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HOT NEWS – June 5, 2006

June 5, 2006
Filed under Features

Story Invests in Maine Dealership
John Story, the former senior vice president of dealer operations for America’s PowerSports (APS), has become a managing partner of L-A Harley-Davidson, a franchise in Lewiston, Maine.
L-A Harley-Davidson was purchased from its longtime owners in September 2005 by Dave Veracka and Cooper Friend. Story, a managing partner as of March 1, will work with Veracka and Friend.
“You always look for your individual ownership if you can, and the opportunity came about,” Story said during an interview with Powersports Business. “And the other thing is APS was changing some directions. So it was time.”
Plus, the job change means significantly less travel for Story, who was on the road more than 250 days a year for the past two years for APS.
L-A Harley-Davidson, a 36,000-square foot dealership, had its grand opening with the new owners on May 6. Story said the event drew 1,800 people.
Appeals Court Upholds $3.6 million Verdict Against Polaris
A three-judge California appeals court upheld a $3.6 million jury award granted to a woman in 2004 for injuries she suffered in a personal watercraft accident in 2001.
According to court documents, a Napa County jury ordered Polaris Industries Inc. to compensate Susan Ford in 2004. Ford was injured when she fell off the back of the watercraft and into the path of the high-pressure stream of water, which tore apart her internal organs and permanently damaged her intestinal tract.
Ford said in her lawsuit that the company designed the watercraft defectively because it did not provide a way for a passenger to hang on securely when it was not feasible to hold on to the watercraft operator.
Polaris maintained that it provided adequate warnings in the manufacturer’s manual and decals cautioning riders to wear protective clothing to guard against such injuries. The company also said it was protected by a doctrine known as assumption of risk, under which people who engage in risky sports can’t sue over injuries stemming from inherent risks in the sport.
Cycle Country 2Q Revenue Up 25 percent
Cycle Country Accessories Corp., the Milford, Iowa-based manufacturer of products for ATVs, garden tractors and golf cars, said net income was $141,612, or .08 cents per share, for the second quarter ended March 31 — a rebound from a loss of $3,914, or .10 cents per share for the six months ended March 31, 2005.
These figures are based on fully diluted shares of 7,256,303 as of March 31, compared to 5,317,459 shares as of March 31, 2005.
Cycle Country’s total revenue for the quarter was $3.4 million, up 25 percent from revenue of $2.8 million during the same period last year. Gross profit was $1.4 million, up 72 percent from $817,472 during the same period last year.
“Weekend Warrior and Plastic Wheel Covers continue to lead the way in growth, experiencing year-to-date increases of nearly 285 percent and 21 percent, respectively,” said Dave Davis, Cycle Country Accessories Corp. chief financial officer. “Contract Manufacturing, a new segment for us since the acquisition and merger with Simonsen Iron Works, has also been performing well, generating $853,000 in revenue so far this year.”
While the ATV accessories business segment experienced sluggish sales during the company’s first quarter, the second quarter saw positive results, Davis said. Management believes this segment is back on track to generate growth over the remainder of the year.
Cycle Country also ended the second quarter by replacing its CEO. As previously reported, John Gault, a Cycle Country board member, replaced Ron Hickman.
“John will hold the CEO position until a suitable candidate is found,” said Jim Danbom, chairman of the Cycle Country Board of Directors.
Taiwan Cycle Show Attracts 934 Firms
The 22nd Taipei International Auto/Motorcycle Parts and Accessories Show Taipei AMPA took place May 19-22 at the Taipei World Trade Center (TWTC).
Organized by the quasi-official Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), the Taiwan Transportation Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association and the Taiwan Rubber Industries Association, the four-day event included 934 vendors from the United States, Japan, Thailand, India, Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and China.
Featuring 2,243 show booths, the exhibition was expected to draw roughly 40,000 trade-related visitors to peruse products, such as engine parts and fittings, global positioning systems, LED tail lights, wireless tire pressure monitoring systems, automatic sensor wiper blades, maintenance and repair equipment, transmissions and brake systems.
Taiwan has about 2,500 automobile parts and accessory manufacturers,?including approximately 200 tier-1 suppliers. According to figures supplied by TAITRA, suppliers in Taiwan exported $4.71 billion worth of automobile and motorcycle parts and accessories last year, up from $4.36 billion in 2004, and up 19.5 percent compared to 2003. Parts and accessories accounted for 85 percent of last year’s export total.
“Massive investment across Taiwan, China and Southeast Asia has enabled Taiwan’s automobile and motorcycle parts and accessories entrepreneurs to gain effective control over production and marketing, rapidly transforming Taiwan into Asia’s automotive parts and accessories design and development hub, and a veritable regional fulfillment center,” TAITRA said in a release announcing the event.
BMW Motorrad USA Taps Concept Farm for Ads
BMW Motorrad USA selected New York-based The Concept Farm as its new agency of record for advertising purposes.
Concept Farm, an independent ad agency, production company and entertainment development group, has 35 full-time employees. Major advertising clients include ESPN, The Bank of New York, Deloitte Consulting and James Patterson Entertainment.
Omnicom Group’s Merkley & Partners, New York, held BMW Motorrad USA’s account since 1998, but did not attempt to re-sign. Merkley’s contract, which included creative, planning, strategy and online initiatives, expired May 1.
BMW said The Concept Farm won the $2 million account because of its capabilities in guerilla, interactive and Web work, and to minimize travel and to facilitate a close working relationship.
AMA Names New Supermoto Director
In AMA Pro Racing news, Joel Grover has been hired to the new position of Supermoto director, and will be relocating to AMA’s Pickerington, Ohio headquarters from his home in upstate New York.
Reporting to Doug Neubauer, vice president of AMA Sports, Grover will oversee the AMA Supermoto Championship, presented by Parts Unlimited, as well as the AMA Sports Supermoto Grand Championships in association with NASMOTO.
Correction
Texas-based Dealers Finance Source, working with Motorcycle Management Consulting Services, Inc. (MMCS), offers an F&I kiosk for powersports dealerships. An Aftermarket article in the
May 15 edition implied that MMCS was the company operating the kiosk. psb

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