Q&A: Ming Hsin Lee, President and CEO, KYMCO USA
Ming Hsin Lee
President and CEO
Ming Hsin Lee, president and CEO of KYMCO USA since 2011, recently spent time riding in Moab (yes, the Hell’s Revenge and Fins & Things trails) and the southwest Colorado canyonlands. While in Utah, he joined the company’s R&D staff for test rides, and later accompanied the enthusiast media on their ride of new 2014 KYMCO scooters and side-by-sides out of Gateway Canyons Resort in Colorado.
Lee is a native of Taiwan, home of KYMCO USA’s parent company. Prior to taking over the top spot at KYMCO USA headquarters in South Carolina, Lee had spent the previous four years in the U.S. working as a liaison between KYMCO USA and KYMCO’s Taiwanese headquarters. Lee has been with KYMCO since 1984 and has worked in production, R&D, sourcing, quality control, IT, accounting and dealer development.
It’s not everyday we run into the CEO of an OEM at a media ride, so Powersports Business editor in chief Dave McMahon was pleased to spend some time with Lee at Gateway Canyons to discuss KYMCO USA’s new MYROAD 700i scooter, the largest displacement maxi-scooter in the U.S., and the five variations of its all-new UXV 700i side-by-side.
1. I don’t see company presidents and CEOs much at these types of events. Why did you decide to come?
“Of course because we have two new 700 models to allow the media to test, the MYROAD 700i scooter and the UXV 700i side-by-side. The 45hp single-cyclinder engine is the strongest one yet for the UXV, and it’s also a lighter model than our 500.”
2. You spent some time in Moab recently with your R&D staff to test the new UXV 700. Why did you decide to go there?
“I had always heard of all the crazy things that the vehicles are doing out there, so I wanted to experience it. I have seen it on the YouTube, now I wanted to see it in person. It was fun to see how the crazy Americans use our products. We had three engineers from Taiwan also join us. Now I think we should test all of our products in Moab.”
3. During our UXV 700 rides along Sheep Creek and up Salt Creek Canyon in Colorado, I noticed you were very interested in the UXV’s performance. I saw you taking notes and listening intently to the enthusiast media.
“I like to collect information so that I can educate our engineers in Taiwan. I want to inform them about how the UXV is performing. There are two things I am looking for: design problems or quality issues.”
4. How has year been for KYMCO’s business in the U.S.?
“2012 was a good year, but due to the cold weather in many areas, the first quarter of 2013 was not so good. Looking at the last two years, they have been good years.”
5. Where is your largest scooter market?
“In Europe. We have had the 700 available in Europe for two years.”