Here are a couple of stories that came across my desk that I think are relevant and interesting to the powersports business community.
1 – Polaris Donates Nearly $120,000 to Off-Road Organizations with T.R.A.I.L.S. Grants – From Polaris Inc
Today, Polaris Inc. (NYSE: PII), announced it donated nearly $120,000 to off-road (ORV), utility-terrain (UTV) and all-terrain vehicles (ATV) organizations across the United States as a part of its ongoing T.R.A.I.L.S. Grant Program. The 13 nonprofit organizations that were awarded a Spring 2022 T.R.A.I.L.S. grant received awards ranging from $6,000 to $10,000. The grants will support the development, improvement and expansion of trails, and help to educate riders on safe and responsible riding practices.
“Polaris is thrilled to continue supporting the efforts of local organizations and clubs through our T.R.A.I.L.S. Grant Program,” said Steve Menneto, president of Off-Road at Polaris. “These organizations are comprised of passionate volunteers and riders who love to ride and serve as the heart of the off-roading community. These grants will help create a safe and enjoyable experience for all those looking to get outside and ride.”
The Spring 2022 T.R.A.I.L.S. Grant recipients are:
- Baraboo Bluffs ATV/UTV Club (Baraboo, Wis.)
- Caribou Parks and Recreation Department (Caribou, Maine)
- Elbe Hills ORV (Ashford, Wash.)
- Dexter Rail Riders (Dexter, Maine)
- Doe Mountain Recreation Authority (Mountain City, Tenn.)
- Firefrost ATV Club (Halstad, Minn.)
- Indian Creek Valley ATV Club (Indian Head, Pa.)
- New Mexico Off-highway Vehicle Alliance (Santa Fe, N.M.)
- Patten ATV Club (Patten, Maine)
- Potter County ATV/UTV club (Coudersport, Pa.)
- Sauk Centre Sno-Cleats Inc. (Sauk Centre, Minn.)
- Sauk Ridge Runners ATV Club (LaValle, Wis.)
- Trail Mix, Inc. (Juneau, Ala.)
Spring 2022 grant recipient, Trail Mix Inc., is partnering with the Juneau Off-Road Association to develop an ORV park and will put the funds received to support these efforts. Focused on creating new areas for individual and families to recreate, this new ORV park will feature loop trails, a mud bog, children’s area, and open riding.
“With the support of Polaris, we are creating design plans for the first ORV Park in Juneau, in partnership with Trail Mix, Inc.,” said Darrin Crapo, president of the Juneau Off-Road Association. “Currently, we have very few places to ride, so this ORV park will be a game-changer for our community, a place where we can share our love of riding with even more people.”
Since its inception in 2006, Polaris’ T.R.A.I.L.S. Grant Program has provided funding to national, state and local organizations in the United States to help support the future of snowmobiling and off-road riding. The T.R.A.I.L.S. Grant Program focuses on two main objectives: promoting safe and responsible riding and supporting trail preservation and access. Organizations may use funds from the grant to increase and maintain land access through trail development, maintenance projects, safety and education initiatives and other projects.
To date, the program has supported 335 ATV, off-road and snowmobiling organizations across 45 states with more than $3 million in grants. Visit the T.R.A.I.L.S. Grant Program website for more information and to apply for a future grant.
2 – Zero Motorcycles Reorganizes to Position Company as the Leader in Customer Experience – From Zero Motorcycles
Zero Motorcycles, the global leader in electric motorcycles and powertrains, has announced that service for its entire award-winning product line, as well as contact points for customers across all channels, will now be managed under a newly formed department of Customer Experience (CX). The new CX team will oversee streamlining and enhancement areas of concern for riders everywhere including lead engagement, service requests, and service manuals creation and distribution, among other duties.
The new department will be bifurcated between the creation and distribution of technical training materials and the public-facing service handling for the global dealer network and owners alike. Balancing the two areas of focus will be a pair of industry veterans with a host of dealer and OEM experience spanning a total of more than 40 years and with proven excellence in service, sales, and marketing capacities; Garrett Johnson and Chris Langlois.
“The sum total of our experience with customer contacts includes more than just our dealer network and current owners, that’s why we’re thrilled to have leaders in place with expertise managing issues that can arise anywhere in Zero’s global footprint that spans into dozens of countries,” said Mike Cunningham, VP of Sales for the Americas at Zero Motorcycles.
This change took place internally during the month of April, 2022, and the newly organized department is introducing new technical training to dealers as well as client relations training to the Zero teams in public facing roles.
All Zero Motorcycles qualify for both State and Federal Tax Incentives that can be applied to an owner’s subsequent tax filing and the entire line is available in hundreds of dealerships worldwide.
3 – NPA’s RV and Marine Sales tabs Amata as VP – From Powersports Business
National Powersport Auctions (NPA) has announced the hiring of Matt Amata as vice president of NPA’s RV and Marine Sales. Amata, who is based in Cleveland, will be responsible for the growth and expansion of NPA’s RV and Marine business nationwide.
“Matt Amata is the perfect person to help us grow our RV and Marine business. His experience and knowledge in the national marine industry will expand the resources, customer service and asset values our clients have come to expect from NPA,” said NPA CEO Jim Woodruff. “We are confident he’ll do a great job growing the business and supporting our customers and clients.”
Amata has been involved in the marine industry for over 20 years, serving as president of National Liquidators for the last decade. Prior to that, he successfully founded, managed, and sold a telecommunications company and earned his MBA from Arizona State University. He is an active member of Marine Industries of South Florida, International Yacht Brokers Association, Lake Erie Marine Trades Association, and the Marine Trade Association of Maryland. Matt has served on the board of directors of both the National Marine Lenders Association and the Propeller Club of America and has presented at numerous leading industry events.
“I am pleased to have joined the team at National Powersport Auctions to lead our RV and Marine efforts,” Amata said. “NPA’s values, integrity, investments in infrastructure, technology, training, and unparalleled customer service have consistently set them apart as leaders in the industry. While NPA has been present in the RV and Marine space for over two decades, they are committing all the resources needed to grow and expand this market and I am excited to lead that charge!”
4 – National Powersport Auctions Steps Up Strategic Partnership of National Powersports Dealer Association
“NPA believes that dealers are critical to the future of powersports,” says National Powersport Auctions CEO Jim Woodruff. “They are at the front lines of the consumer experience that fuels our industry and we are committed to helping them be the best they can be.” Already a strong supporter and trusted advisor to the National Powersports Dealer Association, NPA has expanded its efforts to engage with dealers in meaningful dialog and mutually beneficial actions.
“NPA is the industry’s authority on pre-owned and the largest provider of powersport auction services,” he adds. “We share NPDA’s PURE vision and belief that our industry is better when we all work together.” NPDA continues to bring dealers in under its PURE banner (Promote, Unite, Represent, Educate).
“Partnering with NPDA is a true commitment to the long- term excellence and success of powersports dealers and we are eternally grateful for the support, leadership and friendship that Jim Woodruff and NPA have extended the Association,” states NPDA Chair Bob Althoff. “Mr. Woodruff was the very first advisor to support this crazy notion that dealers could come together and strive for retail excellence, and he has been in our corner from day one. Without Woodruff’s sage counsel and NPA’s support, NPDA would still be stuck on the drawing board.”
NPA is joined by a growing number of industry supporters for NPDA, including Find It Now, Garage Composites, Law Tigers, LiquiMoly USA, MaxxOpp Marketing, Performance Brokerage Services and VinData. At the recent AIMExpo, it was announced Arrowhead Engineered Products, the parent company to All Balls Racing, Vertex, Hot Cams, Pivot Works and most recently Western Power Sports, has also stepped up at the highest level of support as a Strategic Partner.
NPDA continues to gain traction as a unifying force for the entire industry. The Mission and Vision statements have been articulated, Articles of Incorporation finalized, 501c6 status issued, bylaws have been adopted and more than 150 Dealerships are dues paying members. “We are grateful that NPA and all of our partners share the vision and support the mission of NPDA,” concludes Althoff.
5 – Polaris First Quarter 2022 Earnings Results – From Polaris, Inc.
FINANCIAL AND OPERATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS
First quarter sales were $1,957 million, flat relative to last year
First quarter reported earnings per share was $1.14, down 46% versus last year; adjusted earnings per share was $1.29, down 44% versus last year
Primary drivers in the quarter included increasing supply chain challenges and inflationary pressures, partially offset by strong pricing; demand remains healthy
Retail Sales for the quarter were down 22% versus last year when retail sales rose 70% in the same quarter, primarily driven by supply chain challenges
Repurchased ~1.5 million shares for approximately $172 million dollars.
DOWNLOAD COMPLETE ARTICLE HERE – https://cdn1.polaris.com/globalassets/crp/common/documents/reports/pii-q1-2022-earnings-release-4-26-22-f.pdf?v=a27419dc
6 – Harley-Davidson Homecoming Event and 2023 Dates Announced
Harley-Davidson® will celebrate its 120th Anniversary by launching the Harley-Davidson® Homecoming™ event, an annual four-day festival filled with music, food and moto-culture. The inaugural event will take place at multiple venues throughout the Milwaukee area on July 13-16, 2023, and welcomes riders, enthusiasts, and fans to meet in Milwaukee for a huge celebration.
“We invite everyone, riders, non-riders and fans around the world, to join us in Milwaukee next summer for the Harley-Davidson Homecoming where we will celebrate 120 years of our incredible brand,” said Jochen Zeitz, Chairman, President and CEO of Harley-Davidson. “This will be the first in a series of unforgettable annual events in Milwaukee. Stay tuned for more details in coming months, and we look forward to celebrating with you in 2023.”
To find lodging options in Milwaukee visit https://www.visitmilwaukee.org/harley-davidson-homecoming-2023/. Camping and RV parking information is available at Wisconsin Campgrounds https://www.wisconsincampgrounds.com/. Note that most reservations are not available to book until one year in advance of event.
Harley-Davidson recently launched “The Road to Harley-Davidson Homecoming™ Challenge” where riders and non-riders alike can participate in chances to earn virtual badges, win daily and monthly prizes and enter a sweepstakes for a chance to win a grand prize trip to Milwaukee to participate in the Homecoming event. For sweepstakes Official Rules, program and prize details and more information regarding The Road to Harley-Davidson Homecoming Challenge, download the Harley-Davidson App, or visit H-D.com/ride
7 – BRP Announces Annual General Meeting Will Be Conducted By Live Webcast
BRP Inc. (TSX: DOO, NASDAQ: DOOO) (the “Company“) announces that its annual general meeting of shareholders (the “Meeting“) will be held on Friday, June 3, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. EDT and will be conducted by live webcast.
The Company is holding the Meeting as a completely virtual meeting, where shareholders regardless of geographic location and equity ownership will have an equal opportunity to attend. Registered shareholders and duly appointed proxy holders are strongly encouraged to vote their shares in advance of the Meeting as described in the Company’s Management Information Circular posted concurrently herewith on BRP.com, on SEDAR and on EDGAR, or to vote virtually at the Meeting online. Voting results for each of the resolutions will be announced after the Meeting and reported on SEDAR.
Shareholders who wish to participate online can go to https://web.lumiagm.com/487733544 and click “I have a login” and then enter the 15-digit control number located on their form of proxy and the password “brp2021”. Anyone can join the Meeting as a guest by clicking on “Guest” and completing the online form. Guests will be able to listen to the Meeting but will not be able to vote or ask questions.
Following the Meeting, the webcast of the Meeting will be accessible on the Company’s website at BRP.com until next year’s annual meeting of shareholders.
Registered shareholders and duly appointed proxy holders will also be entitled to submit questions to the Company in advance of the Meeting by email at BRPAGA2022@brp.com, and during the Meeting through the platform available at https://web.lumiagm.com/487733544, which questions will, subject to certain verifications by the Company, be addressed at the Meeting. Questions sent in advance by e-mail must be provided by no later than 11:00 a.m. (Eastern time) on June 1, 2022, or if the Meeting is postponed or adjourned, by no later than 48 hours prior to the time of such postponed or adjourned meeting (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays).
8 – Motorcycle Safety Foundation Calls on Motorists to #SeeMotorcycles as More Riders Get on the Road
Two years of strong motorcycle and scooter sales, continued demand for rider training, and higher gas prices mean more riders are likely to be on the roads this spring and summer, so the Motorcycle Safety Foundation is doubling down on getting the word out to #SeeMotorcycles.
“May has been the traditional start of the riding season for many across the country because the weather is getting warmer and the days longer,” said Erik Pritchard, president and CEO of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. “That’s why it’s a great time to remind drivers to actively look out for motorcyclists, and for riders who are taking their bikes out of hibernation to do a thorough pre-ride inspection. It’s also a good idea to take time to refresh your riding skills, ideally with a safety course.”
Motorcycles and their riders have a smaller profile than cars and trucks, and it can be easy to overlook them. “We encourage drivers to use their turn signals, keep speeds down, and be vigilant when driving, especially when changing lanes,” Pritchard continued. “Please remember to #SeeMotorcycles.”
Motorcycle and scooter sales were up 14.2 percent in 2021, the second consecutive year of growth, and since 2019, sales are up 21.8 percent, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council Retail Sales Reporting System, which gathers new motorcycle and scooter retail sales data from 14 leading manufacturers and distributors in the U.S.
“Demand for rider training is also robust,” Pritchard said. “The Motorcycle Safety Foundation saw an estimated 48 percent increase in enrollment in 2021 over 2020, and early data from 2022 indicates a continuing trend.”
In a recent Motorcycle Industry Council survey of motorcycle owners, 57 percent said they plan on using their motorcycles more since gas prices increased. And of those who plan on using their bikes more often, 69 percent said they would use them for commuting, 69 percent for day trips, and 59 percent for errands and shopping.
“These are all indicators that more people will be out riding this year, so it’s the responsibility of all road users to look out for one another,” said MSF RiderCoach Armene Piper, owner of Clutch Motorcycle School in Loveland, Colorado. “Riding a motorcycle is such a fun way to get around. But a rider’s No. 1 priority should be safety. That means following the rules of the road, wearing safety gear each and every time they ride, and using smart street strategies.”
More tips for riders and drivers are available at the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s websites: msf-usa.org and forcardrivers.com. Users can also test their perception and knowledge with timed challenges and quizzes. (https://www.msf-usa.org/RiderPerception.aspx)
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation, the country’s leading safety resource and advocate for motorcyclists, creates education and training systems for riders of every experience level. For those looking to get into riding, formal motorcycle training, such as the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s Basic RiderCourse, is among the best ways to learn. MSF also offers refresher courses and advanced skills courses for experienced riders.
ABOUT THE MOTORCYCLE SAFETY FOUNDATION
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation promotes safety through rider training and education, operator licensing tests, and public information programs. MSF works with the federal government, state agencies, the military, and others to offer training for all skill levels so riders can enjoy a lifetime of safe, responsible motorcycling. Standards established by MSF have been recognized worldwide since 1973. The MSF is a not-for-profit organization endorsed by American Honda Motor Co., Inc.; BMW Motorrad USA; BRP, Inc.; Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Inc.; Indian Motorcycle; Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A.; KTM North America, Inc.; Suzuki Motor USA, LLC; Triumph Motorcycles America; and Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. For safety information or to enroll in an MSF Basic RiderCourse near you, or to learn more about the many other MSF course offerings, visit MSF-USA.org or call (800) 446-9227. Follow @msf__usa to keep up with the MSF on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
9 – Kids in Georgia, California will be riding bikes in PE class thanks to Yamaha – FromPowersports Business
In 2021, All Kids Bike, the nationwide movement on a mission to teach every child in America how to ride a bicycle in kindergarten PE class, received a $30,000 grant from Yamaha Motor Corp, USA’s Outdoor Access Initiative. The goal of the grant was to get the All Kids Bike program into six schools near Yamaha’s corporate offices, including four in Georgia and two in California.
Fast forward to this Spring, with Yamaha volunteers and All Kids Bike ambassadors delivering the final of the six school programs to the Cara J. King Elementary School in Cypress, California, completing this past year’s grant, and setting the stage for more funding in 2022.