American IronHorse Moves to Re-establish the Brand

For the first time since Scott Meyers dragged American IronHorse out of bankruptcy, the Fort Worth-based custom motorcycle manufacturer has released news about its future plans.

Meyers told Dealernews that the company is expected to have four or five models for 2009, and is taking a "realistic" approach to reentering the market. When he first announced he was buying AIH, he said he was drastically going to pare down the company's operations — none of this has changed.

"We're committed to this industry and I want to see all of us come out of it [doing well]," Meyers says.

While he had wanted to jump right into things and start building bikes, he realized that helping dealers move out old inventory was going to be a priority. So for now, Meyers says, the company is building some custom stuff for individual customers and is taking some other big steps to reorganize his operations. These changes include:
  • Key personnel have been rehired to support warranty, parts, paint, and technical departments.
  • A process review is in progress to ensure quick turnarounds and top service levels for AIH's dealers and their customers.
  • A clear dealer development strategy is being implemented and AIH has made strong progress in securing top performing dealers in key markets throughout the U.S. “In addition to our loyal IronHorse riders, over these last six months, our dealer network has shown terrific support and proved their dedication to the survival of the brand”, says Scott.
  • Unneeded overhead has been eliminated; this includes reducing the production facility from 224,000 square feet to 80,000 square feet.
  • AIH’s supply chain is being studied and parts suppliers and assembly methods are being evaluated to ensure the highest quality at the best value.
  • Product development has made substantial progress with production commencing on October 1 for special order 2009 Slammer and Texas Chopper models. These hand built originals will be available in limited quantities through the dealer network.
  • New motorcycle development is also under way. A Pro Street styled prototype was debuted in Sturgis and a second will be shown at Biketoberfest in Daytona Oct. 16-19. Both prototypes use the revolutionary S&S X-Wedge 117 c.i. engine. Commenting on AIH's product development roadmap, Jeff Long noted "We are committed to the progressive design, performance, and heritage that makes American IronHorse a premium brand in the market".
  • AIH rolled out a warranty policy that covers all new motorcycles purchased after June 4, 2008, with a full 2 year warranty coverage.

When Meyers purchased AIH, the law required him to divest his former dealerships in Montana and Minnesota. While leaving the two dealerships that he built up over many years was difficult, Scott is proud that new dealers have been signed in those areas to service local American IronHorse riders.

Reflecting on the first 90 days of ownership, Scott notes “We have made progress in our first quarter, but we have a lot of work to do in order to achieve our goal of making American IronHorse the premier custom motorcycle company. It has been great to see the dedication of the employees and we are all committed to achieving our goal."