Friday, 30 May 2014

Tucker Rocky/MAG "merger"

Tucker Rocky/MAG "merger" deal completed

TUCKER Rocky/Biker’s Choice and Motorsport Aftermarket Group (MAG) have announced that their previously announced "merger" has now been completed.

As planned, the combined company will operate under the MAG name, with John A. Lacy, President and CEO of Indianapolis based Lacy Diversified Industries (LDI Ltd., being the majority shareholder of the combined company) as the Chief Executive Officer. 

Brian Etter will continue in his role as President of MAG’s "branded product, media and online retail operations”, with Dan Courtney continuing as President of Tucker Rocky/Biker’s Choice.

The former MAG majority owner, the Los Angeles based equity investor Leonard Green & Partners and other "legacy MAG shareholders" as they are being described, will retain a "significant minority interest in the combined company".

Best known as the owners of Vance & Hines, Performance Machine, Kuryakyn, Progressive Suspension, J&P Cycles and a number of other high profile specialist motorcycle industry parts and accessory brands, manufacturers, retailers and media outlets, MAG is being touted as having "merged" with the Tucker Rocky/Biker's Choice operation.

However, industry talk of an arising likelihood that the deal implies some kind of upcoming 'integration' plan between the two aftermarket giants appears to be wide of the mark.

The deal in fact appears to be a lot simpler at this stage, with Tucker Rocky's parent company LDI simply making a strategic acquisition which, in effect, sees them taking an ownership position as an alternate investor to Leonard Green & Partners or acquisition by some other equity investor.

It would appear that Leonard Green had decided that the interests of the investors in fund through which their ownership of MAG was held and funded would now be better served by realising value at this time, rather than continuing with its ownership.

In this context industry insiders are pointing to LDI as being an excellent ownership candidate for MAG as the company has both the resources and the pedigree to be a beneficial long-term owner of a power sports industry business, as proven by their established track record as owners of Tucker Rocky.

At the time that the plan was press released some seven weeks before this completion announcement, LDI stated that it “had been a major participant in the power sports industry for 25 years through its ownership of Tucker Rocky/Biker’s Choice", and referenced their business ownership strategy as being one of "build and hold".

That said, rumours about consolidation and potential "merger" of operations were rife at the time, fuelled in part, it would appear, by LDI also stating that “long-term success for the company will be built by bringing enhanced selection, service and solutions to power sports dealers in order to drive retail sales growth”. A statement that appears to presage leveraging of combined ownership and Tucker Rocky/Biker's Choice resources in a rather more "integrated" way than a simple investment holding company strategy might suggest.

While those rumours have died down since, and with all concerned remaining tight-lipped about details, there nonetheless is widespread relief that MAG ownership will reside "within" the industry and a growing sense that this particular chapter in the story of aftermarket consolidation brings opportunity for dealers with it.

At the time MAG Chairman, shareholder and original founding partner Arnie Ackerman was quoted as saying that “the strategic merit for this combination stems from the highly complementary product and service offerings of each of these businesses".

Lacy Diversified is somewhat of an American institution, certainly an Indianapolis institution, owing its origins to a business founded there in 1912 by Howard Lacy. The Lacy Diversified name was adopted in 1972 to reflect the evolution of the group and now, 102 years since it was founded, it is still owned and operated by the Lacy family, with Andre Lacy as Chairman and his son, John A. Lacy, representing the fourth generation of the family to be involved in the ownership and operation of the group.

Famously, Tucker Rocky owes its origins to Texan Ed Tucker's 1967 wholesale motorcycle oil business and subsequent expansion and diversification following Bob Nickell's purchase of the business in 1972.

The business became Tucker Rocky (TR) in 1986 following the purchase of Rocky Cycle, and was acquired by Lacy Diversified Industries in 1989. NEMPCO, a specialist New England based Harley aftermarket parts business (founded in 1971 by Larry Coppola) was bought by Tucker Rocky in 1992 in order to give the group strength in a then fast developing custom parts industry that had already seen the emergence of several strong specialty distribution brands.

Tucker Rocky re-branded NEMPCO as Biker's Choice (itself a NEMPO own brand) in 1998, and the business is a strictly wholesale operation that claims it sells over 100,000 products to all sectors of the motorcycle and wider power sports market, through seven domestic US distribution centres.

MAG was founded in 2000 by Arnie Ackerman and his partners in a San Francisco based equity investment fund managed by Duff Ackerman and Goodrich (DAG). The specific intention of the fund was to acquire, finance and develop leading motorcycle aftermarket parts and accessory brands and manufacturers.

As the man who had largely guided the acquisition strategy and driven development of the Group, Ackerman retained a shareholding in MAG in 2006 when DAG’s interest was acquired by Leonard Green & Partners - a Los Angeles based equity investor with current involvements in well known consumer brands such as Petco, The Sports Authority, J Crew, Top Shop, Lucky Brand Jeans and the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.

Though details are confidential it is being assumed that Ackerman and former MAG company owners such as Terry Vance, Byron Hines, Tom Rudd, Perry Sands, John Parham and others are among the "legacy" shareholders referred to by LDI, thus meaning, given the deal and holding company structure that has been announced, that they now, in effect, have a (albeit modest) stake in ownership of Tucker Rocky.

Polaris' first factory in Europe

Polaris' first factory in Europe

PANATTONI Europe, a leading industrial property developer, has completed the first European factory for Polaris Industries Inc. The 33,000 sqm facility (355,000 sq ft) was built in Opole, at the WaƂbrzych Special Economic Zone Invest-Park in Poland. 

Production of vehicles is expected to commence as early as September.
The production hall takes up 25,600 sqm of the facility (275,000 sq ft), the rest being warehousing and offices; construction work started at the beginning of August 2013. 

"This is the manufacturer's first European factory. Up to 25 thousand quads and small all-terrain vehicles per year will be made for delivery to Europe, Middle East and Russia. Some 350 jobs will be created initially, with that number expected to grow in the future" said Boguslaw Dawiec, Plant Manager.

“Our Opole, Poland, plant is right on schedule for start up later this year”, Polaris President and COO Bennett Morgan said during Polaris’ first-quarter conference call in April.

American Report

Ackerman named Chair of MIC Aftermarket/Allied Trade Committee

ARNOLD W. Ackerman, chairman emeritus and founder of the Motorsport Aftermarket Group (MAG), has accepted the appointment of Chair of Motorcycle Industry Council's (MIC) Aftermarket/Allied Trade Committee. Ackerman will be replacing the committee’s previous Chair, Steve Johnson, who was the President and Chief Operating Officer of Tucker Rocky Distributing for 12 years before retiring in 2012.

“As we continue to focus on strengthening our industry’s recovery, we are excited to have a key contributor like Arnie Ackerman lead our Aftermarket Committee”, said Dennis McNeal, MIC Chair and Vice President Motorcycle Operations at Yamaha Motor Corporation. “Arnie’s resume is filled with industry experience, and he’s no stranger to the MIC. He’s worked with and supported the MIC on a variety of projects and issues over the years, and we look forward to Arnie’s leadership as he takes the helm of this industry-critical committee”. 

Ackerman, a lifelong motorcycle enthusiast whose ties to the industry run deep, founded Motorsport Aftermarket Group in 2000. MAG, a MIC member for 12 years, is an assemblage of many leading motorcycle industry brands, representing segments in dirt/off-road, street, V-twin, all-terrain vehicles and  recreational off-highway vehicles (side-by-sides). 

“Our industry is facing persistent and ongoing challenges and some never-before-seen threats”, said Ackerman. “A strong MIC is necessary to combat these threats and at the same time to be able to offer sensible solutions. The MIC Aftermarket/Allied Trade Committee’s cadre of board members represents all aspects of our industry and is qualified and ready to take on the challenge”.

The other members of MIC’s Aftermarket/Allied Trade Committee are Gary Bryson of K & N Engineering, Joan Dyal of GE Commercial Finance, Don Emde of Don Emde, Inc., Frank Esposito of Kendon Industries, Inc., Kerry Graeber of Marketplace Events, Kevin Hagerty of MotoQuest, Robin Hartfiel of Resmarket, Inc., Dick Lague of Ignition3, LLC, Larry Little of Marketplace Events Motorcycle Group, Tom McCarthy of Motorcycle Management Consulting Services, Inc., Sarah Schilke of Schuberth North America, Tigra Tsujikawa of Advanstar, and Jayson Wickenkamp of Scorpion Sports, Inc.


American Report Briefs

Motorcycle dealers in the US have the chance to see their customers win a total of nearly $30,000 in gift certificates and other prizes, thanks to the Revive Your Ride! Spring Giveaway promotion, sponsored by the aftermarket members of the Motorcycle Industry Council. The twice-per-year promotion is entirely free for dealers, and free for consumers to participate.

BRP is to build new Can-Am plant in Juarez, Mexico. The 45,000 sq m (500,000 sq ft) facility represents an estimated $55 million Canadian (€37m/US$50m) investment. Manufacturing operations are will begin by the end of 2015, with the project completed by the end of 2017; 900 jobs are expected to be created. BRP already has a facility in Juarez, on the border with the US, and both plants will be geographically close to each other. This will be BRPs third facility in Mexico.

Brembo has celebrated the opening of its expanded North American manufacturing operations at Homer, Michigan, where the company is investing more than $115 million to expand a facility that houses production of brake discs and calipers and assembly module manufacturing. North America will become the number one market for the group by the end of 2014 - last year saw a 19.4 percent increase in US revenue, with a 27.7 percent increase during the first quarter of this year. The growth is due to the 2007 purchase of the Hayes-Lemmerz Automotive Brake Component division, which included the Homer plant, the largest of Brembo's facilities in North America, and substantial growth in its US-based OEM business.

Noted for budget priced mini-bikes and go-karts sold through "big box" retailers in the US, MotoVox is set to start selling higher value, lower-emission super-economical small recreational vehicles through power-sports industry dealerships. Parent company APT (American Performance Technology) is said to have invested $20m at its Kansas City, Missouri facility since 2008, and hopes to score higher margins from a new improved specification, higher performance Pro-Line product range that will include a 150cc on-road production motorcycle - for which they are claiming delivery of between 100 and 150 mpg using patented "SmartCarb" technology.

Suzuki say that strong US sales are being driven by availability of the 2014 V-Strom 1000 ABS and 2014 Burgman 200 ABS, with April sales gains in the standard, touring motorcycle, and utility ATV categories. The company believes it is benefiting from strong race results in the US this spring.

American Sidi boots distributor Motonation is to sell the Sidi casual apparel range retail direct at break-even pricing in order to propagate brand ID and values. The Sidi Casuals range has never been stocked by US dealers.

Black Book editorial director Ricky Beggs has said that used motorcycle prices in the United States increased slightly from March to April, but increased significantly from April to May as auctions saw rising prices and more sales. "Prices are up across the board, and for the first time this year, by fairly large amounts for most segments." Cruisers are up 3 percent month-over-month, split almost evenly between domestic V-twins and metric units. The scooter segment is up 3.2 percent, off-road bikes are up 2.9 percent and street bikes and utility vehicles are each up 2.5 percent. 

PowerSports Business has reported that a new analysis of preliminary state data released by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) suggests that US motorcyclist fatalities are projected to have decreased in 2013, for only the second year since 1997 - by a probable 7 percent.

Harley hire Jim Federico

Harley hire Jim Federico from GM

HARLEY-Davidson has hired former General Motors engineer Jim Federico as its new Vice President of Engineering. Federico had spent nearly 36 years at GM and retired as the company's Executive Director of Global Vehicle Integration in May this year.

Federico has worn many hats during his time at GM, but he has been in the news recently as GM's "champion" of an airbag failure investigation that resulted in a team of GM engineers he was appointed to discovering an ignition switch defect - a fault that has been linked to 13 deaths since 2004, and prompted the recall of more than 2.6 million Chevrolet, Saturn and Pontiac vehicles.

Harley-Davidson spokeswoman Maripat Blankenheim is reported to have told a Milwaukee newspaper that Harley had been talking to Federico “for some time” before the announcement was made.

GM has said that Federico made his own decision to retire from the auto maker, and that the decision was not directly related to the switch issue. GM has recently split its engineering department into two divisions, and John Calabrese, GM Vice President of Global Vehicle Engineering, also retired during the change.

As part of his most recent role as GM’s global director of global vehicle integration, Federico was the lead engineer behind many current products including the Buick Regal/Opel Insignia, Buick Encore/Opel Mokka, Buick LaCrosse and the Chevrolet Cruze, Sonic and Spark.

Zard exhaust

Zard for Triumph Scrambler

ZARD has released Scrambler 900 exhaust options that include fitments for carburettor and fuel injected models in racing, street legal and street legal with cat versions.
There is a high fitting full kit for carburetted models, and ’08-’09 injection models in steel in racing and street legal versions. The muffler weighs just 4.4kg compared to the stock 11.6kg and comes in optional high temperature ceramic finishes (black, white or cream).
Zard claim a 2hp plus power gain with their Cross racing system kit on carb and f. i. models

Zard steel full sport carb and f. i. and removable db-killer race kits also fit the Bonneville
Low mount kit in street legal or race version
Scrambler high mount kit for street or race carb and f. i. models

A low mount kit in street legal (catalyser) or racing versions (for fuel injected and normally aspirated models) has optional laser customising on the muffler body.

Baldichieri d’Asti (AT), ITALY
Tel. +39 0141 659239

Rev'it! Sport

Modular all-year ladies outfit

THE 'Sand' ladies jacket comes fully equipped with specific CE-approved armour for women.
The robust yet very comfortable and figure-hugging outer shell features ample reflective panels and ventilation zippers that are nicely integrated into the design.
Thanks to the jacket's detachable thermal liner and separate waterproof membrane it can be used all-year round.

The adjustment straps allow for a precise fit, and as the straps are also height-adjustable, each rider can adjust it to her own requirements.
The Sand ladies trousers are equipped with knee and hip protectors, a double textile seat and laminated reflection panels. The thermal liner and waterproof membrane can be removed individually to allow the ventilation zippers to do a better job while riding in warm climates. 

Tel. +31 (0)41 269 6757


Replacement Burgman 125 screens from Ermax

FRENCH manufacturer Ermax has two new aftermarket screen options for the 2014 Burgman 125 from Suzuki.
At 70cm tall, the 'High Protection' screen is 7cm higher than stock and offers improved protection. It can be ordered in a choice of four colours and with 16 screen printed designs.

The Ermax 'High Protection' screen is 70cm tall and offers improved hand protection

Ermax’s Sport screen for the Burgman 125 is 50cm high and available in seven colours and 16 screen printed designs.

The Ermax Sport screen for the Burgman 125 is 50cm high and offered in a range of
colourways and screen printed designs

Roquefort la Bedoule, FRANCE
Tel: +33 (0)4 42 73 67 91/92