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July 24, 2006 – Cycle Report

July 24, 2006
Filed under Features

The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) says Japan’s four main motorcycle manufacturers produced 125,577 units in May, up 5.5 percent compared to the production of 119,071 units in May 2005.
JAMA says Honda produced 40,561 units in May, down from 43,987 units produced in May 2005; Kawasaki produced 18,459 units, up from 12,753 units; Suzuki produced 36,259 units, up from 30,929 units; and Yamaha produced 30,220 units, down from 31,377 units produced in May 2005.
The four manufacturers exported 81,183 units in May, up 6,218 units or 8.3 percent compared to 74,965 units exported in May 2005.
JAMA says Honda exported 23,105 units in May, up from 22,835 units exported in May 2005; Kawasaki exported 13,596 units, up from 10,154 units; Suzuki exported 22,052 units, up from 19,365 units; and Yamaha exported 22,430 units, slightly below the 22,611 units exported in May 2005.
The motorcycles exported in May had a value of $485.7 million, including $376.5 million for vehicles and $109.2 million for parts. This is an increase of $33.9 million or 7.5 percent compared to an export worth of $451.8 million recorded for May 2005.
The four manufacturers exported 39,356 units to the United States in May, up from 29,738 units exported in May 2005.
Women & Motorcycling Conference Held in Georgia
The AMA/FIM International Women & Motorcycling Conference was held June 30-July 2 in Athens, Ga.
The event featured an opening ceremony; demo rides from Harley-Davidson, Buell, Kawasaki, BMW, Honda, Yamaha, Ducati and KYMCO; indoor vendor displays; guided and self-guided tours; a cyclecross dubbed “The AMA Asphalt Assault”; a parade; and a special exhibit on women motorcyclists brought to the conference by the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum. The event also included 14 seminars.
A luncheon hosted by AMA CEO Patricia DiPietro, AMA President Robert Rasor and FIM CEO Guy Maitre was sold out well in advance of the event, and 100 riders attended a Skills Day offered by the Kevin Schwantz Suzuki School at Road Atlanta.
Collaborating organizations included Motor Maids, Women in the Wind, Women On Wheels, Women’s International Motorcycle Association-USA and Women’s International Motorcycle Association-Canada, Women’s Motorcyclist Foundation, Femmoto, Ebony Angels and the Women’s Motocross Association.
Ducati sales up 16 percent in North America
Ducati North America said unit sales from January through June were up 16 percent compared to the first six months of 2005.
Officials at the Cupertino, Calif.-based company said new unit sales growth was led by Canada, where sales are up 56 percent year-to-date, followed by California and New York.
Chicago Cycle Adds Kawasaki
Chicago Cycle, a retail superstore owned by Giant Motorsports, Inc., has added Kawasaki to its inventory.
Giant Motorsports, Inc., Salem, Ohio, operates two wholly-owned subsidiaries, W.W. Cycles in Salem and Chicago Cycle in Chicago. W.W. Cycles carries Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki and Polaris. Chicago Cycle now sells Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki and Ducati.
Chicago Cycle generated approximately $40 million in sales last year. Giant management estimates that brands now carried by the Chicago Cycle store account for approximately 70 percent of the market for motorcycles, ATVs and scooters.
Giant officials say they are attempting to leverage revenue and earnings growth through acquisitions in new regions, through internal growth and through utilization of rollup and consolidation strategies in what they term a “fragmented powersports national dealer environment.”
“The relocation of our Chicago store to a new 95,000-square-foot facility in April 2005 has allowed us to pursue strategic opportunities that should continue to increase our market share,” said Greg Haehn, president of Giant Motorsports, Inc. “We continue to refine our powersports superstore concept and expect our two stores in Ohio and Illinois to generate over $100 million in retail sales during the current year.”
KTM Hires New Racing Director for North America
KTM North America has announced plans to enter into AMA 450cc motocross competition in 2007 and the 450cc supercross class in 2008, and plans to do it with a new racing director.
Kurt Nicoll has been appointed as racing director for KTM North America, charged with leading the entire North American off-road racing division, including the race teams from KTM Canada. Nicoll will take the position as North America race director for an initial period of two years, to include race seasons 2007 and 2008.
KTM says the move was necessary to strengthen the company’s position in U.S. motocross and supercross competition. For the current season and the 2007 supercross season, KTM will concentrate its efforts in the Lites division, where Mike Alessi currently leads the AMA Motocross Championship.
Asian cycle builders meet
About 120 members of the Federation of Asian Motorcycle Industries (FAMI) recently convened on Penang Island, Malaysia, to attend the organization’s first-ever symposium regarding intellectual property concerns within the global powersports industry.
Singapore-based FAMI was launched in January 1999 to represent the motorcycle industries of India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand, all of which combine for annual motorcycle production of about 13.8 million units.
Sponsored by the Motorcycle Distributors Association of Malaysia (MASAAM), the symposium served to further raise the awareness of the importance of intellectual property rights, placing the primary focus on the problems of counterfeit products.
The event included talks by representatives of Malaysia’s Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, the Malaysian Patent Office, legal experts, and delegates from Japan’s Embassy in Malaysia and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
The speeches covered a broad range of perspectives, including the importance of educating the consumer, the ties properties have with national development, and the specific enforcement systems in place and how they function in other industries.
A question-and-answer panel discussion drew queries about the harmonization of vehicle regulations — the importance of which “has never been greater,” according to IMMA President Minoru Harada — as well as comments providing glimpses into the growing concern and awareness of the situation, including the need for stiffer enforcement of intellectual property rights in Asia.
FAMI joined the International Motorcycle Manufacturers Association (IMMA) in April. IMMA serves as the voice of the industry in the United Nations and World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations. psb

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