ATK signs $100 million deal to bring 33,000 bikes to U.S. market over four years

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ATK has signed a multi-year, $100 million dollar contract with S&T Motors of Korea, manufacturer of Hyosung-branded bikes, to bring more than 33,000 motorcycles to the American marketplace over the next four years.

The companies are looking to build the ATK dealer network, especially targeting established Harley-Davidson dealers to take on the dirtsports line.

“Our strategy is for ATK to be the second American brand in select Harley-Davidson dealerships,” says ATK president Frank White. “The prime focus of our initiative is to be a feeder brand to the V-Twin dealers — similar to what Scion has been to Toyota."

That may be a tough sell with Harley, which has traditionally preferred dedicated dealerships and has not endorsed White’s plan.

“Nevertheless, our new products fit the current Harley-Davidson dealer need and move to offer both the dealer, and more importantly, the retail customer, a complete staircase of V-twin based products, which only acts to complement the current Harley-Davidson product lineup.”

White thinks ATK bikes will pull the coveted younger demographic into dealerships.

"The approach is simple; get new and younger riders to go into the Harley-Davidson dealerships," he says. "We want to capture those customers who are initially looking for a smaller displacement motorcycle, at an affordable price, and then over time these new riders will develop the aspiration for a traditional Harley-Davidson."

Under the deal, S&T has agreed to produce enough parts to manufacture 33,000 motorcycles, ranging in displacement from 250cc to 680cc. The motorcycles will be sold and marketed under the ATK brand name in the US market for the 2011 to 2014 model years.

Starting in 2012 motorcycles will be assembled near ATK headquarters in Centerville, Utah, where the company expects to employ 65 more people.

S&T Motors is the largest motorcycle manufacturer in Korea and manufactures Hyosung-branded motorcycles ranging from 250cc to 700cc.

ATK claims it’s the second-oldest continuously running US motorcycle manufacturer and the only US based off-road motorcycle manufacturer.

Posted by Holly Wagner