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April 3, 2006 – Finance Digest

April 3, 2006
Filed under Features

Polaris, GE to launch new financing program
Polaris and GE Consumer Finance’s Retail Sales Finance Division agreed on a new, multi-year partnership that will provide Polaris customers with installment financing primarily for Victory motorcycles.
The Polaris Installment Financing Program will launch nationwide April 1 to the Polaris network of 1,500 independent dealers. The new program will provide a variety of financing options for Polaris dealers and include seasonal promotions.
The new financing program complements GE’s existing relationship with Polaris, which includes inventory financing and warranty services.
Dealers in the past have worked with HSBC financing for Polaris product. Dealers can continue to use HSBC financing for all of Polaris’ other products.
“Installment financing is a great tool in the powersports business, and we want to offer our customers the best financing options available,” said Mike Malone, vice president-finance, chief financial officer and secretary of Polaris.


AIH Teams with HSBC for Retail Finance Offer
American IronHorse now offers a retail financing package through a new agreement with HSBC-North America’s Retail Services business.
American IronHorse’s new consumer financing programs are being rolled out through dealerships nationwide with special promotions being offered for a limited time. The company also is providing financing terms for extended warranties, GAP and credit insurance programs offered by HSBC Retail Services and its approved provider network.
“The American IronHorse-HSBC program uses proprietary systems that provide our dealers with faster approval times and funding processes,” said Wil Garland, CEO for American IronHorse. “These value-added benefits will ultimately help our dealers put more riders on American IronHorse bikes while further increasing the company’s brand equity in the marketplace.”
The recent deal with HSBC is the second financing deal inked by AmericanIronHorse in the past year. Last spring, American IronHorse secured a custom financing program for its dealers through Textron Financial.
Founded in 1995, American IronHorse Motorcycle Co. designs and builds high-performance, customized cruisers and choppers in Fort Worth, Texas.
A unit of HSBC-North America, HSBC Retail Services has more than 60 active merchant relationships and says it is a leading issuer of merchant-branded, private-label credit cards in the United States. HSBC’s businesses serve more than 60 million customers in five areas: personal financial services, consumer finance, commercial banking, private banking and corporate investment banking and markets.


BMW motorcycle profits on the rise
The BMW Group said 2005 net profit was Euro 2.239 billion ($2.7 billion), or Euro 3.33 per share of common stock, just below a net profit of Euro 2.242 billion ($2.7 billion), or Euro 3.33 per share of common stock, for 2004.
The Munich-based manufacturer said total revenue was Euro 46.656 billion ($56.7 billion), a new record high and up 5.2 percent from Euro 44.335 billion ($53.9 billion) in 2004.
The company’s board of directors recently confirmed the 2005 results first released in February.
While the automobile segment was adversely affected by currency factors and raw material prices, company officials said the motorcycle segment reported a sharp increase in earnings.
BMW’s motorcycle business profit before tax was Euro 60 million ($72.9 million), up 93.5 percent from Euro 31 million ($37.7 million) in 2004. Segment revenues were Euro 1.223 billion ($1.4 billion), up 18.9 percent from Euro 1.029 billion ($1.2 billion) in 2004. Sales numbered 97,474 units, up 5.6 percent from 92,266 units in 2004.
BMW’s automobile business profit before tax was Euro 2.976 billion ($3.6 billion), down 5.9 percent from Euro 3.164 billion ($3.8 billion) in 2004. Segment revenues were Euro 45.861 billion ($55.7 billion), up 7.8 percent from Euro 42.544 billion ($51.7 billion) last year.


Two-wheeler sales in Italy Up 41% in 2006
Italy’s two-wheeler market grew in February, with registrations of motorcycles and scooters up 56 percent to 32,051 units. The increase was due mostly to Italian Mail purchasing 7,450 scooters. Still, without the Italian Mail purchases, sales were up 19.8 percent.
Total two-wheelers sales in Italy during the first two months of the year numbered 80,565 units, up 41.9 percent from sales for the same period last year.


BRP, Synerject Complete Deal
Synerject LLC, a 50:50 joint venture between Orbital Corp. Ltd. and Siemens VDO Automotive Corporation, has completed its acquisition of the manufacturing assets and employees of BRP US Inc.’s Delavan, Wis., engine management modules facility.
Synerject, Newport News, Va., was formed in 1997. The company supplies engine management systems, modules and components for the marine, recreational, motorcycle and industrial markets. The scope of its product offerings ranges from vehicle fuel delivery systems to complete engine management modules.
The Delavan facility was established in 1996 and acquired by BRP in 2001. With operations spanning approximately 40,000 sq. ft. of factory space and 80 employees, the facility manufactures fuel injectors and electronic engine management modules and components for BRP’s Johnson and Evinrude divisions. Supply contracts with BRP for the products made in Delavan are an integral part to the purchase agreement.
The newly acquired business is expected to increase Synerject’s annual revenue by more than 50 percent from the $42 million reported at fiscal year end June 30, 2005.
“The Delavan acquisition is a significant strategic move for Synerject, as it immediately gives us a state-of-the art electronic module manufacturing base, dedicated to the needs and requirements of our non-automotive markets and a fuel injection components manufacturing operation,” said Synerject President and CEO Stephane Tagliante. “It will complement the programs in place at our Newport News, Va., facility, augmenting our current capabilities without competing with any existing activities.”
“Beyond the strategic match that this acquisition represents for Synerject, Delavan offered a long list of equally attractive features,” said Synerject Chief Financial Officer Lynn Johnson. “A secure business base with strong growth potential, a state-of-the-art facility located at the very heart of our customers’ territory and a dedicated and highly qualified work force.”
BRP US Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP), a privately held manufacturer and distributor of powersports vehicles.
Perth, Australia-based Orbital is an international developer of engine and related technologies for the motorcycle, marine and auto industries.
Siemens VDO is a $11.3 billion unit of $96 billion Siemens AG. The firm covers gasoline and diesel powertrain technologies, safety and chassis systems and body electronics, plus interior products including infotainment systems.

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