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Viper looks to add dealers, revise pricing structure

In a letter to shareholders, Viper Powersports CEO John Silseth admitted 2012 was a difficult year for the company, but he expressed optimism in the coming year, with an increased dealer network and U.K. distribution of its motorcycles to come.

The company is on schedule to complete production of its 2013 Black Diamond Edition through April. It’s also taking a look at the MSRP of its bikes, in response to dealer concerns.

“Our carefully selected 2013 Diamondback Dealers have uniformly agreed that the Diamondback is an exceptional motorcycle, although they are concerned that our Manufacturers suggested retail price (MSRP) is too high to realize a sustainable volume business. Management has acknowledged this matter and is formulating a revised pricing schedule,” Silseth wrote.

Viper is looking to sign 10 more dealers in the first quarter of 2013, as it begins delivery of its bikes.

Silseth also announced that industry veteran Terry Nesbitt has rejoined the company as president. Nesbitt will be working to develop a quality dealer network, while also getting coverage of the bikes in consumer media.

Other notes in the letter, include:

  • Viper is working on Project Mamba, which includes the production of two all-new premium motorcycles developed with its GT-1 joint venture partners. PMFR Inc., Viper’s wholly owned subsidiary, is developing an NHRA Viper Pro Stock Motorcycle racing chassis based on Project Mamba.
  • Viper has entered a wholesale floorplan financing agreement with GE Capital.
  • The company has received Single Vehicle Approval to sell the Diamondback in the U.K. The first shipment is expected in the U.K. during the first quarter of this year.
  • In the final quarter of 2012, Viper entered into a five-year development/manufacturing contract with Ilmor Engineering, the maker of the motorcycle’s V-twin engine. Viper has prepaid $1 million for production engines from Ilmor.
  • During the last quarter of 2012, the Depository Trust Company imposed a Deposit Chill on Viper’s common stock, temporarily limiting shareholder’s ability to effectively trade their common shares. Viper’s legal council is working with the DTC to solve the chill issue.

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