Taiwan's leading manufacturers include Yamaha, KYMCO and Sanyang Motor Co. Ltd. (SYM). While Yamaha and even KYMCO are well-respected brands in the United States, SYM is relatively new. It entered through OEM partnerships for small-displacement ATVs and now has its own nameplate thanks to an exclusive distribution agreement with Carter Bros. Mfg. Co. Inc.
Powered by a carbureted 560cc liquid-cooled four-stroke engine, and featuring an independent rear suspension, the CarterSYM QuadLander 600 4x4 is scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter.
Carter signed on as the exclusive importer and distributor of SYM product in April 2006. At the 2007 Dealer Expo, CarterSYM offered dealers a glimpse of what it did during the past year and where the partnership may lead.
New models. The scooter lineup features seven models, including the GTS 250, HD 200, HD 125, RS 50, Jet Euro 50, Fiddle 50 and air-cooled Mio 50. Its ATV line has a new two-wheel-drive QuadLander 300S, and the QuadRaider 600, a 4x4 expected in the fourth quarter. The kart and buggy line includes six models, the GTR 300, AXR, GTR 250, GSR 200, GSX 150 and Mini Talon.
"Right now, we have seven different models of SYM scooter, from 50cc to 250cc; the two ATVs; and we're going to move over exclusively to SYM engines throughout our kart range, from 160cc to 560cc," says Arn. He adds that Carter plans to work closely with SYM in developing new products and advising the Taiwan company on the U.S. market. "A result of that is that you'll be seeing higher capacity machines from us in the very near future," he says.
Just a few years ago Carter was manufacturing karts at its facility in Brundidge, Ala. The search for a more cost-effective way of producing karts led the company to form a joint venture in China. Carter Bros. keeps between 15 and 20 employees there to oversee the operation.
"The CarterSYM scooters and ATVs all are made in Taiwan, but our buggies — our 150, 250 and 300cc machines — all are being made at our joint venture in China using SYM engines imported from Taiwan," says Arn. "As the product grows in displacement, we're going to probably begin changing gears by making some chassis and doing some assembly in Alabama after importing parts from Taiwan."
Arn says CarterSYM dealers are supported with consumer and dealer financing, online warranty registration and service information, online ordering, co-op and free marketing materials and protected territories. All SYM engines have a two-year warranty. — Guido Ebert