After just about a year, EBR Motorcycles, LLC, the latest iteration of Erik Buell Racing (“EBR” - located at East Troy, Wisconsin) is to close (again).
The company has started to wind down production. Owners LAP (Liquid Asset Partners), who re-established the company in January 2016 (after it had entered administration in April 2015), will conclude EBR’s affairs with the sale of production equipment and excess parts, commencing March.
In a statement, LAP said that “EBR will continue to honor warranties and provide technical and parts support to current dealers and riders who bought motorcycles manufactured by EBR.”
|At the time of his acquisition, LAP CEO Bill Melvin said “I believe EBR has established itself as one of the premier motorcycle manufacturers in the world and has strong potential as a viable business.” What a difference a year can make!|
The statement went on to say that “EBR will continue to review strategic alternatives with interested investors regarding production operations. The decision was a tough one for EBR as it has been solely focused on the growth and building EBR for success.
“The team at EBR has worked tirelessly, making every effort to build the company. There is no fault on any of the team at EBR for this decision. They and their families have our deepest gratitude for their efforts and dedication to EBR.
Despite investing in the region of $2m when he acquired the assets, it would appear that LAP owner Bill Melvin underestimated the challenges such an undertaking faced, and has lost confidence in EBR’s prospects in present market conditions.
“This difficult decision was based primarily on EBR facing significant headwinds with signing new dealers, which is key to sales and growth for a new company. In addition, EBR has had limited production in 2016 and 2017 that was under goal. The combination of slow sales and industry announcements of other major OEM brands closing or cutting production only magnified the challenges faced by EBR.”
Melvin effectively acquired the business after an investment, racing and joint development program with India’s Hero Motorcycle collapsed; Buell Motorcycles originally having been closed by the then Harley-Davidson CEO Keith Wandell at the height of the banking crises triggered recession in 2009.