Thursday, July 11, 2013

Kymco leads the pack in the US Scooter Market Resurgence with AIME

There hasn't been a lot of news in the US Scooter market the last few months. I think the biggest news is that the year has not seen the surge that we all expected.

Yet Scooters are as popular as ever the moment gas prices go up.

Yet to me a slow news year lead to the new show. AIME. This is the news I think everyone should be looking at because at the start of the year most business owners and brand managers were all looking at each other wondering what is the next guy going to do? I don't want to spend money unless the other guy spends money. I went to Dealer Expo and it was a bust again.

I want to have my own dealer meeting in my warehouse etc... just a lack of overall leadership in the motorcycle business in general. I will personally commend LeoVince for just calling it like it is. The new meeting spot is AIME. I supported it from day one and now its happening.

The biggest news is that KYMCO USA is the first major to be pushing scooters at the AIME Show.

Every scooter maker should be there. Yamaha and Suzuki are both there and now Kymco. Only major missing is Piaggio Group and the should be noted. Piaggio is dropping the ball again in favor of an expensive dealer meeting somewhere when really it should be reaching out to the general dealers that are still in business. The sad reality is most US Dealers cannot stay in business selling only Vespa and Aprilia. You need Taiwanese, Chinese, Korean bikes as well.

This show is a great opportunity to talk to the public for three days, talk and train dealers, and help bring back US commerce. From financial companies to accessory companies it will be a whos who in the industry gathering in the Magic Kingdom.

That's why in my humble opinion Piaggio should be embracing AIME. They should be embracing dealers that carry Kymco, SYM, and other brands along with Piaggio so that they stay open.

At the show Ice Bear, Kymco, Adly, Yamaha, Suzuki will all be side by side with a bunch of more brands, so it makes sense everyone should want to be there.

This year is marked by the fact that there was no growth. A few stories have come and gone mainly only important to industry insiders that have not been mentioned in the trade magazines:

*Adly Taiwan changed importers fourth time in a dozen years

*Several major dealers have changed hands

*I just confirmed the Big Box retailers finally removed all the 49cc scooters from their stores here in Florida.

*One Big Taiwanese Factory is looking at coming back to the USA, they might even be at AIME.

*Another Chinese importer recently discovered you can't have multiple dealers in the same area without getting sued and loosing money ( could have avoided this by looking at the dealer laws)

*A major distributor pushed out the former owner/founder thanks to a group of VCs who saved the company a few years back

All these things will affect stores, dealers, distributors in the small scooter industry. The fact is there are new brands. Many of them are PRICE POINT Chinese brands. They have no branding, marketing, and basically sell on price, but they are out there. A show is a place to get educated about them because like everyone we make our living selling parts for them and unless we gather and know whats happening then we don't have a place to talk about what has really happened in the US Industry.

So the Show is a necessity. I commend those who are showing leadership. Yes, it has been a rollercoaster the last couple of years, everyone wants everything for free, and nobody is willing to risk anything to build a better tomorrow, but so what. There will always be companies and people like that.

The time is now to get together and discuss as a group how we can make Lemonade out of a few Lemons. Dealer Expo has not produced any results the last few years so lets make it happen in Orlando.

A big thanks to Kymco for leading the pack this year!

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