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Jun. 30, 2008 – Hot News

June 30, 2008
Filed under News

Metric Manufacturers Slash U.S. Exports

Motorcycle exports by Japanese manufacturers to the United States have dropped by nearly half compared to a year ago, recently released statistics show.
The latest statistics provided by the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA), which includes Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki and Suzuki, show 20,680 motorcycles were exported to the United States in April, a more than 48 percent decline from the same month a year ago.
Worldwide exports from JAMA members also were down substantially in April. Total exports equaled 74,856 units, a nearly 40 percent drop from a year ago. The cut in exports was the seventh consecutive month of fewer exports compared to the same month of the previous year.
Kawasaki and Honda scaled back the most, both cutting exports more than 50 percent over the previous year. Kawasaki exports were down 57.5 percent compared to April of the previous year, to 11,112 units. Exports at Honda decreased 57.2 percent against the same month in 2007 to 7,944 units. Yamaha ended the month with 23,079 units exported, down nearly 30 percent compared to April 2007. Suzuki cut exports 28.4 percent to 32,721 units.
Overall, JAMA manufacturers produced 75,977 units in April. Compared with the 136,229 units recorded for the same month of the previous year, this is a 44.2 percent decrease. The decline is the eighth consecutive month production has decreased over the same month of the previous year.
Kawasaki and Honda cut production more than 50 percent for the month. Kawasaki was down 60.3 percent compared to April 2007 (10,132 units), while Honda decreased production 52.9 percent compared to last year (17,184 units). Suzuki rolled out 26,442 units for the month, a 38.5 percent decrease over the same month of the previous year. Yamaha production was down 28.8 percent to 22,214 units.

Big Dog Lays Off Two Executives

Big Dog Motorcycles let go Nick Messer, executive vice president for sales and new production, and Jim Moorman, chief of engineering, as part of a company restructuring, according to the Wichita Business Journal.
Paul Hansen, vice president for marketing, said Big Dog owner Sheldon Coleman Jr. told employees restructuring will be discussed during a company meeting.
This is the company’s third round of layoffs this year. There were 20 layoffs in May and 20 layoffs in January in addition to 10 layoffs in the middle of 2007.

Senator Presses India to Lower Harley Motorcycle Tariff

During a two-day trip in India, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) urged the country to lower the tariff on Harley-Davidson motorcycles, which he believes to be unfairly high, according to the Milwaukee Business Journal.
Feingold says the tariff prevents H-D from entering the Indian market on a level playing field.
“The high tariff placed on Harley-Davidson is patently unfair, especially since there are no heavyweight motorcycles manufactured in India,” he said in a statement. “Lowering this extremely high tariff would be an important and symbolic move to show us India’s willingness to open its market to American companies, and in turn help promote broader bilateral relations.”
H-D has relied more on international sales in recent years to offset down U.S. sales.

LeMans Corp. Names Product Specialist

LeMans Corp. recently appointed Andrew Kranig as the new product specialist for Parts Unlimited and Drag Specialties Brakes by SBS.
Kranig previously worked at Kutter Harley-Davidson in accessories and motorcycle sales. Kranig has been an industry enthusiast for years and has raced a CRF 250R and CRF 450R in District 17 competitions.
Kranig, who will be based in Janesville, Wis., will travel with Parts Unlimited and Drag Specialties sales reps educating them and their dealers on the merits of Parts and Drag Brakes by SBS.
In related news, Drag Specialties announced the hiring of Andy Simon, Jr. as a new Northeast region sales rep for Philadelphia and the surrounding area.

Premier Auction to Open New Site

The Premier Auction Group has expanded its operations, purchasing Dealers Auto Auction of Michigan (DAAM), which is located in Clare, Mich.
“DAAM combined with our two other Michigan auctions and Ohio location gives us complete coverage in the state of Michigan,” said John Sullivan, vice president of PAG Investment Services, parent company of the Premier Auction Group. “We are continuing to expand in the Midwest.”
Dealers Auto Auction of Michigan is located in central Michigan. “Once again, we will be offering all of the services
that our dealers expect, including in-house reconditioning, mechanical and transportation services with the personal attention that every Premier Auction is known for,” owner Bob Hubregsen said. psb

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