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HOT NEWS – February 13, 2006

February 13, 2006
Filed under News

American Suzuki reorganizes management team
The management team has been reorganized at American Suzuki Motor Corp. (ASMC) Motorcycle/ATV Division’s Brea, Calif., headquarters and manufacturing facility in Rome, Ga.
The management team has been reorganized at American Suzuki Motor Corp. (ASMC) Motorcycle/ATV Division’s Brea, Calif., headquarters and manufacturing facility in Rome, Ga.
Steve Bortolamedi, formerly the dealer network manager for the Motorcycle/ATV Division, has been named advertising manager. He will be responsible for national and regional advertising for the Motorcycle/ATV Division, including in-store materials and signage and product brochures. Bortolamedi will continue to oversee the Web sites for both Suzuki’s motorcycle and marine product groups and the Suzuki Sales P.R.O. retail kiosks. He has worked at ASMC for more than 13 years.
Rod Lopusnak has rejoined ASMC as the ATV operations manager and will be stationed at the Suzuki Manufacturing of America Corp. (SMAC) facility in Rome, Ga. Lopusnak previously worked as ASMC Motorcycle/ATV marketing manager for four years before leaving Suzuki to join the American Motorcyclist Association as director of sales for an eight-month period.
Glenn Hansen will move into the new position of communications manager, responsible for working with media for the introduction of all new motorcycles and ATVs. The Communications Group also will be responsible for product information booklets, model sales guides and more, for enhanced dealership salesperson knowledge. Formerly the advertising and press relations manager for American Suzuki’s Motorcycle/ATV Division, Hansen has been with ASMC for three years and has a background in media relations.
Dirk Gould, sales support manager, who currently oversees the Retail Finance Department, will take on additional responsibilities to assist Vice President Mel Harris with sales programs and budgeting. Gould has worked at ASMC for nearly nine years, gaining experience in data analysis and finance.
Bob Mueller, sales development manager, adds data analysis to his current list of responsibilities, which includes the Suzuki Extended Protection program as well as tracking of customer satisfaction and other survey data.
ASMC officials said the company’s 2005 motorcycle sales increased 12% over 2004. ASMC markets motorcycles and ATVs supplied by parent company Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC), Hamamatsu, Japan.
Hollingsworth Leaves AMA Pro Racing
The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) announced that a three-person team has been named to manage the day-to-day operations of AMA Pro Racing on an interim basis following the Jan. 24 departure of AMA Pro Racing CEO Scott Hollingsworth.
The management team, which will report to AMA Chief Executive Officer Patricia DiPietro, is AMA Pro Racing Vice President and Director of Communications Kerry Graeber, AMA Pro Racing Director of Finance and Administration Michele Rossi, and AMA Pro Racing Motocross and Supercross Series Manager Steve Whitelock.
Ducati N.A. Appoints New Business Development Manager
Ducati North America, Cupertino, Calif., has promoted Nick McCabe to business development manager, responsible for overseeing business development, new projects and serving as the main point of contact for external relationships and partners.
McCabe is relocating to Ducati North America’s Cupertino Headquarters. The new position “gives me the opportunity to really make some positive changes throughout our nationwide dealer network as well as get started on some new projects, like a Ducati Riding School in the U.S.,” McCabe said.
Aaron Barry has been tapped to replace McCabe as area sales manager for the Mid-Atlantic region.
Big Dog Names Brown Vice President, Manufacturing
Big Dog Motorcycles has named Bob Brown as vice president, manufacturing.
Brown joined Big Dog Motorcycles in May 2003 as its first manufacturing engineer and was elevated to director of manufacturing in December 2004. He currently manages the company’s manufacturing operations, including frame building, powder coating, polish, paint, engines and assembly.
Started in 1994, Big Dog Motorcycles plans to build its 20,000th motorcycle this spring.
“As Big Dog Motorcycles continues to improve our processes and moves closer to our vision of building the factory for the future, Bob will be a critical leader in implementing the necessary actions that will make us the most agile and efficient manufacturer in the industry,” said Sheldon Coleman, company founder and CEO.
MZ Makes Management Changes
R. Vasuthewan, currently managing director of the German motorcycle producer MZ Motorrad und Zweiradwerk GmbH and its development partner MZ Engineering GmbH, relinquished both positions Jan. 25, the end of his current contract with Hong Leong Industries, the Malaysia-based owner of MZ.
Yap Peng Leong took over as managing director of MZ Motorrad und Zweiradwerk GmbH. MZ Engineering GmbH, is now headed by Jürgen Meusel.
Suzuki: 3.75 Million ATVs, Cycles in 2006
Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corp. plans to increase global sales of its motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles 15 percent to 3.75 million units this year. Production of two-wheeled vehicles may rise 16 percent to 3.84 million units.
Major sales boosts are expected to come from India. The company said it plans to begin motorcycle sales there in March.
Police Raid Yamaha Offices in Japan
Japanese police raided the offices of Yamaha Motor Co. on Jan. 23 after the government filed a criminal complaint against the company over its sale of small helicopters to China.
Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) said it has been investigating Yamaha Motor on suspicion that it had exported and tried to export the RMAX Type IIG without required government permission. The government suggests the small, unmanned crop-spraying machines could have military uses.
While admitting Yamaha had exported nine of the crop-spraying machines to China since August 2002, a Yamaha spokesperson denied any wrongdoing. “We have carried out the proper procedures for exports and have not violated the law,” the spokesperson said. psb
—Compiled by Guido Ebert

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