Distributor says scooters will complement what’s already on the market
Bintelli, a scooter company based in the U.S., has seen great growth in the past two years, as sales have risen 30 percent.
But Bintelli and its dealers aren’t the only ones taking notice of this success. In early 2014, Adly Moto, a Taiwanese scooter manufacuter owned by Her Chee Industrial Company Ltd., came knocking on Bintelli’s door. Adly, which has had a presence in the U.S. for more than a decade, was looking for a new U.S. distributor, and Bintelli president Justin Jackrel’s success with bringing in Chinese scooters caught Adly’s attention.
“We were approached by Adly because they have taken notice of Bintelli, and they were looking for a new distributor to represent the product well and the way it should be,” Jackrel told Powersports Business. “They’ve been in the country for as long as I’ve been in the industry, for 15 years, but it’s been a while since it had a distributor that really stood behind it and promoted the line the way it should have.”
After researching Adly and another Taiwanese scooter company, Jackrel was glad to begin discussions with Adly. And the team at Adly was just as ecstatic. The week after they received the call from Jackrel, Adly’s president, engineers and management team were in the U.S., drafting an agreement that led Bintelli to become the exclusive U.S. distributor of Adly scooters.
When it came down to deciding whether to work with Adly or not, Jackrel was impressed with CEO C.C. Chen, who Jackrel said has the same mentality that he brings to work.
“I was really impressed with the mentality that they want to be better,” Jackrel said. “They want to learn about other cultures. They want to produce the best quality products and take care of their customers and not just have it where ‘We’re going to sell you as many pieces as possible, and we don’t care what we’re producing.’ They have pride within them, and that was really evident from meeting them a year ago, and then it really struck home when I visited them for the first time.”
Jackrel pointed out two observations from his first trip to Taiwan that really solidified the partnership in his mind. The first was when he arrived at the Adly factory, and Chen was nowhere to be found. It turns out Chen was personally delivering scooters to one of his local Taiwanese dealers.
“That’s the type of mentality that we love. We love that customer-first attitude, that, ‘We’re going to go get the sale; we’re going to support our customers and get personally involved.’ And because he’s got that mentality, his staff has the same mentality as well,” Jackrel explained.
Also, as Jackrel was inspecting the first four containers of scooters set for delivery to the U.S., he was impressed that he found no defects and no changes necessary. In his experience, this isn’t always the case.
After drafting its distributorship agreement in January 2014, Bintelli was ready to start shipping scooters in the spring of 2014, but distribution of the scooters was halted as the U.S. government required new tests for the units.
“We were ready to rock and roll last spring, but the EPA decided that they wanted us to do new testing because there hadn’t been any testing done in the prior two years. So unfortunately that delayed the product for a year,” Jackrel reported.
After working with the EPA to bring the Adly scooters into compliance, Bintelli was finally ready to import the vehicles in early July of this year.
But Bintelli had to make one more change before it was fully ready to bring in more inventory — the company had to move out of its longtime headquarters in Gainesville, Fla.
“We had outgrown our building three years ago, and we had product stacked on top of product, stacked on top of product. It was just miserable, and it was killing our efficiency, making it where we were actually losing sales to dealers because we just didn’t have the inventory that we needed,” Jackrel said.
Bintelli hoped to stay in Gainesville, but the college town didn’t offer much in terms of industrial space. With the need to be near a port city with access to shipments of scooters from Taiwan and China, Bintelli began searching the East Coast and landed on a facility in Charleston, S.C.
“We found this building that we’re in now that gives us just under four times the space for the same amount of money, so we’ve already increased our stock of the Bintelli line. We’ve increased our stock of the electric vehicles that we sell. We also now can bring on the Adly side, which we really wouldn’t have even had room for down in Gainesville,” Jackrel said.
Shortly after the mid-summer move, Bintelli’s inventory was already at the highest level it had ever been at, making it easier for the distributor to get Bintelli and Adly product to dealerships. The location farther north also lessens shipping rates for dealers in the Carolinas, the Northeast and the Midwest. For Adly, however, Bintelli is offering $60 flat rate shipping per scooter to dealers throughout the U.S., as long as dealers take on a minimum order.
Room in the market for Adly
When Bintelli decided to become the exclusive U.S. distributor for Adly scooters, Jackrel knew there was a perfect slot in the market for Adly. With $1,749 and $1,849 starting price points for the first two Adly scooters Bintelli has brought to market, the vehicles fit squarely between Bintelli’s 50cc Chinese counterparts and the 50cc scooters offered by Taiwanese competitors.
Bintelli’s 50cc units run $949 to $1,399. Adlys come in just above that, at $1,749 for the Bullseye 50 and $1,849 for the GTA 50, while competitive 50cc scooters from Taiwanese counterparts Genuine and SYM have a starting MSRP of $1,999.
“We’re one of those companies that likes to be friendly with our competition. We’re friendly with those guys; we think they’re phenomenal; they have great products. We wanted to do something a little bit different, so ours is actually a great complement to their products,” Jackrel said.
He expects most dealers will carry the Adly line in addition to Bintelli and Genuine or SYM. The Adly price point offers the perfect alternative to the Chinese Bintelli, for those who have strong misconceptions about Chinese scooters. But it also gives customers a scooter that comes in at an MSRP under what SYM and Genuine offer. At the same time, Jackrel admits a person adamant about buying a Buddy, for example, isn’t going to change course and buy an Adly.
“We’re a great complementary product, where we’ve had some dealers call us and say, ‘We don’t want to drop Genuine or SYM for you,’ and we say, ‘No, we don’t want you to. We want you to keep Genuine and SYM; they’re doing phenomenal in your showroom, and you’re doing phenomenal with them. Don’t drop something that is working. Get something that complements that, so you can get something in between their product and the Chinese product,’” Jackrel said.
Building a dealer network
Most of the dealers who have been first adopters of the new Adly line are also Bintelli dealers.
“First what we did is we approached our Bintelli dealers that have exclusive territories because we always want to have our family have the chance at a new product first. So we gave them all first rights, and we got a bunch of them to sign up,” Jackrel said.
Because the $1,749-plus Adlys don’t fit every market that can accommodate the $949-plus Bintellis, not all of Bintelli’s 75 dealers signed on. After the Bintelli scooter dealer push, the distributor began reaching out to open territories to draw in new dealers, although Bintelli dealers still have right of refusal for their territory.
“As of this point, it’s opened up to everyone. The Bintelli dealers have had their chance; they’ve got the first right. But any dealerships that are in territories that we don’t have anyone carrying Adly, it’s completely open, and we’re signing up new dealers,” Jackrel said.
When taking on new dealers, Jackrel reports that Bintelli looks for those who will deliver strong customer service before, during and after the unit sale.
“We go after dealers that are going to promote the product and take care of the customers in the proper way and are not just going to think the sale ends once the vehicle is given to the customer because that’s not how that works,” Jackrel said.
As much as he expects of his dealers, Jackrel also pushes Bintelli to support the dealers in return.
“We do exclusive territories; we support that dealer; we want to make them grow. Even if they don’t hit their dealer minimums, we’re going to find ways to help them out, to try to get them in there. We’re not just going to look to replace them with someone bigger and better,” he said.
In the spirit of that partnership, Bintelli is allowing dealers to get started with the Adly brand with only a six-scooter order, and as Bintelli is aligned with GE Capital, dealers can use their GE floorplan to finance the units.
Bintelli’s first two Adly scooters are the redesigned Bullseye 50 and the new-to-the-U.S. GTA 50.
Each features a two-stroke, 49cc, air-cooled engine, along with NGK spark plugs, a Yuasa battery and front disc brakes. Both come with a two-year warranty and two years of roadside assistance.
The Bullseye 50 includes a locking trunk, passenger footpegs, a halogen headlight and a redesigned speedometer for $1,749.
“The Bullseye is very well known in the scooter market, but we didn’t feel like the fit and finish and the quality was good enough for our standards, so we actually did 19 upgrades and modifications to that model. It’s something that’s really going to be a great seller in the U.S.A.,” Jackrel said.
The GTA 50, with an MSRP of $1,849, has a large, comfortable seat with LED accent lights, while a digital speedometer and upgradable rims are available.
Though Bintelli is introducing Adly with only two models for now, the third and fourth won’t be far behind, Jackrel reported.
“Our third model that will be released later this year is going to really excite some people because it’s something that’s not out there right now,” he said. “It’s going to be new and a really fresh lineup for the Taiwanese side.”