Monday, February 7, 2011

Kymco continues sponsoring Professional Race Teams

I have got to give it to the guys at Kymco USA.

Most of the US Scooter industry has been taking a back step when it comes to promotions or helping dealers in 2009 - 2010 yet the company continues to push ahead with newer models, upgraded engines, and new tech. While SYM has been leaving the market and other Taiwanese importers have just been changing plastics and colors, maybe adding a big bore cylinder or two these guys have sponsored events, dealer open houses, sent out the $100,000 truck to promote, and continuously pushed into the NASCAR and NHRA community. While others retreat they have been pushing ahead and I like that, I like it a lot.

They have a plan and in my opinion it's been about becoming the 5th first tier OEM. Where the Japanese brands (Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki) have largely ignored scooters at a grass roots level these guys have made it no secret they have aimed for the American heartland. From Homestead Speedway to the Indy Car league they have been at the races time and time again. Most scooter companies wouldn't think of this when drawing up their marketing strategies, but it goes to the root of American culture. Americans love cars and it's a strategy I pursued in the past when attempting to link up with Ferrari and Ducati North America when I was promoting Italian racing with Malaguti back in the day. Honda used to promote their units in the early 90s at races but quickly let that market fade. There is no American made scooter, and you fail to see Yamaha or any other major promoting its units in the pits so Kymco has taken advantage of what I consider the biggest gap in the market. They are seen and heard at every premier race car series in the US now.

By focusing on direct event consumer marketing they have created a strong brand in the minds of riders in the heartland. I cannot think of anyone who has consistently organized so many testing demos since Piaggio launched. The thing about Piaggio is most of their promotions and strategies are always LA or NYC based, they never really did anything in the last ten years in Daytona or Dayton Ohio. Kymco went for the gut of America and by setting up test drives in far away places they have actually held on to market share while others are retreating. Makes perfect sense when you think about the cost of one Los Angeles promotion could easily pay for twenty race events around the country. On site test drives and pushing into the NHRA has been a great strategy.

I have a feeling these efforts will pay off as more Americans look at buying scooters now that gas prices are going up.

KYMCO, the official ATV and scooter sponsor of the NHRA, will support R2B2 Racing and its four professional race teams in 2011.

The team is headlined by Melanie Troxel’s In-N-Out Burger Funny Car. It also includes three Pro Mod entries that will compete in the Get Screened America Pro
Mod Drag Racing Series. R2B2 Racing owner/driver Roger Burgess, Troxel, fellow team driver Brad Personett and their personnel will use KYMCO scooters at 22 NHRA events and 10 Pro Mod races in 2011, according to a report on the NHRA’s website.

The agreement, which runs for two years, also places KYMCO logos on Troxel’s Funny Car and Pro Mod car, Burgess’s ProCar Rx Pro Mod Camaro and Personett’s turbo-charged R2B2 Racing hot rod.

“We’re very pleased to welcome KYMCO into our racing family,” Burgess told the NHRA. “They are great people to work with and they make fantastic scooters. There’s a reason they’ve become the must-have piece of equipment on the NHRA tour.”

Some of the Scooter Maven Kymco videos on Youtube:



2Xtreem TV Kymco 500 to 600cc upgrade Xciting 500cc TV SHOW MRP UPGRADES

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