Posts Tagged ‘Motorcycle Industry Council’

ATV Ban Could Cost $1 Billion This Year

February 24, 2009

That’s About $3 Million Every Day the Ban Continues

Here’s a nice round number that the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) might want to think about when it considers whether or not to drop the ban on kid’s ATVs and motorcycles: $1 billion.

That’s one estimate of the impact on the powersports industry if the ban were to last throughout 2009. It was put together by the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), the industry trade group based in Irvine, Calif.

“The potential losses for the powersports industry are massive at a time when this country cannot afford additional economic losses,” says Paul Vitrano, general counsel for MIC and its partner organization the SVIA (Specialty Vehicle Institute of America). “With these vehicles sitting in warehouses instead of on showroom floors, the related sales of most protective gear, accessories, and parts and services are virtually non-existent. Thousands of small businesses across America are impacted by this ban.”


Missouri Legislator Organizes Email Flood

February 19, 2009

Website Generates 53,000 Emails to CPSC

MIC Delivers 4,400 Letters to Agency

Sen. Klobuchar Questions CPSC’s Lack of Action

Tom Self is the parent of two young motocross riders and he’s unhappy about the new Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) that was signed by President Bush last August. The law bans the sale of ATVs and dirt bikes designed primarily for youths ages 12 and under as of Feb. 10, if the machines contain excessive amounts of lead.

Unfortunately, most youth machines are affected by the law because lead is used in batteries and many alloys such as copper, steel and aluminum contained in valve stems, engine components and vehicle frames.

The law also limits the use of formaldehyde in apparel and phthalates, a chemical used to add flexibility in many plastic products.


CPSC Approves Sale of Units for Youths, 12-15

February 17, 2009

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said Saturday it has heard the concerns of the motorcycle and ATV industries and riders and is taking action to meet their needs.

The agency is charged with implementing the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) that was signed by President Bush last August. The law limits the amounts of lead in paint and materials contained in products designed primarily for youth age 12 and under.

Effective Feb. 10, 2009, any products for children that did not meet the requirements specified in the law could not be sold. These items include ATVs, dirt bikes, apparel, and related parts and accessories for these items.

Now, the agency has decided that machines designated for youths 12-15, formerly the Y12 category, are not prohibited under the CPSIA and can be sold, an agency representative told Dealernews magazine.


Congress Should Fix the CPSIA

February 6, 2009

Wall Street Journal Calls For Changes.

Republicans Seek White House Support.

Congress swept up all children’s products – including youth ATVs and off-highway vehicles – in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act last year, and then shoved the ill-conceived package— most notably because of the lead content provisions, which were intended to address lead in small toys and jewelry— onto the CPSC last fall for implementation.

Perhaps it’s time for the boys and girls on the Hill to amend the law before the prohibition on the sale of kid’s quads goes into effect next Tuesday.

It would be a relatively simple fix, even though there are plenty of other issues for Congress to deal with. It’s just a matter of amending the effective date of implementation— a one-line change.

It actually might happen. Today, four leading Republicans wrote to President Obama requesting his support for “quick legislative action to correct several deficiencies related to effective dates and agency discretion in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).”

Implementation of the CPSIA Tuesday “has the very real potential to cause job losses and wreak economic havoc on thousands of small businesses if they cannot sell their products,” the Republicans write.


My Guess: CPSC Will OK Sale of Kid’s ATVs

February 5, 2009

Dropping Kid’s Quads Doesn’t Help Anybody.

Agency Wants To Provide Relief

After closely following the growing industry frenzy over the possibility that we won’t be able to sell kid’s ATVs  after Tuesday, I’ve come to one inescapable conclusion:

The CPSC is not going to prevent the sale of kid’s ATVs next week.

There’s a whole fistful of reasons why the big agency isn’t going to shut down sales of ATVs to kids. And there are enough loopholes and exceptions in this poorly written law for the commissioners to wriggle through, if they wish to do so.

But here’s the bottom line:  It’s more dangerous for kids to ride adult size machines than to ride smaller machines containing lead that could hurt them if they eat the stuff. Like chewing on a battery terminal or a steel frame or a valve stem.

Which is more likely: A kid chomping on a battery cable, or a small child rolling an adult size ATV? Isn’t that a no-brainer?

So, even though the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) can’t change the Feb. 10, 2009, deadline— only Congress can do that— I’m betting that you see the commissioners take action that avoids halting sales next Tuesday. You might see that action as soon as tomorrow.

Last evening, a CPSC spokesman avoided making a flat out statement that sales of kid’s quads would be permitted next week, but he came pretty close. 

“The availability of youth model ATVs is critically important to CPSC,” Scott Wolfson told me. “We are an agency that has investigated numerous deaths of young riders who jumped on adult size ATVs.  We want to protect against these tragedies by having appropriately sized youth models that are available for parents to purchase for their children.”


MIC/SVIA Lead Fight Against CPSIA Lead Rule

February 4, 2009

Join Other Manufacturers In Seeking Deadline Change

The MIC is moving aggressively to convince the safety police in Washington that manufacturers and retailers need some real breathing room regarding the high visibility “lead content” rule as it applies to products made for kids.

We’re talking here about the implementation of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) that became law last August. The law prohibits, for sale to children, products that contain excessive amounts of lead after Feb. 10, 2009.

There are two provisions in the law, one covering lead paint and the second covering lead content in the total product. The content provision is especially difficult because it applies to items such as steel frames, valve stems, batteries and cables, etc.

Last week, the MIC and its sister organization, the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA), wrote to the CPSC explaining that the agency should exempt certain materials from the law. “Because small amounts of lead are unavoidable,” wrote Paul Vitrano, executive vice president and general counsel of the SVIA, “the (member) companies will need relief from the CPSIA requirements in order to continue to sell these products on and after Feb. 10, 2009.” CPSIA refers to the law itself, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.


Deadline on Lead Content Rapidly Approaches

February 3, 2009

A Dealer Could Be Liable for Up To $15 Million In Fines

But Enforcement Is Another Question

The deadline for retailers to stop selling children’s products that violate lead content limits, set in a new consumer safety law last year, is only one week away.

Unfortunately, many powersports dealers apparently don’t realize that they could be liable for penalties reaching $15 million for violations of the law.

OK, that’s perhaps unlikely. But the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) calls for a maximum civil penalty of $100,000 per violation up to a maximum of $15 million for a series of related violations.

And, according to one attorney who is very familiar with the law, there are also criminal penalties of up to five years in jail for a willful violation of the law.

That’s a big OUCH.


CPSC’s Recent Action Doesn’t Help Powersports

January 31, 2009

Dealers Still Face Feb. 10, 2009, Deadline

The Consumer Product Safety Commission Friday pushed back the testing and certification deadline for its lead content rule in kid’s ATVs to Feb. 10, 2010, giving dealers and OEMs an extra year to test and certify to the safety of products. That’s good news.

But this is the bad news: The action provides no real help to our industry because dealers still must obey the Feb. 10, 2009, deadline prohibiting the sale of kid’s products that exceed the lead content limit.

Here’s the situation, as explained to me by the CPSC today:



In a nutshell, if a retailer has a product made for kids that does not meet the (more…)

More women. Newer bikes.

December 8, 2008

More Americans are riding for transportation, not just recreation, and that a greater percentage of women are taking to two-wheeling, preliminary data from the ongoing 2008 Motorcycle Industry Council Owner Survey suggests.

The “census of motorcycling,” last conducted in 2003, is only three-quarters complete and will not be finalized until March. But the survey already is providing indications of trends among customers, their reasons for riding, what they are riding, plus a look at the new demographics of American motorcyclists.

Here are a few more interesting tidbits:

Through the first three quarters of 2008, the survey found that women make up 12.4 percent of riders, up from 9.6 percent in 2003.

Preliminary findings also show that the average age of owners appears to be leveling off. In 1990, it was 32. In 1998, it was 38. In 2003, it was 41. The preliminary number for 2008 is only one year older, at 42.

There’s also an increased consumer preference for newer motorcycles, with the average age of the motorcycle down from a peak of 13.2 years in 1998, to 11.7 years in 2003, and to 10.8 years so far in 2008.

It should be pretty interesting when all the data are released in March. For any dealers reading this, perhaps it might be good to tweak your marketing approach based on these final results. Just an idea.