Posts Tagged ‘China’

Business Seminar Helps Chinese Manufacturers

February 21, 2011

Panelists’ Message: U.S. Consumers Want Quality and Value

INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 21, 2011)— Chinese manufacturers Sunday received several tips on how to successfully sell powersports vehicles and equipment in the United States. The seminar here was put on by the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) and Advanstar Communications for Chinese exhibitors before a packed house at this year’s Dealer Expo.

Attendees heard from government and industry experts about what it takes to successfully sell powersports equipment in the U.S. market. Presenters included representatives of Sargent’s Motorsports Groups, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and Dealernews magazine. The program, entitled, How To Successfully Sell Powersports Vehicles in the United States, was moderated by Paul Vitrano, executive vice president of the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA).

The key messages delivered by panelists were:

  • QUALITY PAYS. Attendees were told that American consumers value quality over cost and that they are willing to pay more for a better product.
  • OBEY THE RULES. Panelists, especially representatives of the CPSC, emphasized the importance of following U.S. government rules and regulations. “Government agencies balance their responsibilities of helping businesses with protecting consumers,” Vitrano said, “and they lean toward protecting consumers.” Penalties for breaking the rules are stiff and expensive, attendees were told.

Joe Delmont, contributing editor for Dealernews, told the audience that it’s important to build a brand, not simply try to export products to the U.S. under many different names to be sold by many different distributors. “That’s a prescription for failure,” he said.

Delmont, who provided a checklist of things to consider in looking at the U.S. market, told the audience that to gain 5% market share in a specific segment for a new China brand might take three years and cost as much as $300 million.

CPSC representatives Tanya Topka and Justin Jirgl described in detail the process of working with the agency that has been set up under the 2008 Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). A key regulation developed by the CPSC under the law calls for action plans to be approved by the agency before a company’s ATVs may be sold in the U.S.

Gary Sargent, Sr., and Gary Sargent, Jr., have been selling and servicing powersports equipment in their Portland, OR. dealership for more than seven years. They emphasized the importance of building quality machines and backing them with quality parts.

Gary Jr., who runs the dealership’s service operation, told attendees that he prefers to use more expensive, quality parts on a repair job and be confident that it won’t fail.

“I want satisfied customers,” he said, “not unhappy customers who come back because a part failed.”   JD

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Italian Motorcycle/ATV Show Opens in China

June 10, 2010

Friday is Kick-Off Day in Beijing, China, for an innovative new international motorcycle and ATV show and conference driven by—hold on here— the Italian motorcycle industry. “EICMA China—The Motorcycle Show,” runs Friday through Sunday, June 13,2010. It’s the first ever show for EICMA outside of Italy. EICMA is best known for putting on the the world’s largest motorcycle show every November in Milano, Italy, when several hundred thousand consumers and trade representatives walk the floors looking at the latest machines and accessories.

The trade fair and conference being held at the National Agricultural Exhibition Centre of Beijing is an alliance of EICMA and two major Chinese partners: the Chinese Chamber of Commerce for Motorcycle (CCCM) and Genertec Advertising& Exhibition Co.Ltd. The goals of the event are to show foreign products to the Chinese market and to bring together representatives of several countries to discuss powersports issues relating to motorcycles and ATVs.

On the motorcycle side, the 6.5 hour China International Motorcycle Industry Summit will focus on emissions and on building the Chinese market for motorcycles. A motorcycle ban was instituted in Beijing in 1985 and expanded has been expanded to more than 170 cities in China. It’s estimated that the ban reduced sales by 4 million units annually.

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Where’s the Anger About Chinese Stealing Ideas?

May 28, 2010

Lack of Response to Federal Investigation Is Puzzling.
Were You Ripped Off? Now Is the Time To Tell Your Story.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Shortly after I posted this story, I heard from my friends at the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) regarding a survey they are doing pertaining to the USITC investigation. I want to pass on this information to you, so you can participate, if you wish. The MIC is surveying members and compiling comments on IP infringement. If you’re an MIC member, you can find more information on the MIC survey here. The survey will take only a few minutes to complete. The MIC’s Paul Vitrano told me today that powersports companies are participating and providing data for an industry comment package. “The more responses that we receive,” he says, “the more thorough comments we will be able to submit. For details on the MIC project, contact Scot Begovich (sbegovich@mic.org) or Paul Vitrano (pvitrano@mic.org) or call the MIC at (949) 727-4211.

I’ve been hearing complaints about the Chinese stealing designs and ideas from other manufacturers for years— at EICMA, at Dealer Expo, in private conversations— it’s a topic that never fails to generate comments. Until now.

Now, when the federal government is investigating cases of Chinese companies stealing intellectual property, nobody wants to talk about it. I wrote about the investigation by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) several weeks ago, but there’s been virtually no response from the business community. There’s a public hearing scheduled for June 15, 2010, but there’s been virtually no response from the powersports industry. Zero. None. Read my previous post here.

What’s up? Too busy? Don’t care? Don’t want to get involved? I suppose it doesn’t matter why no one has responded to the USITC’s requests for comments, the only thing that matters is that the commission isn’t getting the information it needs to help solve the problem.

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Feds Investigate Chinese IPR Theft

May 7, 2010

Hearing Scheduled for June 15, 2010.
It’s an Opportunity To Tell Your Story.

Another federal agency has joined the battle on Chinese manufacturers who are selling illegal goods in the U.S. First, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) took aim at Chinese with its child safety provisions, then the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) began grabbing containers of Chinese powersports products as they entered U.S. ports looking for emissions violations.

Now the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has launched an investigation into the effects of intellectual property rights (IPR) infringement on the U.S. economy and U.S. jobs. The investigation was requested by the Senate Finance Committee.

The investigation will study violations of copyrights, patents, trademarks, and design registrations.

The ITC  will  publish its findings in two reports. The first will provide a description of the types of reported IPR infringement and China’s related policies on procurement of “indigenous innovation” which could limit the sale of U.S. products within China. This could be of special interest to U.S. companies such as Polaris and Harley-Davidson as they attempt to expand into the Chinese consumer markets.

The second report could be much more explosive. It will describe the size and scope of IPR infringement by Chinese companies and the effect of these actions on U.S. jobs and on the sales and profits of U.S. companies. In addition to Polaris, Harley and Arctic Cat, among others, these companies include U.S. operations of Japanese companies such as Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha, according to an ITC official.

Depending upon how broadly the ITC wants to define U.S. companies, it could include most powersports companies doing business here, including OEMs such as BRP, KTM, Piaggio and Triumph, as well as aftermarket companies.

The report on types of IPR infringement is due by Nov. 19, 2010, and the second— on the impact of these infringements— is due May 2, 2011.

In requesting the investigation, Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) wrote that more than 80 percent of goods seized at U.S. ports for IPR infringements came from China. He also noted that intellectual property accounts for more than 40 percent of U.S. economic growth.

As part of the investigation, the USITC will hold a public hearing  on June 15, 2010. Written comments also will be accepted. All written submissions, except for confidential business information, will be available for public inspection.

I’ve been hearing for years about how Chinese manufacturers steal designs and produce replicas of popular machines and PG&A items made by U.S.,  Japanese and other manufacturers. Now is your chance to step forward and describe how your products have been illegally copied and how you have been financially injured.

If you’re concerned about dealing with the ITC but want to tell your story, contact me. I can get your information to the ITC.

Here is important information if you wish to submit comments to the ITC:

DATES
June 1, 2010: Deadline for filing requests to appear at the public hearing.
June 3, 2010: Deadline for filing pre-hearing briefs and statements.
June 15, 2010: Public hearing.
June 22, 2010: Deadline for filing post-hearing briefs and statements.
July 9, 2010: Deadline for filing all other written submissions.
Nov. 19, 2010: First report due to the Senate Finance Committee.
May 2, 2011: Second report due to the Senate Finance Committee.

ADDRESSES
All Commission offices, including the Commission’s hearing rooms, are located in the United States International Trade Commission Building
500 E Street SW, Washington, DC.
All written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary, United States International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436.

The public record for this investigation may be viewed here.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Project Leaders: Katherine Linton (katherine.linton@usitc.gov or 202-205-3393) and Alexander Hammer (alexander.hammer@usitc.gov or 202-205-3271) or Deputy Project Leader Jeremy Wise (jeremy.wise@usitc.gov or 202-205-3190).
Analyst, John Kitzmiller (John.Kitzmiller@usitc.gov or 202-205-3387).  JD

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

MIC Promotes Use of Off-Road Vehicles in China

March 2, 2010

Participates In Italian-Chinese Trade Show Talks

When representatives of the Italian motorcycle industry announced last November that they intended to launch a major motorcycle show in  China, this year, it caught the attention of Tim Buche, head of the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), the U.S. association of motorcycle, ATV and scooter manufacturers.

“I suggested that there was good value in the MIC facilitating a dialogue on the evolving market for ATVs and similar products in China while I was at the EICMA show last November,” Buche told me last evening. Constantino Ruggiero, managing director of EICMA, agreed. And so the Americans began playing a significant role in putting together this year’s show in China.

EICMA is the huge annual motorcycle show held in Milano, Italy. EICMA is owned and operated by the Italian trade association of motorcycle and bicycle manufacturers and producers of aftermarket parts and accessories (ANCMA). It was founded in 1920 and has more than 170 members. For more information on ANCMA, click here.

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Let’s Get Started

January 22, 2009

Welcome to Minnesota Man’s blog.

I’ve done plenty of writing over the years—starting with an old Royal upright typewriter— so I’m excited to see how this new venue works. I’ll be writing about the business of motorcycles— building them and marketing them and selling them around the world, from Santa Anna, Calif., to Shanghai, China. And I’ll be writing about all of the related businesses associated with motorcycles— dealerships, and OEMs, and aftermarket manufacturers and distributors. You name it.

I won’t be writing much about the mechanical aspects of motorcycling because I’m really not very good at that. In fact, my wife doesn’t even want me to have tools around the house. After 41 years of wedded bliss, she knows that I generally hurt myself or break something when I get involved in “handyman” projects.

So, I’ll be writing about the people of motorcycling and the business trends and events that I see.

I’ll also be analyzing and questioning news items that I read and tidbits that I pick up during my editing duties for Dealersnews magazine. I write a monthly column for the magazine and I post items on the http://www.dealernews.com website. I’ll be talking to OEMs, dealers, and other folks who work in the industry. And I’ll be talking with customers, as well, to discover what makes them happy and not so happy.

I’ll be about writing about interesting people I meet and about business activities—some will impress me and others will puzzle me, especially the way they do—or don’t— provide customer service.

I’ll be writing about people such as my friend Frank Esposito who has been named president of Kendon Industries, Inc., the Anaheim manufacturer of motorcycle trailers and related equipment. I haven’t talked with Frank about Kendon, since he just took the spot. But I’ll catch up with him soon. Frank spent a number of years in top spots at Custom Chrome and Tucker Rocky.

I’ll also be writing about information that’s developed by my friends at Power Products Marketing (PPM), a Minneapolis research firm that tracks production and retail sales figures of powersports products in North America. Many of the trends these guys identify are truly astounding, especially as they apply to non-MIC companies.

And I’ll comment on published reports from sources like websites and blogs, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist magazine, analyst reports, SEC filings, PPM reports, motorcycle trade and consumer mags and Chinese newspapers and news sources.

I’ll be posting a couple of times each week.

Oh, and I’ll certainly be writing about items that you bring to my attention. Remember, this isn’t a one-way communications street; I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

That’s enough promises and enough words for the first time out. Let’s get started; meet me here again tomorrow. Thanks for your interest. JD

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