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Wednesday, 19 April 2017

News Briefs

General Motors and Honda have announced establishment of what is described as the auto industry’s first manufacturing joint venture to mass-produce an advanced hydrogen fuel cell system that will be used in future products from each company. Fuel Cell System Manufacturing, LLC will operate within GM’s existing battery pack manufacturing facility site in Brownstown, Michigan, south of Detroit. Mass production of fuel cell systems is expected to begin around 2020 and create nearly 100 new jobs. The companies are making equal investments totalling $85 million in the joint venture.
Mahindra Two Wheelers, the Indian motorcycle manufacturer who bought a 51 percent stake in Peugeot’s Scooter business in 2014, has acquired the rights to the legendary British BSA name from Southampton, UK based BSA-Regal late last year.

The United States has seen a continued decline in ATV deaths and injuries with a recent government department report citing fatalities for the period 2007 to 2012 as -31 percent, with deaths of children in ATV related accidents -50 percent.

Portuguese Enduro machine manufacturer AJP has reported a third straight year of record growth in the United States, with 2016 sales +62 percent, 17 new dealerships added and two further new models taking their U.S. range up to five off-roaders. AJP has launched a new 600cc adventure bike (the PR7) in Europe for 2017.

The acquisition of Minneapolis based ATV, side-by-side and snowmobile manufacturer Arctic Cat (AC) by Textron Inc. for $247m in cash is being investigated by a New York law firm that specializes in mergers and acquisitions. They contend that the basis that the Board of Arctic Cat may have “breached their fiduciary duties” by failing to make sure they got the best possible price for the business. AC is to join Textron’s Specialized Vehicles business, which also owns E-Z-GO, Cushman, Jacobsen, Dixie Chopper, Bad Boy, Ransomes and Douglas. Textron owns Bell Helicopter, Cessna, Beechcraft and Hawker, among others.

Stefan Pierer’s Austria based investment vehicle Pierer Industrie AG, the company behind KTM, Husqvarna, WP Suspension, and others, has made a $9m strategic investment in heads-up display (HUD) company NUVIZ. The San Diego, California based technology start-up hopes to have a heads-up display unit and connected rider system available in the first half of 2017.

Arctic Cat has finally won a patent infringement action first brought against it in 2011 in the Canadian courts by Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP). Designs used on some 44,000 Arctic Cat snowmobiles, covering model years 2007 through 2015, were found not to have infringed 56 of BRP’s patents and patent claims.