I write stuff. A lot of it is about cars and motorcycles.

Manufacturers

Pierre Terblanche moves to Norton

Ducati’s Pierre Terblanche, designer of the beautiful Ducati Supermoto, is moving to Norton Motorcycles in the UK to design bikes.  Since Norton currently produces only the 961 Commando, I think we can assume that the reborn British maker has some other models in the works.  If I was… Continue reading

Speaking of Honda…

…A&R reports that:

Honda Motor Co. is all set to unload a choice piece of property in Kern County this year (Southern California residents should find this statement funny), as the company has put up for sale the Honda Proving Center of California (HPCC). Consisting of a total of… Continue reading

JD Power Motorcycle Competitive Information Study

JD Power released their Competitive Information Study on motorcycles today.  Among the highlights is this:

The population of motorcycle buyers is aging, with the average rider age increasing from 40 to 49 years since 2001—an indication that many owners may soon exit the market. Additionally, the percentage of first-time buyers has declined for a second consecutive year, making it more critical now than ever for manufacturers to focus on attracting new customers.

So, motorcyclists are getting older every year, and new entrants to the sport are down for the last two years.  These are bad trends for the industry as a whole, of course.

The key for manufacturers and dealers is to deliver on the best customer service practices they can.  For the manufacturers, this means a laser-like focus on build quality, and delivering a solidly reliable product.  For the dealers, pro-active communication with customers, and quality service are key.  Missing out on any one of these seems to have a sharply negative effect on customer satisfaction, and on the chances of return business. Manufacturers and their dealers really do have to work hand in hand–now more than ever–to ensure a seamless and satisfying customer experience.

Those that don’t may find that surviving the current economic doldrums increasingly difficult.

The full JD Power press release is below the fold.

Continue reading

Harley stays in Wisconsin

I guess the tough talk about scouting for new production locations worked.

Unions at Harley-Davidson Wisconsin factories have agreed to seven-year labor agreements that will keep the company’s production operations in The Motor Company’s home state. The new labor contracts, which call for a reduced workforce, will take effect… Continue reading

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