The economic tsunami has destroyed a lot of supply chains for parts. We've tried to get the word out on many issues like parts and where to get them. Even when we didn't buy the company I let dealers know who did and where they can get the stuff.
In the meantime what I see is a lack of professional journalism. Instead of reporting what is really going on everyone is pandering for the next ad. For example not telling dealers the distributor they are taking ads from also owns several retail outlets or sells replacement parts on EBAY. The average dealer won't know this and the average employee at the dealership will never find out because they don't have the time to investigate, but if the principal knew at the time of choosing a new brand he might not pick up a brand that drop ships and sells on Ebay. Why don't magazines list this next to every scooter brand when they do a market survey or a review of product on sale? Because it would cost them ads.
The worst situation is when you see magazines that in the past were flooded with hundreds of ads from China. Advanstar management decided that US distributors at the Dealer Expo have to pay in advance to exhibit, but the Chinese companies got away with putting a deposit down. Do you know how many Chinese companies never paid their bill? Why did Americans have to pay up front and the Asians who helped cause this mess never pay? All these policies should be reported on and exposed for what they are. If anything I think a magazine that reports on its own mistakes would be a better magazine.
We should also expose the companies that run ponzi schemes be it a Go Kart distributor selling penny stocks or a scooter importer asking dealers to buy shares. We have too many of these. Earlier this year we heard from several dealers that purchased shares in a Chinese distributor out of Texas. The Chinese importer sold shares to dealers who purchased the scooters for $500 a piece and with every scooter got shares, so they loaded up on 2007 and 2008 models of scooters that are still sitting on the floors today with no parts, support, or warranty. All of them thought they could sell these shares at a later date. The company is now gone.
Are the dealers to blame? Yes, partially, but is so is the media because I saw their ads in the Dealer News magazine and after this all went down nobody reported anything. It's like when Daelim closed. The only magazine that reported that MRP purchased some Daelim parts was Powersports Business. I have to commend them for that because they were more than happy to take ads from Daelim Motors USA and when they closed they did a service to the dealers by following up and letting them know MRP now had parts.
Right now some magazines are in an interesting position. You won't see Dealer News talking about Powersports Factory because they are in litigation.
Advanstar Commnications, Inc. v. Power Sports Factory, Inc. & Shawn Landgraf Advanstar Communications filed suit against us in the Superior Court of New Jersey on August 19, 2009, for $43,955 for advertising services, all of which is included in accounts payable. The Company intends to settle this lawsuit.