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Tuesday 5 January 2021

News Briefs


More 'Rewire' fallout - this time the victim is sponsorship at a popular local Milwaukee music festival - 'Summerfest'. After two decades, Harley has officially pulled the plug on sponsoring the H-D Roadhouse stage there. The latest iteration of Harley's 'Sustainability Report' spoke lovingly about how it wanted to be a good neighbor, contributing to the communities in which it is active.

The 43rd edition of the Dakar Rally is set to be held in Saudi Arabia for the second time. The marathon will be held for 14 days, lasting from 3rd January until 15th January 2021 in cooperation with the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation.

Having already added manufacturing capacity in Argentina in 2020, Indian manufacturer Royal Enfield (Eicher Motors) is said to be planning to open an additional 'overseas' plant in 2021, this time in Thailand. Based in Chachoengsao, it will be a Southeast Asia production hub. It will benefit from the better tariff status that Thailand would offer as one of the signatories to the recently concluded 15 nation Asia-Pacific free trade deal - a deal that covers some one third of the world's population, including China, but currently excluding India.

John Russell, the interim CEO for TVS at Norton Motorcycle in the UK, has said that he hopes to move the company into a new manufacturing facility near Birmingham, England, by the end of 2020, with production underway there at some point in January 2021. For the next year or so, he says the company will mostly be working on the current V4s and getting into Euro 5 compliance for future models. The company will be retiring the present iteration of the Commando after the current production run ends.

Dallas, Texas based online pre-owned motorcycle seller RumbleOn reported record Q3 gross profit margin and EPS. The company says it grew total gross profit per vehicle sold by +261% year-over-year with adjusted EBITDA of $4.7m on net income of $1.5m for the period to end of September 2020. Revenue was +39% over Q2 at $117.3m on 4,263 units sold.

Following the 2017 withdrawal of its signature from the planned (and at that stage agreed) Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the United States (and its NAFTA partners Canada and Mexico) have been left on the sidelines looking in as the ASEAN nations and five other Asia-Pacific countries have forged a new, expanded trading bloc. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) represents one of the largest ever international trade deals and covers a third of the world's consumers and economic output. It is the first trade agreement to bring China, Japan and South Korea together and could add almost $200bn annually to the global economy by 2030. RCEP combines most of the existing agreements signed by the ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) - Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam - and combines them into a single multilateral pact with Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea. India has not initially joined the deal but is thought likely to add its trading horsepower as the world's largest English speaking market to the deal at some stage in the next decade.

K&K Promotions, Inc., the brand that owns the intellectual property rights of famed motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel, has filed a lawsuit in federal court against The Walt Disney Company, Pixar, and other Disney-related entities, alleging trademark infringement and violations of K&K's rights of publicity. In 2019, Disney Pixar released Toy Story 4, featuring a major new toy character named "Duke Caboom," voiced by Keanu Reeves. The character is a 1970s-era motorcycle-riding toy stuntman. The complaint alleges the Disney character is an unlawful knockoff of the classic and newly re-released Ideal Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle toy of the 1970s.

The Spanish motorcycle market was down by -13.57% (142,563 units sold) for the period January to November 2020 as the 'second wave' of COVID-19 started to affect showroom traffic and general economic activity there. Honda is market share leader in Spain, followed by Yamaha and Kymco. For the year to date 2020, electric two-wheelers took 4.7% of the market in Spain (6,703 units).

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