Monday, March 14, 2011

Lance - Alliance email confirms West Coast Relationship with SYM

I just got an email confirming from Lance that they started a new company called Alliance which will be the West Coast distributor for SYM.

Now this normally is non-of-my-business, but as an industry spokesperson and as I said at Dealer Expo. I want Dealers TO STAY IN BUSINESS. The emotional toll of loosing 300 dealers in two years has made me keenly aware that some dealers are beyond salvation and should close, while others just cannot stay informed, had I gotten to them in time I could have saved them. I could have helped them make a rational decision like don't buy that container of helmets or non DOT Scooters. So education is the key here. The first lesson today is that it never works for the distributor and it never works for the Dealer when you have the same product sold by two parties.

You can see my comments after Dealer Expo 2011 here:

I've always stated you cannot have two or three distributors for a brand in a country like the USA. Unlike Europe this approach never works. It doesn't work because of the low volume, marketing costs, and the fact you need the South to keep you open during the weak months.

I feel for the dealers sitting on Carter 2008, 2009, product. Most of it will sell now in 2011 thanks to gas prices. Let's hope SYM picks one distributor because this dual distribution system never works. Many Taiwanese importers this past year have ran out of money, some of dealers favorite brands are cash poor, had to take on partners and now are basically growing thanks to outside investment. STR had a different approach, they sold the stock to the OEM. That's the way to do it correctly in the USA. SYM took a different approach and left Carter out to burn ( pun intended. )

No press release from Carter and as I mentioned in the previous blog that at the Dealer Expo we had the pleasure of having a SYM rep in our class that worked for both Lance and Carter. The seminar basically said we don't know whats happening with Carter the agreement with SYM expires in April. I haven't heard anything and we are 30 days from April.

What do I think of all this?
Because in Taiwan and China they see this big country "OH AMERICA! You sooo big you have big Monster Country!"

No seriously it doesn't work.

It's called liability, it's called marketing expenses, it's called dealers sending fake warranty claims to one distributor that pays better than the other who doesn't pay. Dealers on border states or with mulitple locations across state lines playing one distributor against the order, dealers moving product to get the best prices, the internet etc.... It didn't work for TGB ( who are friends of mine ) Taiwan when they had three distributors all based out of Florida at one point in 2003 selling TGB units. Two years ago TGB had the bright idea of pushing more product by setting up another distributor? What did that accomplish. Nothing, a giant lawsuit. TGB USA is no more it's called Peirspeed now.

More examples? Adly USA ( Closed ) sold to Dixie Sales ( out of scooter business ) sold to Lambretta USA, also sell to Hammerhead, also sold to private label people, also sold to United Motors of America (ATVS) ( Purchased in bankruptcy by MRP ) Get the picture. Adly screwed themselves in the USA by doing all this.

Taiwanese companies see this big country and they think they can implement their logic against reality. More distributors do not equal more sales sometimes less.

Americans move, one of my best friends has lived in Florida then San Diego then moved to Michigan. He took his scooter with him. Let's say he drives a SYM scooter with a defect, then it magically explodes turning his nice coat of shinny long blond surfer hair black, who does he sue? HE SUES EVERYBODY! Because thats what a smart lawyer would do. He has to sit there and try to figure out which distributor will be accountable for his messed up perm?

At Dealer Expo talking about SYM

Now, given my past with SYM and how I consider them to be pretty dam sneaky I don't think they are loyal to any party here. They want money from Carter, they want money from Lance. They want to move the units sitting in California. Heck, they wanted money from me and I said no way. If you have a track record like this who is going to trust you?

Alliance Powersports as the new SYM US West Region Distributor. That much we know. I wish Michael and his crew well, but they need to make up for all the messed up things that have happened.

Alliance is the sister company of Lance Powersports Inc
Fiddle 125 (blk, white, green, red)
Symba (blk, blue, red)
Following 1-2 weeks:
Citycom 300
Mio 50
Fiddle 50
Symply 50

The email I got ends with "SYM is one of the leading scooter manufactures worldwide and we are excited about this opportunity to represent SYM and offer you the best service and support." - If SYM gave a crap about the American dealer or consumer they would have stepped in and done what Kymco did and that's invest. Solved the mess, gotten consumers their warranties, and helped Carter out. I honestly feel from all the Carter employees I've spoken to it was SYM that let them down on more than one occasion having to justify every single warranty. You want to sell in America look at STR / Kymco how they merged. It made sense, it continues to make sense.

Lance / Alliance Powersports | 3788 Milliken Ave | Unit C | Mira Loma | CA | 91752
1-951-361-9000 x 111.

If you need parts or service give them a call.


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