Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Walmart now testing waters for scooter sales

Motocicletas Italika, the top-selling motorcycle in Mexico, has expanded its distribution network to include Wal-Mart Supercenter and Bodega Aurrera stores throughout Mexico. That's the headline this morning from Dealer News.

I find this interesting because a few years back in Germany I spotted about 30 employees of Walmart (USA) walking to show at INTERMOT looking for everything from little kids push scooters to tricycles, but I noticed something interesting. One of the buyers had pads and pads of gas vehicle information and EV scooter info. I approached them started a conversation and soon realized the group knew absolutely nothing about NHTSA regulations, DOT, insurance etc.... then again this is Walmart, the buyers were looking for price, logistics, and if the market needed it. They have lawyers and could hire specialists to deal with the rest, but as one of them told me if there was a market they wanted to have a percentage of it. Six years later nothing has happened. This is a surprise since SAM's did try selling scooters, go karts, and did the Baja Powersports thing. Walmart however probably decided to focus on the car business which was another rumor floating around. I guess we'll never know.

In my opinion it would take several things for Walmart to fully push quality scooters in the USA. First it would take gas prices to be allowed to increase to a realistic cost something the White House would never allow. Second they would have to make an investment in creating the market and financing it. Just like cars Walmart would need its own financing arm to get more riders onto the road. Walmart has the power to create the market, but if their success in other countries is any indicator this could easily happen in the USA.

Mexico is already an established Motorcycle Market, but if they find success there they could easily translate that to the US.

Italika with a K not be confused with Italica GY6 scooters sold in the USA are a major brand with over 500 stores in Mexico.

As of this summer, Italika is also present in select Sam's Club stores, with DM150, GTS175, FT150 and CS125 models.
This has been the first year that Italika motorcycles have been sold outside of more than 1,100 Elektra stores. Italika is also sold in 46 wholly-owned Distribuidores Italika dealerships, as well as 150 additional points of sale through third-party retailers.

With more than a million motorcycles sold in the past six years, Italika is the number-one selling brand in Mexico.
Italika is also sold in Elektra stores in Guatemala, Honduras, Peru and Brazil. Italika is wholly-owned by Grupo Elektra, a financial services and specialty retailer in Latin America.

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