Suzuki Restructures Motorcycle and Marine Division

Suzuki Restructures Motorcycle and Marine Division

Late last week Suzuki put out the following press release announcing the split of the motorcycle and marine division in their United States operations. The move to separate the divisions will allow each to operate independently where they can control their own destiny and success. The move is effective on April 1, 2021.

The full press release is below.

Executing a comprehensive plan to build a strong foundation for the future, Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. has announced it will restructure its operations in the United States. This new direction will reorganize the Suzuki Motorcycle/ATV and Marine Divisions into two separate companies set to begin operations on April 1, 2021. This new organization is designed to give both new companies the best opportunity to optimize their success in their respective industries.

Suzuki Motor USA, LLC. will be headquartered in Brea, California, Suzuki’s corporate home in the United States since 1981. Suzuki Marine USA, LLC. will be based in Tampa, Florida in the heart of the marine business in North America. Suzuki first entered the United States in 1963 and was originally based in Santa Ana, California before moving to its landmark, Pagoda-inspired building in Santa Fe Springs, California.

Satoshi Uchida will serve as Chairman and Masami Haga will serve as President of the new motorcycle/ATV company. Masahiro Yamamoto will serve as President of the new marine company. “Both the Motorcycle/ATV and Marine Divisions are enjoying solid success in their respective businesses,” said Uchida. “As we proceed in reorganizing into two separate companies, we look forward to the Suzuki brand continuing to thrive in the United States.”

The primary goal of this reorganization is to strengthen each business. Key objectives are to achieve greater efficiencies, speed up decision-making, and position each company for increased sales and growth in the United States.

The location of Suzuki Marine USA, LLC. in Tampa was strategically chosen to expand Suzuki’s business, improve collaboration within the marine industry, and strengthen its relationship with boat builders, dealers, and vendors. The Gulf Coast location also provides convenient access to Suzuki’s new Marine Technical Center opened in Panama City, Florida in June, 2020.

About Suzuki:

Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. (SMAI) distributes Motorcycles, ATVs, Scooters, Outboard Motors, and Automotive Parts, Accessories, and ECSTAR Oils & Chemicals via an extensive dealer network throughout 49 states. Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC), based in Hamamatsu, Japan, is a diversified worldwide manufacturer of Motorcycles, ATVs, Scooters, Automobiles, Outboard Motors, and related products. Founded in 1909 and incorporated in 1920, SMC has business relations with 201 countries/regions. For more information, visit www.suzuki.com.

The Progressive International Motorcycle Shows Announces IMS Outdoors

The Progressive International Motorcycle Shows Announces IMS Outdoors

Each year, the IMS shows take place in convention centers across the country. With the limit on indoor activity, it was only a matter of time before the pandemic caused the cancellation of the 2021 shows. However, the team behind the shows came up with a great alternative. IMS Outdoors.

The details are not yet complete but if the early press is any indication it looks like it will be quite a series of events.

Here is the press release from the show organizers.

The Progressive® International Motorcycle Shows® (IMS), the industry leader for connecting Powersports’ top brands with enthusiasts and buyers, today announces progressive IMS Outdoors, the only program available for manufacturers and brands to reach both new and existing riders in exciting, interactive, central locations. Backed by IMS’ title sponsor of ten years Progressive Insurance, Progressive IMS Outdoors represents the revamp of the tour’s nearly 40-year stint that will not only transition IMS from the traditional convention center setup to a new open outdoor experience but will also create a festival-like atmosphere that promotes enthusiasts of all ages and levels to come together to better engage with products, each other, and the industry. While continuing its presence as the nation’s largest consumer motorcycle tour, Progressive IMS Outdoors will support the growth of the Powersports community by offering a unique experience the industry has yet to see.

Progressive International Motorcycle Shows Announces IMS Outdoors

Commencing during the summer of 2021, Progressive IMS Outdoors will stop in a number of cities across the U.S. bringing Powersports enthusiasts multiple days of entertainment, learning, and interactive activities. In addition to showcasing the latest street bikes, dirt bikes, cruisers, scooters, and ATVs as well as the latest gear and aftermarket accessories, the new outdoor format will feature market adjacent products from micro-mobility to electric bicycles, overland and RV products, and more, thus welcoming potential and qualified riders into the industry. Attendees can also expect the remodeled tour to be more interactive than ever with an array of on-road and off-road demo opportunities for all ages and riding abilities, including the continuation of the successful Discover the Ride program. The reimagined tour, which has been five years in the making, comes at a perfect time as 2020 has seen off-road product sales soar.

Progressive International Motorcycle Shows Announces IMS Outdoors

“At IMS, we have always placed an emphasis on evolving our shows to better support the community and enthusiasts,” says Tracy Harris, SVP, IMS. “Progressive IMS Outdoors will be the greatest evolution in the brand’s 38-year history. Taking IMS Outdoors not only changes our venues but opens up an array of opportunities for our team to deliver a truly first-of-a-kind experience for the community as the only event in the nation taking the proactive step to actively serve both the new rider and core audience.”

Progressive International Motorcycle Shows Announces IMS Outdoors

Progressive IMS Outdoors is made possible with the support of IMS’ title sponsor, Progressive. “As the #1 motorcycle insurer in the U.S. and IMS title sponsor since 2010, we look forward to working alongside IMS to deliver an innovative, new type of event to the industry,” says Eric Doubler, Recreational Vehicle Business Leader at Progressive. “With this fresh and reimagined approach, IMS Outdoors is an exciting opportunity to transform the tour and grow the powersports community.”

Dates and locations for Progressive IMS Outdoors will be announced in December. As Progressive IMS Outdoors is an evolution of IMS’ traditional tour, the shows traditionally held in various cities from November through February will not take place this year. To stay connected with the world of motorcycling, powersports, and all things two-wheeled conveyance, check out ContinueTheRide.com, IMS’ platform that hosts a slate of digital content all designed to reach and support the industry.

For more information, please visit: www.outdoors.motorcycleshows.com.

2021 AIMExpo Postponed

2021 AIMExpo Postponed

I am completely disappointed in the news that came down this week from my friends at the AIMExpo. The 2021 show has to be postponed to 2022. Originally scheduled for this weekend, it was moved to Q1 2021 and with the current state of the world they have decided to pull the plug on a 2021 version and work instead on making 2022 even better.

Here is the full press release from the AIMExpo team.

Following the third-quarter meeting of the MIC Board of Directors, AIMExpo issued the following statement from Cinnamon Kernes, vice president and general manager, MIC Events:

“We have made the difficult decision to postpone the 2021 AIMExpo, the industry’s annual trade show, and while this wasn’t an easy choice it is certainly the right one.

“With local directives limiting gathering size, travel restrictions, and a myriad of other obstacles created by the pandemic, there are too many unknown factors limiting our ability to create a safe environment that will also deliver the experience and ROI our exhibitors and attendees expect. We do not want to deliver a show that doesn’t live up to their high standards. Also impacting our decision to postpone are the dealers working to rebuild their businesses after suffering devastating damage from fires, hurricanes, and floods that have hit both the East and West Coasts.

“There is tremendous value in face-to-face meetings and in-person events and we believe in their ability to create irreplaceable opportunities to  connect with  people and businesses to drive commerce. The AIMExpo team will continue to work with key industry partners, including Tucker Powersports, to explore options that deliver relevant and important educational content for dealer attendees in 2021.  Likewise, the team will be looking for opportunities to connect the powersports brands through quality networking events later this year. We look forward to bringing AIMExpo back in 2022 and will celebrate the industry of powersports and everyone that makes it great.”

Earlier this year AIMExpo and Tucker Powersports announced co-locating shows. Tucker supports the decision to postpone and has made a separate announcement regarding their plans for 2021. In it, Marc McAllister, CEO of Tucker Powersports stated: “While we at Tucker were very excited for the opportunity to be a part of the AIME show this year, the health and safety of our dealers and supplier partners has to be our first priority. We want to respect public health restrictions and we don’t want to put anyone at risk. We are now looking forward to reconnecting with the MIC and AIMExpo in 2022.”

I’ll miss seeing all of my industry friends in Columbus. Stay safe.

Off-Highway and Dual-Purpose Motorcycle Sales Soar

Off-Highway and Dual-Purpose Motorcycle Sales Soar

Great news from the MIC. Now, can the industry keep those new and returning riders around. That will be the true test of this new enthusiasm.

Press Release from the MIC

Off-highway motorcycle sales rocketed 50.3 percent in the first half of the year compared with the same period last year, while dual-purpose motorcycle sales jumped 20.9 percent in the same time frame, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council Retail Sales Reporting System.

“Riding dirt and trail bikes has always been one of the best ways to spend time with family and friends,” said Erik Pritchard, president and CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Council. “Now, with the pandemic, it has amplified what’s positive about getting out on motorcycles. You can get out of the house, have fun with your loved ones, and still maintain social distancing.”

Off-highway motorcycles include dirt bikes, trail bikes, competition motorcycles, and other motorized two-wheelers that cannot be used on public roads. Dual-purpose motorcycles are street legal and are also designed to be used on off-road trails.

On-highway motorcycles saw sales dip 9.6 percent, while scooter sales rose 4 percent. Combined with off-highway and dual, this puts total motorcycle sales in the first half of the year up 6.4 percent compared with 2019.

The MIC recently launched a Commuter Distancing campaign to encourage people to consider motorized two- and three-wheelers as transportation alternatives.

“There are many benefits to motorcycles and scooters,” Pritchard said. “In normal times, studies have shown that they help alleviate congestion. During this pandemic, being on a motorcycle means being able to avoid crowds and lessening the chance of spreading and picking up germs. And many riders say it adds fun to a normally mundane commute. Our Commuter Distancing social media posts are a reminder of these benefits.”

The Commuter Distancing posts point people to FindYourRide.org, where they can quickly find information on how to get rider training and where to find a bike.

“It’s just a first step, and many in the powersports industry are waiting to help riders-to-be explore their options,” Pritchard said. “Sales from the first half of the year indicate growing interest in powersports products and we’re excited to help them on their journey.”

The MIC Retail Sales Reporting System gathers new motorcycle sales data from the 14 leading manufacturers and distributors in the U.S., providing a strong indicator of sales trends.

AAPEX 2020 To Be Virtual Experience

AAPEX 2020 To Be Virtual Experience

Just after the news broke that SEMA would not go on as planned in 2020, the AAPEX show that also runs in Las Vegas at the same time as SEMA, announced that it would be a virtual show in 2020.

Many companies and attendees take part in both shows during their time in Las Vegas so with one canceled it wasn’t difficult to see that the other would suffer a change as well.

Here is the complete release from AAPEX.

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Aug. 5, 2020 – AAPEX 2020, scheduled for Nov. 3-5, 2020 at the Sands Expo and Caesars Forum Conference Center in Las Vegas, will not be held as an in-person tradeshow event this year due to the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic and related governmental prohibitions and restrictions on gatherings, businesses, and travel. Instead, AAPEX will provide a virtual/digital experience with many of the show’s same elements presented digitally. Given the State of Nevada’s recently announced long-term mitigation strategy for the COVID-19 pandemic, which has indefinitely prohibited events with more than 50 participants, and the severe limitations on international and domestic travel imposed in connection with the pandemic, unfortunately, the traditional in-person event cannot proceed.

AAPEX will refocus its efforts on the virtual 2020 event to bring together the more than $1 trillion global automotive aftermarket community and enable exhibitors to introduce new products to their customers and additional domestic and international target buyers. The virtual event will be held the week of Nov. 3, the same week as the originally planned event, and additional details will be available Aug. 19.

“AAPEX attendees and exhibitors are essential to keeping the motoring public on the road, even during times of crisis. We work in a dynamic industry and change has always been embraced by our predecessors and the 4.7 million men and women who now currently work to keep our industry at the forefront of the economy. AAPEX didn’t become the extraordinary event it is today by thinking small and not evolving to changing times and circumstances,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of the Auto Care Association. “While we had hoped to meet in person, we are excited to use technology to bring together the supply chain of essential services to conduct business.”

“This was a difficult decision but circumstances on the ground made it impossible to have the show that we planned for our exhibitors and attendees,” said Paul McCarthy, president of AASA. “AAPEX and your industry associations have, and will continue, to support industry growth, pursue industry advocacy, ensure members’ safety, and do what is right for our industry.”

AAPEX 2021 will return to the Sands Expo and Caesars Forum Conference Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, Nov. 2 through Thursday, Nov. 4. All inquiries should be directed to W.T. Glasgow Inc., (708) 226-1300, billjr@aapexshow.com.

For additional information, visit the AAPEX 2020 FAQ page.

Historically, AAPEX features approximately 2,500 exhibiting companies displaying their latest products, services and technologies that keep the world’s 1.3 billion vehicles on the road.

AAPEX buyers include automotive service and repair professionals, auto parts retailers, independent warehouse distributors, program groups, service chains, automotive dealers, fleet buyers and engine builders.

AAPEX is a trade-only event and is closed to the general public.

AAPEX is co-owned by the Auto Care Association and the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), the light vehicle aftermarket division of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA). For more information, visit www.aapexshow.com or e-mail: info@aapexshow.com. On social media, follow AAPEX at #AAPEX20.

The Business of Racing – No SEMA Show for 2020

The Business of Racing – No SEMA Show for 2020

Earlier this week, the organizers of SEMA put out a short statement regarding their 2020 show. It can been below in its entirety.

Statement from SEMA about the 2020 SEMA Show

DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (August 5, 2020) — SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association, announced today that due to Covid-19 and concerns that event facilities and services will be unavailable, the SEMA Show will not be taking place in 2020.

While both event organizers and industry members have been working tirelessly to deliver an outstanding SEMA Show in November, mounting uncertainty has rendered continuing with the event inadvisable. SEMA expects the decision will bring much needed clarity to an uncertain picture and will help exhibitors, attendees and partners plan accordingly.

Recent SEMA Show survey results indicated interest in a possible virtual tradecshow with related live elements. SEMA will be working with industry members to determine interest levels on specific alternatives.

“The SEMA Show is committed to furthering businesses in the automotive specialty equipment market, and to providing manufacturers and buyers with the best opportunity to connect, promote new products and discover new trends,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “We appreciate the spirit, hard work and innovation our industry puts into the SEMA Show each year. While we are disappointed circumstances prevent us from hosting the Show in November, we look forward to getting everyone together in 2021 for another outstanding event.”

Full refunds for SEMA Show exhibitor booth deposits and attendee registration fees will be issued.

Updates will be posted to SEMAShow.com.

This certainly didn’t come as a surprise and frankly, I’m surprised it didn’t come sooner. If it had gone on as planned I’m not sure how the spectacle that is SEMA would have taken place. There are just too many people from all around the world and although it is indoors and the convention space is huge, in this environment I couldn’t see it happening. I have some experience organizing a show booth for SEMA and by this late in the year, we would have been wrapping up some final details and dotting our I’s and crossing our t’s. Now those show organizers can rest up a bit and save some budget for 2021.