate in the AMA Pro Racing road racing series in 2010, the company announced in a press release.
“While we’ve always considered road racing an integral part of our sport bike development process, the realities of the current economic situation dictate the temporary suspension of our U.S. road-racing activities,” Bruce Stjernstrom, the company’s marketing director, said in the press release.
Kawasaki’s history of successful road racing includes 20 AMA series championships.

Settlement reached between Ridley, Harley-Davidson
Ridley Motorcycle Co. reached a settlement with Harley-Davidson in a lawsuit Harley brought against Ridley over the trade name Auto-Glide in 2003, according to a press release from Ridley.
As part of the settlement agreement, Ridley has agreed to discontinue use of the Auto-Glide name in any future models. The full terms of the settlement have not been disclosed.
The case was tried in the Eastern District of Wisconsin Federal Court in August 2007, but a verdict had not been announced before the suit was settled.
This settlement in no way affects the owners of Auto-Glide model Ridley motorcycles. The settlement only affects the naming of future models for Ridley, and Ridley will not produce another model using the Auto-Glide name. Ridley and Ridley dealers will continue to refer to previous year model Auto-Glides as Auto-Glides.

Vance & Hines hires sales manager
Vance & Hines hired Ken Draper as its new sales manager. In this position, Draper will be charged with strengthening the company’s relationships with its distributors and their respective sales forces, as well as further developing the capabilities of its internal customer service departments.
Draper has more than 20 years of experience in the V-twin sector of the motorcycle industry. With a background in mechanics, Draper also has a strong hands-on experience with motorcycles, having constructed several of his own award-winning custom vehicles.
“The motorcycle industry has provided me with a profoundly rewarding career, and I am grateful for the opportunity to take on this new challenge,” Draper stated in the release.
Vance & Hines President Terry Vance stated, “I am convinced that Ken’s wealth of experience and proven leadership in our industry will be a tremendous asset as we navigate our way through the turbulence of the present economy and position our brand for future growth.”

Tire manufacturer adds distributor
Pirelli Tire North America added Western Power Sports as an aftermarket distributor for Pirelli motorcycle tires in the United States, stated the company in a press release.
“We are proud to be associated with Western Power Sports, and they are a great addition to our distribution network in the United States,” Scott Griffin, vice president of Pirelli North America, said in the release. “We feel with two distributors covering the U.S. market, we can better serve both dealers and consumers.”
Western Power Sports has Pirelli motorcycle tires in stock.

Polaris adds on-road product
Polaris Industries has developed a low-speed, on-road and off-road electric vehicle that it hopes will attract added business from the military and the federal government.
Based off the Ranger EV platform, Polaris’ first off-road, electric vehicle, the Polaris EV LSV includes the necessary on-road features, including turn signals, an automotive-quality windshield and rear view mirror.
The EV LSV has a 30hp electric motor that has a 50-mile range and can hit a top speed of 25 mph. The unit features three modes: “High” for speed, “Low” for towing and hauling, and “Max” for maximum range to ensure the best use of power and battery life.

Aftermarket firm holds pricing levels
Rush Racing Products, a manufacturer of exhaust systems and mufflers for American and metric V-twins, says it will keep 2009 pricing intact into the new year.
The company says it usually raises prices 3-7 percent annually to make up for inflation, rising taxes and cost of goods. However, company founder and CEO Terry Daniel said, “Rush made significant gains in holding down costs and will pass the savings on to the consumer.”

Chinese oem adds to its U.S. distribution
A distributor and manufacturer of Chinese powersports vehicles has added to its U.S. infrastructure.
Tao Tao USA, which supplies ATVs, scooters and go-karts, has opened a distribution warehouse in Indianapolis. It’s the fourth U.S. warehouse for the company, which also has two facilities in Canada. The company said it is seeking to expand its dealer network.

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