Posts Tagged ‘CFMOTO’

Major Management Changes at CFMOTO

October 8, 2010

CFMOTO, the Chinese powersports company, has made several top level management changes to its U.S. subsidiary based in suburban Minneapolis, according to sources close to the company. The changes include beefing up the management team with outside professionals and a shift in responsibility for Lev Mirman, the former president of the U.S. operation, CFMOTO Powersports.

Mirman retains his equity position with about a 10% ownership of the U.S. operation. Under the new setup, Mirman will focus on legal and regulatory concerns involving CARB, DOT and EPA.

The company declined to discuss the changes in any detail when I contacted the CFMOTO office today.

The new management team is designed to increase efficiencies, and help the company expand its product portfolio into new areas beyond its ATV, scooter and motorcycle products, sources told me. CFMOTO has about 200 U.S. dealers, down from a high of about 215, but it has been adding dealers this year, the company said.

CFMOTO is one of the few Chinese manufacturers that has established its own subsidiary in the U.S., similar to the Japanese models in which the manufacture manages its own brand through its own manufacturing and distribution channel.  Most other Chinese and Taiwanese companies simply hire independent importer/distributor companies to handle their products in this market.

CFMOTO’s parent company,  ChunFeng Holding Group, Ltd., was established in 1989. The group has eight wholly-owned subsidiaries engaged in manufacturing of liquid cooled engines, scooters, motorcycles, vehicle parts and accessories, and investments. The largest engine it manufactures is a 500cc unit, and the smallest is 50cc. JD

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

I Have Returned from Vacation

August 9, 2010

Joe Delmont

It’s always great to be on vacation, but it’s nice to be back, too. I’ve recently spent the better part of two weeks vacationing on a lake in northern Wisconsin with my wife, Bobbie, the three kids, Steve, Bryan, and Kate, and four grandkids. I golfed, read three novels, played with the grandkids, and spent too much time with a big, ol’ black Lab mutt named Jimmy, who visited every day. Jimmy is the only dog I every knew who retrieved rocks. That’s rocks, as in stones, big stones, that he would dig out of the bottom of the lake and then drop at your feet with a big, wet grin. Obviously, Jimmy doesn’t know the difference between a rock and a tennis ball.

Summer’s a busy time anyway, even without a vacation in the north woods. My wife and I have picked up two days of babysitting for the grandkids on Tuesday and Wednesday to save them some day care dollars. Four little bundles of energy, ranging from seven months to six years, each wanting lots of attention involving library visits (good), swimming lessons at the neighbor’s pool (not so good), and trips to the local kiddy park with juice and snacks (bad).

OK, I know I’ve said I want to spend time with the new generation, but it’s difficult to keep up. Bobbie and I don’t remember how we raised three kids of our own. Must have been some grandparents heavily involved in that schedule.

Story Backlog
At any rate, I’m back at the keyboard, and I’m looking at a stack of story notes. Tucker Rocky. Baja Motorsports. ITC’s investigation of intellectual property rights. CFMOTO’s suit against EPA. And a couple of other industry stories based upon research from Power Products Marketing, the Minneapolis research firm, plus my column for September Dealernews and the Dealer Lab report on Bill Shenk’s June performance—another profitable month.  I’m also heading to the Parts Unlimited show in Janesville and visiting the new Baja headquarters at the complex of its parent company TTI in Anderson, SC, at the end of the month.

And suddenly it’s September. Where has the year gone? JD

Contact me with story ideas and news tips at
jdelmont@dealernews.com or 612/845-8091.

CFMOTO Offers New Z6 600cc EFI Rec UTV

February 13, 2010

News From 2010 International Dealer Expo

INDIANAPOLIS, IN. (Feb. 13, 2010)—CFMOTO reduced its Dealer Expo commitment this year but that doesn’t mean it’s backing off its marketing efforts. The Minneapolis company is introducing two EFI products at the Expo— a hot 600cc recreational UTV and a 250cc scooter—, it’s offering 30% show special discounts on 2009 scooters and motorcycles, and it’s planning to increase its dealer network by 75 dealers, a jump of nearly 40% this year.

The company ran a large 60 x 70 foot booth in a premium spot in Lucas Oil Stadium and augmented it with advertising and promotion efforts throughout last year’s show. It was a huge—and very successful— push by a small, relatively unknown company. But this year is different: a 30 x 40 foot booth (#2201) and limited promotions.

CFMOTO sports its UTV lineup, led by its new 600cc EFI Z6. It also shows off its new JetMax 250cc EFI scooter.

“Last year was definitely worth the expense,” says Lev Mirman, president of CFMOTO Powersports, Inc. “The show was absolutely great for us. If it weren’t for the economy… We’re just basically saving money and downsizing because this recession isn’t over.”

CFMOTO has a lower profile at Dealer Expo this year, but it new Z6 sport UTV and its Jetmax scooter are worth a look.

The Z6 bears a striking resemblance to the very hot Polaris RZR, but it sells for a lot less— MSRP is $7,999. “However, dealers will be able to give discounts off MSRP,” says Mirman. “Pricing includes significant margin so they can entice customers with a lower price or accessories. That’s up to the dealer.”

Mirman said units will be available in dealerships May 1. The initial shipment will be 200 units. “We’ll check response; the factory is ready to ship a lot of units, but they’re being very careful.” The Z6 power plant has been in development for more than three years, so the bugs have been worked out, he says.

The JetMax was showed here last year as a carbureted version but that model wasn’t brought to market. The EFI version has an MSRP of $3,999 and will be available in April.

CFMOTO has about 200 dealers, some 140 of whom are active. Mirman plans to add 75 dealers this year, mostly in areas west of Colorado, including Hawaii and Alaska. Ivan Escalante (ivan@cfmoto-us.com) is responsible for signing up western dealers.  JD

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

Research Shows Changing Dealer Networks

December 22, 2009

There’s been a lot of talk this year about changes in the number and types of franchised dealers operating in the United States and Canada, but there’s been precious little data to back up the talk. Until now.

I’ve been going over some very interesting research developed by Don Musick and his company, Genesys Technology Solutions (GenesysTech). The data collected by Musick shows that the major OEMs lost dealers last year while the non-traditional manufacturers — basically Chinese and Taiwanese and other non-MIC suppliers — picked up ground.

It’s like the frog dropped into a pot of water that gradually heats up to boiling, says Musick. The majors don’t recognize that the Chinese dealers are surrounding them with experienced retailers and are getting ready to eat their lunch.

Don Musick

I’ve traveled to China and seen the potential of Chinese factories, and I realize that most of them have a lot of problems as far as succeeding in this market, But, still, Musick makes a pretty strong statement, one that’s worth considering when we talk about the changing dealer network and what it might look like in 2010 and 2011.

Musick founded GenesysTech in 2004 and began collecting dealer information in powersports, auto and a number of other industries. There’s nothing magic about how Musick comes up with his numbers; it’s just a lot of hard work and computer analysis.

(more…)

Customs Grabs $1.5 Million in Powersports Units

September 2, 2009

10 CFMOTO Containers Tied Up

EPA Violations Claimed

U.S. Customs officials in Dallas last week grabbed more than 1,400 motorcycles and scooters, claiming they violated EPA regulations. About 400 hundred of those units belong to CFMOTO Powersports, Inc., the distributor based in suburban Minneapolis. They’re worth about $1.5 million at retail.

The move by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) people has cost CFMOTO more than $100,000 in storage fees alone, and the company also could be hit with penalties and legal fees, says Lev Mirman, president of CFMOTO’s operations in the U.S.  “This is absolutely crazy at a time when scooter sales are down 75% from last year and cash is very tight,” says Mirman.

When I spoke with Mirman this week, he was really hot, pointing out that his vehicles all have passed EPA certification tests at EPA approved labs. He says he holds four certificates that cost him more than $20,000 each. “We follow every EPA rule,” he says.

Mirman claims the grab is a move by the feds to block the sale of Chinese-made products. “They had a big push in the Dallas port to get as many Chinese bikes arrested (more…)