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Nov. 14, 2005 – Distributor Report

November 14, 2005
Filed under Features

DOWCO plans expansion in Missouri
DOWCO Inc., Mantiowac, Wis., plans to expand its two-year-old operations in Lebanon, Mo.
DOWCO is a manufacturer of products and accessories for the powersports and marine industries. Products include motorcycle and boat covers as well as motorcycle luggage. The company moved out of its former facility in Lebanon and will relocate to a new 25,000-sq.-ft. facility in the Lebanon Industrial Park. Employees will work primarily with marine products.
The move is supported by incentives from the City of Lebanon and Laclede County. The county funds come from a development sales tax passed by voters last year. The city is providing $1,500 per new employee for three years and the county $500 per employee for three years.
“Our experience with the city, our employees and the community over the past two years has exceeded our expectations,’’ Chuck Webster, DOWCO’s president and CEO, told the Lebanon Daily Record newspaper. “Our company is very focused on growth, and the partnership was able to put together a package that is a win-win for everyone involved.’’
Suzuki awards World of Powersports
Decatur, Ill.-based World of Powersports, Inc. has been named the 2005 Top Parts Dealer by Suzuki Motor Corp., USA, Brea, Calif.
A retailer of Arctic Cat, BRP, Honda, Kawasaki, Polaris, Suzuki, Triumph and Yamaha, World of Powersports operates a brick-and-mortar store as well as operating through an aggressive wholesale accounts program and Internet Web site at www.worldofpowersports.com.
“Dealers need not worry about discounting online though — World of Powersports only offers products at full MSRP on the Web site,” said the company’s Mike Jackson. Jackson says World of Powersports’ large Internet customer base results from customers being able to track their order online and receive status reports, the ability to check back-order status, and the freedom to cancel back-orders or request return authorization.
BMW, KTM Plan Protective Device
KTM and BMW are developing a device to reduce the risk of injury to the neck, the cervical spine, the spinal cord and the collarbone resulting from a motorcycle crash. The device, developed by Dr. Chris Leatt, a consulting physician for South African rally racing series, will be employed by KTM and BMW factory motorcyclists by the end of the year.
Made of carbon fiber, damping material and titanium, the prototype currently is undergoing testing at a BMW Motorrad accident research facility. The KTM and BMW team includes Leatt, accident researchers, biomechanics and accident surgeons specializing in spinal injuries.
Engineers say the brace will not reduce a rider’s head movement, but can reduce injuries such as hyperflexion, overflexion of the head when forced forwards; hyperextension, overflexion of the head when forced to the rear; lateral hyperflexion, overflexion of the head when forced to the side; and axial loading, compression of the spinal column due to the effect of force on the helmet.
FOX Shox Opens Center in Canada
FOX Racing Shox has signed Factory Connection Canada (FCC) to serve as the exclusive FOX authorized global service center for powerSports products in Canada.
FCC is trained as a full line FOX Powersports Service Center and will service all types of snowmobile shocks, ATV and Motocross shocks, offering oil change and complete rebuild services in addition to handling warranty related issues on any FOX PowerSports products.
FCC also is authorized to purchase parts directly from FOX and will have parts in stock for in house service work and retail or dealer sales.
“Our objective is to provide FOX Racing Shox customers in Canada with the highest quality products, service, set-up information and quick turn around time on all FOX PowerSports suspension products, and FCC is the perfect partner to help us achieve our goals,” stated Michael Daws, vice president of FOX’s PowerSports Division. For more details, contact FCC, 819/398-7722
Gary Gibbs Joins Annitori
Gary Gibbs, former product director of Moose Racing/Parts Unlimited, has joined Illinois-based Annitori Distributing as senior marketing director.
Annitori is the exclusive North American distributor of Micron Exhausts, CRD Off Road Exhausts and HyperPro suspension systems.
Gibbs’ industry experience includes employment from the dealership level to the top levels of major distribution companies. He will be based at Annitori Distributing’s new Southern California distribution center located in Oceanside, California.
“Gary brings to Annitori a vast experience in the motorcycle distribution arena,” said Doug Cameron, Annitori project director “Not only will our western United States dealers benefit from 1-2 day delivery out of the new distribution center, but the Micron Exhaust, Hyperpro Suspension and CRD Off-road brands are all very excited to have Gary’s keen insight and knowledge of the motorcycle industry.”
For more information about Annitori Distributing, Ltd., Micron North America, Ltd., Hyperpro USA or CRD North America, visit www.Micronexhaust.com, www.HyperproUSA.com or www.CRDoffroad.com.
Jornlin Starts Sandance Sports, Inc.
Frank Jornlin, long-time North American manager of Reima branded apparel, has left SCOTT USA to restart his own company, Sandance Sports Inc.
After 10 years with the Gore-Tex fabrics division, Jornlin partnered with Reima sportswear of Finland and launched the Reima branded snowmobiling line in 1994. Last year he joined SCOTT USA when they purchased the Reima sportswear division. Sandance Sports Inc., Wilmington, Del., designs and manufactures jackets, bibs, gloves and accessories for the snowmobile industry. For more information, call Jornlin at 302/234-8252.
Saunders joins Simpson performance
John H. Saunders, Jr. has joined Texas-based Simpson Performance Products as vice president of business development. Based at Simpson’s Mooresville, N.C., office, his primary focus will be generating new business opportunities for the Simpson brand through global opportunities, licensing and corporate alliances.
Founded in 1959, Simpson Performance Products offers safety equipment for the motorsports, motorcycle and karting markets. Saunders has extensive experience in product development in the retail and industrial sectors with major corporations like Wal-Mart, The Home Depot, Lowe’s and Sears.
Wells Cargo links with GE Finance
GE Consumer Finance has signed a multi-year contract with cargo trailer manufacturer Wells Cargo to provide a new customer financing program. The program will provide consumer installment lending and a range of other consumer payment programs to Wells Cargo’s nationwide dealer network.
“With GE, our dealers will have the financing flexibility they need to build loyalty and increase sales,” said Jeff Jones, national sales coordinator for Ohio-based Wells Cargo.
Founded in 1954, Wells Cargo has six manufacturing plants throughout the United States and more than 700 employees. The company offers more than 200 different trailer models for industrial, commercial and recreational applications. Models range in size from 4′ x 6′ through 8’6″ x 53′, all built from steel frames, aluminum exteriors and plywood interiors.
GE Consumer Finance, based in Stamford, Conn., offers a range of financial products, including private label credit cards, personal loans, bank cards, auto loans and leases, mortgages, corporate travel and purchasing cards, debt consolidation and home equity loans and credit insurance.
Bosch, Brembo Enter JV in India
Kalyani Brakes Limited, an Indian firm 80% owned by Germany-based Robert Bosch GmbH, has entered into a joint venture with Italy’s Brembo SpA to manufacture motorcycle brakes in India.
The 50/50 joint venture company, KBX Motorbike Products Private Ltd., will be based in Pune and work exclusively on the engineering, production and sales of brakes for two-wheelers.
The two companies expect an initial investment of $15.5 million. Kalyani Brakes will integrate its existing two-wheeler brake production into the joint venture. Brembo will contribute licenses and technology.
Approximately six million two-wheelers were sold in India during the past twelve months. Kalyani Brakes generated sales of $75.3 million in the fiscal year 2004-05.
KBX products are intended for the Indian market, although the firms say the joint venture will explore export potential. Sales are expected to amount to Euro 20 million in the first year, then double within four years, according to Bosch.
The agreement was signed Oct. 17. The deal is subject to final approval by antitrust authorities and the Foreign Investment Promotion Board of India. psb

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