Majority owner Simon ZHU founded Greenger Powersports in 2018, which now consists of six factories that produce electric motorcycles, e-bikes, e-tricycles, scooters, power banks and lithium battery production. The brand offers a broad range of products, but its main focus is on motorcycles.
In March of 2022, Greenger relaunched as Greenger Powersports with the introduction of the Greenger Powersports x Honda CRF-E2. Since the company has revealed its capabilities with the CRF-E2, “We need to start growing, bringing in the right people to push it to the next level,” says Doug Chapman, general manager of Greenger.
As of March 1, Greenger is providing free social media content for dealers that runs 8−10 times a month. As a young brand in the industry, Greenger offers this resource to show its commitment and dedication to both the dealer and the industry.
“It’s a budgeting decision,” Chapman says. “The goal is for the consumer to know this is a stocking dealer of the product. It helps drive them in.” And while running a co-op program may be in the future for Greenger, “right now this was a very specific decision to show the dealers that we’re here, and we’re committed to the U.S. market.”
While assisting dealers to promote their product with social media content, Greenger also offers an online training program that educates and trains sales professionals. Greenger University courses provide information about the company and its products so salespeople can get excited and involved with the product they sell.
Within the first two days of launching, the number of participating dealers was already higher than Chapman thought it would be. “It’s not the whole dealer network, but it takes time to get that message out there,” he says. “It opens up the opportunity to try out things we offer that their dealership may not stock. That’s a neat opportunity from a brand perspective. It ensures that once the customer comes in, the dealer is fully trained and has the information to close the sale.”
Launch of the CRF-E2
Greenger originally sold products that fell under the categories of electric and toys until almost three years ago, when the company partnered with American Honda to produce the CRF-E2.
In 2020, Honda bought and tested many electric products to find the most suited company to manufacture its future off-road electric youth bike. “We didn’t know they were evaluating us,” Chapman says. “[Honda] then contacted Simon, our founder, and told us what they want to do. Greenger was unknown to Honda, so they didn’t know our capabilities. Simon chuckled and said, ‘let me show you my world.’”
After learning about Greenger’s six factories that employ 13,000 employees, Honda signed the prototype contract within six months. Two years after signing, and after 18 months of development, the Honda-licensed CFR-E2 was introduced exclusively to Honda dealers.
“In March of last year, we finally came to market,” Chapman says, “We spent the first year with the CRF-E2 and it was great to make that noise.”
Chapman’s outlook on electrification
There are various outlooks on the future of electric in the industry, and Chapman’s falls under excitement. He lives in a California suburb where he and his son ride their CRF-E2 without any complaints. “You must squeeze in those moments with your kid when you can. [The CRF-E2] opens that opportunity,” he says.
He hopes to see the industry respond to electric with an open mind, but the response to the integration of electric from the motorcycle industry is not as welcoming as he had hoped. According to Chapman, while motorcyclists recognize that there is a place for electrification in powersports and motorsports industries, the public views electric products as toys – not as a major category in the industry.
Opportunities may be missed by aftermarket companies that share this mindset, he shares, and while it will be a slow and gradual process, he foresees aftermarket products designed for gas powered units to decline, affecting the companies that hesitate to adapt and change.
“If you wait for the market share to exist, you’re already too late,” he says. “If we look at the automotive industry and what they’ve accomplished and how fast they’ve been able to move against the same resistance, why would that not be partially replicated within the powersports industry?”
Chapman encourages aftermarket companies to adopt additional revenue channels focused on electric, while continuing to produce what they sell today. As a father of an 11− and 9−year-old, he is attentive to what younger generations are interested in and what influences them.
“If this is what they’re doing now at 12, what are they going to be doing at 22? What’s important to them? That’s the giant disconnect. You must be able to look at the next generation,” he says.
At this point, there is no question that electric vehicles will be integrated into the powersports industry sooner than later, so Chapman is focused on affluent consumers and outdoor enthusiasts who are open to electric. And the interests of customers who enter dealership doors are diverse, he explains.
“You now have an opportunity to sell them something they’re already purchasing in other forms. When they’re at your dealership, they trust you, they like what you sold them before, so why couldn’t their electric two-wheel vehicles also come from you?”
“Our passion and sincere desire is to help ensure there’s an industry in the future, not to see any powersports vehicles get replaced or disappear.”
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