Nov. 29, 2010 – Hot News

A Positive Trend Emerges in Dealer Sales Report

National dealer sales in both September and October were slightly higher than the year before, a trend that has not been seen in the industry for at least the past two years.
That’s the welcome news from a same store sales report conducted by ADP Lightspeed for Powersports Business. The report of more than 600 dealerships from around the nation shows overall October sales were nearly 3 percent higher than October of 2009.
That follows an even slighter uptick experienced in September.
Regardless, it’s the first time the same store sales picture has shown the industry growing for two straight months this year or in 2009.
“The results are clearly a sign of how much the used market is impacting the industry,” said Powerports Business Editor Neil Pascale.
The same store sales track both new and used unit sales, something that isn’t reflected in another industry data source: the Motorcycle Industry Council’s new unit sales report. That report showed new unit sales of motorcycles, ATVs and scooters down nearly 16 percent for September.
The same store sales report by ADP Lightspeed shows the industry uptick varies dramatically by region. For full results of the report, see the Financial section on pg. 8.

Reversal of Motorcycle Trend Continues This Fall

For a second straight month, metric manufacturers’ new motorcycle exports to the United States increased significantly over a year ago.
Shipments of motorcycle units to the United States rose nearly 67 percent in September, according to the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA). The association includes Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki.
The shipment increase — exports totaled more than 8,000 units —follows more than a 40 percent hike in August. That two-month trend is quite different from the first half of the year, when exports were down significantly.
Exports from JAMA members to Canada in September also increased. Exports there totaled more than 1,200 units, a more than 100 percent increase over the year-ago month. Exports to Canada the previous month actually decreased.

Industry Veteran to Lead Aftermarket Group’s Sales

Motorsport Aftermarket Group (MAG), a family of aftermarket brands, recently announced the hiring of Eric Anderson to oversee its sales and marketing strategy.
Anderson, now serving in MAG’s newly created role of vice president of sales and marketing, was previously the vice president at Scorpion Sports. In the new role, Anderson will oversee MAG’s marketing, training, branding and sales-related efforts.
“Eric has an extensive amount of experience in powersports sales and marketing, as well as a unique ability to look at the business from the customer’s point of view,” MAG CEO Brian Etter said in a press release. “His professional experience and passion for riding make Eric a perfect fit for MAG.”
Companies operating in coordination under MAG include Vance & Hines, Kuryakyn, Renthal, Progressive Suspension, Performance Machine, RSD, J&P Cycles and Mustang Motorcycle Products.

Harley-Davidson Calls for Concessions at K.C. Plant

Harley-Davidson is calling for concessions from employees at its Kansas City, Mo., plant, according to published reports.
The company told its about 800 employees — 675 of which work in production — that the plant needs to address cost, efficiency and production gaps, reported The Kansas City Star. If changes are not made, Harley said it might have to move its Kansas City operations to its plant in York, Pa.
In a recent call with analysts, Harley said the Kansas City plant already has some of the flexibility that other company plants have, so concessions there may not be as extensive as at other plants. Unions in York, Pa., and in Wisconsin have already made concessions in the past couple years at the request of Harley.
The company is expected to make its decision on Kansas City during the first quarter of 2011. Harley’s current contract with the Kansas City plant runs through July 2012.

Dealer Expo Remains in Indy Through 2016

Dealer Expo will remain in Indianapolis through at least 2016, according to published reports.
Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association officials announced the five-year extension — the previous agreement ran through next year — in November, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal.
Dealer Expo is one of the biggest events held in Indianapolis and generates more than $20 million in direct visitor spending, according to the online report.
Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association officials attributed the success in extending Dealer Expo’s stay there to recent investments in Lucas Oil Stadium, and Indiana Convention Center expansion and construction of the JW Marriot hotel complex downtown.

Report: Harley to Assemble Motorcycles in India

Harley-Davidson will be opening its second facility outside the United States after it launches an assembly plant in India for motorcycles sold in that country, according to a report in an Indian newspaper.
Harley-Davidson began selling bikes in India in July, and because of tariffs decided to open an assembly plant there, Harley-Davidson India Managing Director Anoop Prakash told the Hindustan Times. Tariffs on parts are only 10 percent, compared to 60 percent on completely built units. Harley has been in the country since 2007 and began selling motorcycles after the country relaxed emission norms for cycles above 800cc.
The plant, which will sit on 70,000 square feet of land in Bawal in Haryana, is expected to be operational by the first half of 2011. It will produce a few of the 12 models Harley sells in India.
Harley-Davidson is expecting to sell 200-250 units in India by the end of the year. It currently has four dealerships, with a fifth opening in December. Three more will be added next year, and others are being considered.

Dealership Group RideNow Enters Washington State

RideNow Powersports, which is believed to be the industry’s largest national dealership group, is opening its first dealership in Washington state, according to an online report.
RideNow Powersports is opening RideNow Powersports Tri-Cities, a multibrand metric store in Kennewick, Wash. The site also has a Harley-Davidson franchise, according to a Tri-City Herald report.
The location, which previously hosted a store that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year, will have 30-35 employees during the fall and winter and ramp up to 40-45 in the spring, the online report said.
RideNow, according to its corporate website, has 23 dealerships in Nevada, Arizona, Texas, North Carolina and Florida and employs more than 600 people. The dealership group was started in 1983.

Dates for EICMA China Announced for 2011

EICMA China will have a second showing in 2011, after its inaugural show this summer.
The next EICMA China show is slated for July 2-4, 2011, in Beijing, announced Italy’s EICMA officials and their Chinese partners recently at the Milan, Italy, event. It comes off the heels of the first event held in Beijing June 11-13 of this year. PSB


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