He noted that more and more consumers — and dealers — are viewing Kawasaki’s website via smartpones. “You have every product spec, feature and benefit in your pocket, and every one of our videos,” he said. “You have every dealership location in your pocket.”
Brull had more to share about Kawasaki’s upcoming promotions during the new-model portion of the presentation.
‘Something for everyone’
In introducing the models for 2011, the Kawasaki executives made full use of the theatre-in-the-round stage with on-ramps at each corner. Riders rode significant models onto the stage, and the new Jet Ski surprised the audience by slowly descending from the ceiling. Here’s an overview of what’s new for 2011:
- In a “sneak peek at what’s coming to help improve our ATV market share,” Kawasaki showed pictures of the all-new 2012 Brute Force 750 4x4i with Power Steering, which will be available for ordering in February with delivery to dealerships in March.
- Due to dealer requests, Kawasaki has brought back the color green for the Mule 610 4x4 and the Mule 4010 4x4. Both are available for immediate delivery. Twelve-time NASCAR champ Richard Childress will soon be promoting the Mule brand by allowing people to ride along with him virtually during one-of-a-kind outdoor excursions.
- Just added to the Teryx lineup is the a graphics special edition: the Teryx 750 Fi 4x4 LE SGE in two color options: Flame Blue or Flame Gray. An executive noted that Kawasaki’s recently announced factory-to-dealer and salesperson incentives also apply to Teryx models.
- With a maximum output of 300 hp, the new Ultra 300X and 300LX are the most powerful Jet Skis ever made. “Our launch campaign message will challenge customers to step up to the 300,” Brull said. “It’s really an in-your-face dare that will hammer home the Ultra 300’s lead in acceleration, horsepower and performance.” Kawasaki will be displaying the PWC at boat shows and nationwide events “with a lot of co-op support behind it,” Brull said. NASCAR racer Clint Boyard, who has been riding Jet Skis for 20 years, will act as a spokesperson for the model. To help dealers stock the 2011 Jet Ski lineup, Kawasaki is providing interest-free flooring until October 2011, and it’s deferring any interest dealers have on existing inventory “for qualified orders.”
- While introducing the all-new Ninja ZX-10R, a Kawasaki executive in charge of market and product strategy emphasized the difference — or lack thereof — between the European and U.S. versions of the model. “The U.S. version of the ZX-10R is equipped with a rev limiter, but make no mistake, both versions have the same exact engine,” he said. Racers will be able to buy a Genuine Kawasaki race ECU and exhaust system. They alone, the exec said, will place the ZX-10R “well above the power output of every other liter sportbike on the marketplace.” Said Brull: “[We] will be at key track and street events across the country demoing the product to generate word of mouth.”
- During the two-day meeting, Kawasaki gave dealers a chance to demo units, including the new Ninja 1000. “On top of that, we’re even going to take the demo program into your dealerships,” Brull said. “We’ve added the 2011 Ninja 1000 to the dealer demo discount program.” Kawasaki will also have a special showcase for the Ninja 1000 at the International Motorcycle Shows and an “aggressive” testimonial program. Locations for “edgy, attention-getting urban events” will include Brooklyn, Chicago and South Philly, where drag racer Rickey Gadson will make an appearance on the bike. “We’ll be putting the bike in just the right spots to build its street cred,” Brull said.
- The California Highway Patrol recently chose the police-spec Concours as its next police bike.
- The Vulcan Vaquero is “specifically targeted to capture a growing segment in the cruiser market,” Brull said. “It’s built for those who live for the ride, not just an image, who are not impressed by that little shield that you find on some bikes or a jacket.” The marketing campaign will invite riders to join “Vaquero Nation.” Kawasaki will be partnering with Vulcan-affiliated clubs to host rides, poker runs, rallies, demos and other events centered around the Vaquero in markets across the nation.
For all qualified streetbike orders, Kawasaki is offering interest-free flooring until October 2011.
To cap off the presentation, the executives informed the dealers that Kawasaki would be treating them and all their guests the next night to a private performance of the No.1 Broadway show in Las Vegas: Jersey Boys at The Palazzo.