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Tuesday 6 April 2021

News Briefs


Listed on the Milan stock exchange, the Brembo share price fell on early March news that its Q4 2020 revenues were +4.5% at € 648.7m (+7.8% on a like for like exchange rate basis), with net profit +17% at € 64.8m, with strong Q4 growth in China and India. For the 12-month period, revenues were € 2,208.6m, -14.8% compared to the previous year (-13.3% on a like-for-like exchange rate basis). Chairman Alberto Bombassei announced the acquisition of SBS in November 2020.

General Motors has set a goal of making the vast majority of the vehicles it produces electric by 2035, and the entire company carbon neutral, including operations, five years after that. GM has already announced that it will invest $27bn in electric and autonomous vehicles in the next five years, a 35% increase over plans made before the pandemic. It will offer 30 all-electric models worldwide by the middle of the decade. By the end of 2025, 40% of its U.S. models will be battery electric vehicles. The company plans to include crossovers, SUVs, sedans and trucks in its electric vehicle line-up.

In global terms, EU nations are leading the 'drive' to make hydrogen power an easier and more economic alternate to electric (under certain circumstances), with plans to install 40GW of electrolysers this decade - equipment to produce emissions-free hydrogen, using water and renewable power. The EU currently has less than 0.1GW of electrolysers. It is betting on a rapid scale-up to decarbonize steel production, heavy transport and chemicals, the latter of which already uses hydrogen produced from fossil fuels. At present, production of 1 ton of steel results in 1.8 tons of carbon dioxide (and other waste products and toxics).

The Motorcycle Industry Association in the UK has confirmed 4-12 December 2021 for the UK's biggest motorcycle show - Motorcycle Live in association with Bikesure Insurance, at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) Birmingham:

Having had to cancel the event entirely in 2020, the 40th annual NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway have been rescheduled to April 30-May 2. The 22-race 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season kicks off at the Gainesville Raceway at the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, March 11-14.

The Polaris Inc Board of Directors has approved a 2% increase in its regular quarterly cash dividend, payable on March 15, 2021 to shareholders of record at COB on March 1. This will be the 26th consecutive year of dividend increases for Polaris shareholders.

Final proof that 2020 was a really, really bad year for motorcycle events - the New Hampshire offices of Laconia Motorcycle Week were destroyed by fire on Christmas Day with over 100 years' worth of records, archives, memorabilia, photographs lost, and the office cat killed in the blaze. The organizers are still hoping to be able to stage the 2021 rally - June 12 through 20.

Meanwhile in Europe, some 230 or more classic motorcycles (mostly rare or very rare) have been destroyed in a fire that reduced the world's highest motorcycle museum to ashes. Located more than 8,000 ft (2,000 m) high in the Austrian/Italian Alps, Austria's 'Top Mountain Motorcycle Museum' at the crosspoint where Austria and Italy meet high in Timmelsjoch Pass - a popular riding route with motorcyclists. The museum was founded in 2016 by twin brothers Alban and Attila Scheiber as a way to show off their personal collection of mostly European marques, though in 2020 it hosted a well-received exhibition of important and rare Indian motorcycle examples.

Parts Europe has started selling the Tazer MX Pro e-MTB that is sold in Europe by Intense Europe. The range is made in the USA and this deal is an extension of the one between PE parent company LeMans that sees Parts Unlimited selling the range in the USA. Based on Intense's popular Tazer e-bicycle, the MX Pro has added MX pedigree with components from the likes of Öhlins, Renthal, Magura, ODI and Shimano's new EP8 motor and drivetrain.

Battery electric vehicles took 54% of total new car sales in Norway in 2020 - making it the first country in the world in which EVs have outsold ICE units in a year and putting the nation well on track to meet its previously announced objective of eliminating all new combustion engine vehicle sales by 2025 and a zero emissions nation by 2050.

December 2020 saw the motorcycle market in India achieve record growth for new motorcycle sales, with most manufacturers seeing double digit growth there. India is already the largest motorcycle market in the world. Despite the implementation of the new B26 standard in April 2020, among the successes India's 1.353 billion population gave Royal Enfield +35% (65,492 units in December), Yamaha +33% growth (39,224 units) and TVS (who bought Norton in 2020) +13% for a 285,000 unit annual total.

Newark, California-based EV start-up Lucid (formerly ATIEVA) has revealed the production version of its Air saloon, an electric performance saloon with the top of the range 4WD 'Dream' Edition making up to 1,065 bhp equivalent with a claimed maximum range of 517 miles, 235 mph unrestricted top speed and a $161,500 price tag. Founded in 2007 and headed by the former VP Engineering at Tesla, Lucid has a factory under construction at Casa Grande, Arizona, that will eventually have a capacity of over 380,000 vehicles a year.

Recent reporting suggests that Ducati has filed papers with the United States EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) for another Pikes Peak special edition. Although motorcycles have been removed from the event for the time being following the death of Carlin Dunne on a Ducati Streetfighter V4 in June 2019, the company appears to be looking to sell an updated Pikes Peak Special Edition, based on the 170 hp/92 ft-lb of torque 2021 iteration of the Multistrada V4.

Royal Enfield continues to extend its global footprint and is now "taking it to the Man" with the opening of its latest standalone flagship store in Tokyo. Its local distributor PCI Co. Ltd. will introduce five models into a Japanese market in which there are emerging signs of growth ahead for low-cost lightweights - the Bullet 500, Classic 500, Himalayan and the Continental GT and Interceptor 650 twins.

Sources: AMD, IDN, FT, Reuters, PSB, MPN, BDN, MCN, AP, Bloomberg, MSNW, Electrek,,,, Cycle World,