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  1. #1 CFMOTO US Scooter Dilemma 
    C-Moto Noob
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    I recently received a comment on our dealership’s status with CFMOTO-US on one of the national scooter forums.

    “I have to ask, WHY did they drop you as a DEALER? There has to be a reason for them to drop you.

    Maybe its because you do not sell enough of them, do they have a quota etc?

    Alleyoop”



    Alleyoop,

    Good question. And the answer is: Your guess is as good as mine!

    Here's a brief recap.

    My business partner stared selling CFMOTO produced scoots in 2006.

    CFMOTO hit the US scooter scene big time in 2007 and 2008. They had 3 150cc machines, the Glory, eCharm, eJewel, the 250cc Fashion, and the V Twins, the V3 and V5. They were trying hard to bring the reputation of a mainland Chinese scooter maker up in stature. Their presence at Dealer Expo in Indianapolis was huge!

    They announced the creation of a new 250, the Jetmax, that was supposed to debut as a 2010 model.

    The original management, Lev Mirman, was replaced by a CEO from China. That is when the promises were made...and broken. We were told that the 250's would become fuel injected and that there would be a introduction of a couple of 650cc motorcycles in the late summer of 2010(I guess they are finally expected this spring). We were told that although the company was going to significantly expand its off-road, atv/utv, lineup, they would in no way forget the dealers that helped them get established.

    2011 proved be a " house cleaning" year. Since no new scooters had been brought in since 2009, CFMOTO-US wanted to "clear-out" the warehouses of all remaining 2009 models. They dropped the price of a 150 scooter to $500 !!! They dropped the 250's to a grand !!
    Talk about a sale! It worked, they were cleaned out by fall 2011.
    So we spent 2011 and into 2012 selling the 2009 models.

    They started 2012 with nothing to sell and product " due in any moment" of course, nothing materialized. They started pushing the ATV line pretty hard. The president of CFMOTO US was recalled to China...and not replaced. They brought in two new guys that had been bounced out of a couple of North American powersports companies. We were sent new dealer contracts to sign. They fired our rep, who had been with them for a number of years. And then complete SILENCE.

    Not a peep throughout most of 2012. No scooters to sell, no V5's no Jetmax's. As for parts, they were able to be ordered online through the dealer page at CFMOTO-US.
    Then one day I try to log on to order some parts....nada...zilch..bupkiss. I figured it must be some computer glitch. The following day I get a call from a customer that says " You guys aren't listed on the dealer locator page anymore."
    Yep. Not a word of warning. Not a letter, no phone call, nothing. So I call and get the new guy's voice mail. Leave numerous messages...never get a return phone call.

    I finally get one of the new management personnel to return my phone call. I ask why we were terminated without so much as the courtesy of a phone call? He says, "I don't know, that not my department"
    When I asked how I'm now supposed to get parts for the hundreds CFMOTO's we've sold; he suggests that I call around and find an existing dealer that might agree to sell us parts.

    Now when I take a good look at the dealer locator page I see that they dumped numerous dealers and that the only ones left are mainly ATV/UTV dealers. I think the closest scooter dealer to me is outside Buffalo, NY some 3 hours away.

    The good news is that with the pull-out of CFMOTO in the scooter market, that prompted us to become a SYM dealer. We are very happy working with SYM and their American distributor, Alliance Powersports.
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  2. #2 Re: CFMOTO US Scooter Dilemma 
    foreign China moto dude bikerdoc's Avatar
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    Zhejiang PRC, OZ, NZ
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    Sorry to read of your experience with CFMoto USA & PRC, which while of little consolation is pretty typical of both this manufacturer and many others from mainland Ch!na. Still it doesn't say much for the ethics and moral ethos of the company, albeit IMO is pretty standard business practice coming out of any mainland Ch!nese company. I've written it before and I'll write it again, I'd not be buying or certainly would refrain from buying wherever and whenever possible any product made in mainland Ch!na or manufactured by a Ch!nese company. My justification for this position is that having seen for the last decade plus, how many Ch!nese industries operate from the inside, with scant regard for customers, end users, employees, the environment or much else for that matter. My attitude helps readjust my moral compass. By exercising my purchasing decision I'm not adding to the less than desirable business practices conducted by many if not most PRC companies.

    I do have a number of Ch!nese manufactured goods, though this is simply a reflection and reality of living and working in the mainland, given availability, affordability and accessibility issues, including issues pertaining to protectionist dogma/mentality still exercised by the CCCP et al. despite supposed WTO fair trade agreements applied to PRC. While one might be lost as to the decision making from the mothership, one often finds there's a real lack of logic or rationale for decisions from many if not all PRC companies, so nothing new in that regard. Still would be nice to understand why these decisions you've outlined have been exercised. But sad to say, such decisions and lack of consultation are par for the course. My warning would be not to enter into any agreement with any PRC company, given that all Ch!nese see contracts as nothing more than sheets of paper and only worth that much.

    Would it be worth pursuing the company for damages pursuant to whatever remedial clauses you are able to exercise per your contract?

    If you get stuck getting access to any parts from the old mother-ship, to serve out your already sold stock of CFMoto products, drop me a message as I've helped a number of private individuals obtain otherwise unobtainable parts from CFMoto Hangzhou.

    Since you have been divorced for whatever reason from CFMoto, and been welcomed by SYM Taiwan, have you looked at the possibility of a dealer agreement/contract with Kymco, which are a more premium brand than SYM IMO?

    Your experience only further supports my supposition about the Ch!nese modus operandi...
    (far from positive).

    YMMV
    Last edited by bikerdoc; 02-04-2014 at 06:39 AM.
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  3. #3  
    C-Moto Regular
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    Bang on Bike Doctor ... This one of 1000 reasons why China will not rule the world in their present state and frame of mind when it comes to business.
    I recently had to get parts for the Honda SilverWing (cosmetic body parts) it was faster and cheaper then Benelli parts from China.
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  4. #4 Re: CFMOTO US Scooter Dilemma 
    Danger, Will Robinson! Lao Jia Hou's Avatar
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    I'll share an experience I had in 2013 with the Chinese motorcycling industry.

    Just a few blocks from my home in central Beijing is the main office of the (loosely translated) "China Motorcycle Advocacy Group." Wow! Really? I had to find out more.

    Well, it is a fancy office, with lots of suited-up people. Hmmm ... I wonder what they do?

    Apparently, this "Group" is government-funded, and is charged with providing advice to government re administrative policies for government. Damn - I thought I'd hit the jackpot!

    Oh, wait a minute ... not one of the Group's advisory members actually rides a motorcycle - not now, not ever. Apparently, the members received this perk posting (with honorariums) because of personal guanxi. There seems to be very little interest in actual motorcycling. When I discussed my "finding" with some respected motorcycle dealers in Beijing, they all laughed and said "yeah, those guys hate motorcycles." Sigh.

    Is it any wonder that one area of huge growth among China's recreational riders is to LEAVE China (as outbound tourists) and ride overseas?
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