Industry News Shorts, May 2009

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JAMA Grand Prix Martin Wimmer Fieldsheer Gore-Tex

EX-RACERS TO REVIVE MZ? – Former Grand Prix racers Martin Wimmer and Ralf Waldmann confirmed they're in talks to obtain the trademarks and worldwide rights to MZ from its owner, Hong Leong Group of Malaysia, which had closed MZ in 2008. The racers say they plan to tap a Chinese company to manufacture the bikes for their new operation. Florida-based Motorrad NA was the U.S. importer and distributor of MZ before it closed. It supported about 340 dealers in the United States.

JAMA NOT JAMMIN' – Motorcycle exports from Japan to the U.S. in 2008 were at their lowest levels since 1999, according to the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association. Exports totaled 372,362 units in 2008, down from 455,139 sent to the States in 2007. That's the smallest number since 1999, when Japanese manufacturers shipped 337,203 units to the U.S.

FIELDSHEER HAS NEW DISTRIBUTOR – China-based Ansai Sportswear, maker of the Fieldsheer line of gear, has ended its relationship with Western Power Sports and tapped Helmet House to become its exclusive North American distributor. The deal, called a "partnership" by the two companies, allows Helmet House to expand the development of its own apparel and gear business with Ansai, while Ansai focuses on HH-related lines. (Visit "Breaking News" at www.dealernews.com for the full story.)

REV'IT GETS GORE-TEX – Rev'It has acquired Gore-Tex licenses for garments and gloves, and plans to present its first product collections this fall at the EICMA show in Milan, Italy. The product lines to debut include a compact range of textile jackets and trousers, winter gloves, and Windstopper mid-layer items.

LEOVINCE HELPS BRC – Exhaust supplier LeoVince USA is hosting a monthly eBay auction to support BlueRibbon Coalition efforts. The company is auctioning off one item per month (anything from new exhausts to autographed equipment and memorabilia) and donating all proceeds to the BRC.