Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The rise of scooter sales in America

Someone emailed me today about the Rise of US scooter sales video my experiences from 2000-2007 and how much they loved it. One of the best reviews I've done when looking back at the US trends and how the industry handled the start of the decade. Back when I made this video and I predicted sales of over 200,000 scooters in North America. I was off by a year thanks to the Chinese saturation of the US market in 2008 which lead to the great fall of 2009. It amazes me how many industry insiders quote this video or have seen it. One brand new store owner at the dealer show this year didn't even know it was me, but he was quoting my own video back to me which was awesome. It truly made me feel like I had done more than just try to sell someone something like I had informed them about what the reality of the business was like worldwide.

It took a bunch of time to put together, but you'll notice it had 7 years worth of travels and industry insight from visiting Hanoi, Shanghai, Taipei, Tokyo there are even pictures in where I'm riding a Vectrix in Rome. The boom and bust comment was right on the money as well, but off by two more years. Half the pictures came from the Malaguti and SYM importation days between 2000-2005. The comment on the Ruckus/Zoomer clubs was also on the money since now every company is jumping on that bandwagon even as the trends fades in Japan where Scooter Customization is no longer what it used to be.

I would like to see what happens with the recovery of 2011 and make a wrap up of the following 5 years.

If the market truly recovers this year as it should or at least stabilize in numbers it would make an interesting video. I hope to call it "The Road out of the Recession, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the boom and bust cycle of the US Scooter Industry" or
it could be more of an documentary like Michael Moore and call it "Fahrenheit 49cc!"

Featuring charts, videos, behind the scene pictures of what it looked like as we loaded/unloaded warehouses full of parts and banks help foreclose on $10 million dollar scooter companies to purposely make a claim on the 90% SBA loan guarantees.

As bankers gave easy money and helped refinance companies only later to help close them. How Chase bank called only to pull out of negotiating on Malaguti, the dirty shenanigans as industry insiders lost control of their companies to investors thanks to GE sending them back bikes. As the Chinese OEMs pulled the plug on importers and pushed back in, as stores closed, and 2009-2010 the years of consolidation. How the Car Recovery Act allowed dealers to send back financed bikes to Vehicle distributors for no reason bankrupting companies like United Motors.

The rise of the TRIKES! An entire new segment of the Chinese scooter market pushing in! The rise of CF MOTO and new Chinese OEMs. I might throw in a little Mario Andretti in there just to keep it interesting on how many people use penny stocks and investors to make a quick buck in powersports.

Then again, only a few crazy scooter enthusiasts would watch it. As a veteran of several scooter wars I noticed we tend to forget the past only to repeat it.

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