U.S. Firm To Buy International Scooter Business

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Agreement in Principle Is Confidential

Joe Delmont

Joe Delmont

A major international manufacturer plans to sell its scooter business to a U.S. company, possibly as soon as next week, according to insiders at the companies.

The parties have an agreement in principle, but are waiting for  attorneys to complete their work dotting the “i’s” and crossing the “t’s” before announcing the deal. When the lawyers are finished, Dealernews will have all the details for you right here.

The seller, a diversified manufacturer,  has been in the scooter business for some time and has an extensive scooter operation, but is choosing to allocate its resources elsewhere, I’ve been told.

The U.S. buyer has experience in the powersports industry and could add considerable manufacturing and retailing expertise to this valuable brand. It’ll be interesting to see how the pending deal affects U.S. scooter market shares this year, since a recent research report suggests there could be a slowdown in U.S. scooter sales.

U.S. Retail Scooter Sales

U.S. retail scooter sales by non-traditional manufacturers— that’s primarily non-MIC reporting companies located in China and Taiwan— increased 155% last year to 250,000 units, according to research compiled by Power Products Marketing (PPM), a Minneapolis research firm that specializes in the powersports industry.

The company estimates that total retail scooter sales last year were 327,000 units, up 114% over U.S. retail sales in 2007.

The outlook for 2009 isn’t quite so promising, says Matthew Camp, the report’s author, since many U.S. distributors carried over high levels of inventory from last year. However, says Camp, U.S. scooter sales could still hit 200,000 units, a level not seen for two decades. Except for last year, of course.

We’ll present a complete report on 2008 U.S. Scooter sales and Camp’s 2009 forecast here soon. Watch for it. JD

Contact me with news tips and story ideas
at 952/893-6876 or joe@powersportsupdate.com.

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