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June 15, 2009 – Finance Digest

June 15, 2009
Filed under Features

Suzuki’s N. America motorcycle segment sales fall 40 percent
Suzuki Motor Corp.’s motorcycle and ATV sales in North America fell 40 percent in its most recent fiscal year, the company reported.
The company’s sales of 114,000 units in North America occurred between April 1, 2008, and March 31, 2009, its most recent fiscal year.
The company’s overall worldwide sales reduced 14.2 percent compared to the previous-year period. It also reported a 65.8 percent decline in net sales.
Besides a reduce in sales in North America, Suzuki also reported a decline of motorcycle segment sales in Europe. There, sales of 147,000 units represented a 26.5 percent decline.


BMW motorcycle, auto sales decline in recent quarter
BMW’s worldwide motorcycle sales declined by a double-digit percentage in its first quarter, the company recently reported.
BMW sold 17,232 motorcycles in its first quarter, an 18.1 percent drop from the year-ago quarter.
BMW also reported a slowing of auto sales in its quarterly report. The company’s auto sales dropped 21.2 percent.
Overall, BMW’s revenue fell 13.4 percent to $15.9 billion and it suffered a net loss of $211 million. In comparison, BMW last year had a net profit of $677 million for the quarter.
During the quarter, BMW reduced its workforce by more than 900 employees, 300 of whom signed voluntary severance contracts, the company said. BMW currently has more than 99,000 worldwide employees, a 7 percent decrease compared to the year-ago period.


ADP’s dealer service revenue off slightly in recent quarter
ADP reported a slight decline in its dealer services revenue from its recent quarter, which ended March 31.
ADP said its dealer services revenue dropped 3 percent to $339.5 million in its third quarter from the previous year quarter. The company noted it continued to see a number of closings and consolidations among auto dealerships in North America. Despite those setbacks, the company said it improved its market share in both North America and internationally.
Gart Butler, ADP’s CEO, noted the company expects to see a 2-3 percent decline in revenues going forward in its dealer services segment.
Overall, ADP reported a 2 percent decline in its fiscal third quarter compared to a year ago.


Helmet manufacturer reports slight increase in revenue
Easton Bell reported an overall sales increase for its recent quarter, although revenue from its powersports segment dropped slightly from a year ago.
The helmet manufacturer reported overall net sales of more than $184 million, a 1.5 percent increase over the year-ago period.
Easton Bell has two divisions, including its Action Sports segment that includes powersports. That division sold $77.1 million in the quarter that ended April 4, a 5 percent decline from the previous year. Easton Bell said the revenue decrease was primarily due to lower sales of cycling helmets and components, snow helmets, eyewear and fitness-related products, partially offset by increased sales of apparel and cycling accessories.
The company’s overall net income of $9.9 million was a 29 percent decline from the year-ago period.
Easton Bell said it is planning on streamlining its distribution, logistics and manufacturing operations in the near future. “We expect to lower the cost to produce and deliver our products to the marketplace through an infrastructure designed to meet the needs of our long-term growth plans with minimal risk to ongoing operations,” a company report said.


Bridgestone’s first-quarter sales drop in the Americas
Bridgestone’s decreased sales in the Americas in its first quarter generally reflected its company-wide sales.
The tire manufacturer reported an overall 29 percent decline in its net sales, which amounted to more than $6 billion, for its first quarter that ended March 31.
The company also said it wound up with a net loss of $369 million after finishing the year-ago quarter with net income of $243 million.
For its “Americas” market, Bridgestone reported a 26 percent drop in its first-quarter sales. Bridgestone said it saw a major decline in unit sales of tires for cars, light trucks and trucks.


V-SEPT adds new tool to its CRM system
V-SEPT added Black Book to its motorcycle and powersports values via its Customer Relationship Management system. Beginning June 1, V-SEPT will provide its existing and new customers with 90 days of access to Black Book motorcycle and powersports values at no additional charge, according to a press release issued by the companies.
Ricky Beggs, Black Book’s vice president and managing editor, stated in the press release, “By integrating access to Black Book’s respected used motorcycle and powersports values, they have made the process of value trade-ins easy and seamless. Since V-SEPT is a Web-based application that draws values from the Black Book database in real time, users know that they always have the most up-to-date value available.”
James Vaughn, president and CEO of V-SEPT, added, “Black Book is very well known within the powersports industry for providing very accurate motorcycle, ATV, snowmobile and PWC values. They update their values on a monthly basis, which allows them to report on market changes in a very timely fashion. This is a huge benefit to our dealers, especially in this challenging economy, who can now be confident that the values they are using reflect the current market, and are not several months out of date.”


XpressCredit Loan System Chosen by American Finance
XpressCredit, a provider of a Web-based, indirect lending platform, announced American Finance of Dover, Del., has chosen the XpressCredit Loan Origination System to conduct its back office underwriting.
American Financial also will utilize XpressCredit’s new FacTrack tool for verification of customer data during the application process.
XpressCredit’s patent-pending solution links lenders with motorcycle, RV and marine dealers nationwide.
The filtering technology of XpressCredit’s loan origination system will provide American Finance with the ability to receive only applications that meet their criteria for funding, enhancing efficiency and profitability.


Sign up for free listing in the 2009 Market Data Book
Manufacturers, distributors and dealer service providers can now sign up for a free listing in Powersports Business’ 2009 Market Data Book. The Market Data Book includes more than 1,000 such listings and is published annually in September.
Companies that have previously had their information in the Data Book should have received e-mails asking for them to update their listings. Look for another one in the near future. Companies that were published in the 2008 Market Data Book but did not receive these updates can contact PSB Associate Editor Karin Gelschus at kgelschus@affinitygroup.com.
Companies that were not part of the 2008 Data Book listings and want to be in the 2009 edition can go to http://marketdata.powersportsbusiness.com/login.html. This Web site will take you to the “Company Login.” Simply enter your company’s name, the city of the company and press “submit.” You then will be able to start filling out the forms.
Note: You do not need to write down your “company ID” or “password” as we will save that once you have submitted the information.

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