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Tuesday 31 March 2020

News Briefs

Riverside Harley-Davidson, California, has been named first in the world for new H-D bike sales and has been awarded the Gold Bar & Shield Award by the Harley-Davidson Motor Company for 2019.

San Bernardino, California based motorcycle dealer Chaparral Motorsports has bought the former WPS/HardDrive warehouse at Memphis, TN., to open a 108,000 sq ft East Coast fulfilment facility. WPS recently moved its East Coast operations to a new 245,000 sq ft custom built distribution center near Savannah, Georgia. Still family owned and operated, Chaparral has been in business for more than 50 years and encompasses a 160,000 sq ft footprint in San Bernardino, California, making it one of the largest multi-line motorcycle dealerships in the U.S. Chaparral says it will now be able to ship product to 85% of US based customers in two days or less.

Ducati has reported sales of 53,183 Ducati motorcycles for 2019 to customers in 90 countries (53,004 in 2018). Italy remains the number one market (9,474 units, +3%); the company saw double-digit growth in China (3,200 units, + 12%), Brazil (+20%) and Spain (+10%). A record number of advance orders (over 1,700) have been taken for the new Streetfighter V4, and the Panigale was the world's best-selling Superbike in 2019 (8,304 units for a 25% of the global Superbike market). In the United States, Ducati deliveries totaled 7,682 units, -2%, but ahead of overall domestic U.S. market decline for 2019 (-7%).

Lind Automotive Group is the largest Harley dealership group in the UK - the opening of the purpose- built two-story Watford H-D store north of London in February takes the company to five dealerships - already owning showrooms in Guildford, Newmarket, Norwich and Reading. Lind also owns BMW and Triumph stores.

Ambitious British motorcycle maker Norton has filed for bankruptcy amid a flurry of accusations of pension fund misuse and general financial malfeasance. It looks highly likely that some kind of Phoenix Norton project will emerge, with several motorcycle industry and former investors rumored to be trying to rescue the brand. Norton's Chinese proto-collaborator Zongshen could be a candidate, and while Triumph have ruled themselves out of the running, their Indian partner and KTM shareholder Bajaj Auto may be another.

Polaris announced a +2% in its regular quarterly cash dividend, raising the payout to $0.62 per share. This increase represents the 25th consecutive year of Polaris increasing its dividend effective with the 2020 first quarter.

The tough times for newstrade dependent print magazine publishers continues with leading German custom motorcycle and tattoo magazine publisher and event operator Huber Verlag filing for a form of bankruptcy protection. It is expected to emerge from what is essentially an administration process with the most popular of its publishing assets and its annual Bad Salzuflen Custombike Show (December) intact.

Industrial Opportunity Partners (IOP), an "operations-focused" Evanston, Illinois private equity investor which owns Torrance, CA. based Edelbrock LLC, has bought the COMP Performance Group - aka Competition Cams of Memphis, TN. Best known in the V-twin market for its V-Thunder range of cams and valvetrain components, initially at least the respective management teams will operate as independent organizations. Vic Edelbrock was a legendary automotive aftermarket performance parts engineer (best known for Edelbrock heads), racer and one of the founders of the American hot rod movement. On his son Jr.'s watch the company was active within the V-twin market for a decade or so around the turn of the century - especially with Twin Cam EFI Performer RPM kits for Twin Cam Big Twins. Vic Sr. was famous for being the first man to get one horsepower per cubic inch from a 283 Chevy small-block in 1958.

Sources: AMD, IDN, FT, Reuters, PSB, MPN, B&B, BDN, MCN, AP, Bloomberg, MSNW, Electrek,