Akrapovic opens U.S. office, benefits from new leadership

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This article is adapted from “Parts Unlimited/Drag Specialties NVP trade show: 82 vendor reports.”

Akrapovic, the 20-year-old exhaust system maker based in Slovenia, recently opened its first U.S. office in Irvine, Calif. The company also has new leaders who’ve developed more efficient manufacturing processes, Akrapovic announced at last month’s LeMans NVP show in Madison, Wis.

Akrapovic America LLC was begun with four employees, each with a particular focus: the motorcycle industry, the automotive industry, overall operations and the warehouse. The office will handle warranty claims, technical support and replacement parts, and will lead a ramp-up in marketing and PR activities.

All this was according to Nicholas Iannitti, who was hired last summer as the U.S. manager of the Motorcycle Division. He said Slovenia headquarters has also done some hiring. Staff additions include a new CEO (formerly of Johnson & Johnson Europe), a new director of technology, and a new head of product development.

The new director of technology is a mechanical engineer who once worked for Ducati, Iannitti said. She’s into 3D modeling and other technologies. “As a result, there has been up to a 45 percent reduction in production time for some products,” he said.

Akrapovic has also reorganized the work flow on the factory floor, allowing the company to stock finished products for the first time in its history. “This will drastically reduce lead time on distributor orders,” said Iannitti, who added that Akrapovic already has a 97.5 percent fill rate.

Iannitti said BMW applications are the company’s biggest sellers right now. Accordingly, the Evolution slip-ons for the S 1000 RR were on display at the booth during the Showcase trade show. The homologated pipes are said to produce 11.15 more horsepower at 8450 rpm. A Ducati Hypermotard system is on its way.