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  1. #1 Benelli returns to U.S.A. market 
    foreign China moto dude bikerdoc's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
    Zhejiang PRC, OZ, NZ

    SSR Motorsports, distributor and designers of SSR branded pit bikes, off-road bikes, scooters and ATVs, has been designated the official distributor of Benelli motorcycles and Keeway scooters in the US, by the Qinjiang Group, of Wenling, China.

    SSR Motorsports was established in 2002 with the idea of providing a quality product at a reasonable price. They began by focusing their efforts on small displacement, off-road pit bikes and later, ATVs and buggies. In 2006 scooters were added, and most recently side by sides. Current two wheel offerings range from 50cc pit bikes, to full-sized 250cc and 450cc dirt bikes, along with a 250cc dual-sport model.

    Co-founders William and Dennis Li, initially established their own factory in China to assure quality control and to protect their intellectual property. By 2008, economics dictated they partner with another manufacturer, and they closed their facility. To continue their high standards of quality control, they maintain their quality control people at the new site.

    Benelli, has a current line of eight street motorcycles ranging from 250ccs to 1130ccs, and one to four cylinders. In addition they offer five scooter models with displacements of 50cc to 350ccs. Initially SSR Motorsports will import and distribute the BN302, 300cc twin, and the BN600i, 600cc, four, with MSRPs of $3,999, and $6,999 respectively, with other bikes to follow. On the Keeway side, they will be importing the Logik 150, and Silverblade 250. (Note: The Silverblade 250 scooter is under the QJ Benelli brand here in PRC).

    SSR’s approach to sales is a bit different than most distributors, in that there are no field sales reps, all business between potential dealers and the distributor are handled either through the internet or via telephone.

    Long-time industry veteran, Mel Harris, formerly chief marketing and sales executive for Suzuki, is heading up sales and recruitment. According to Harris, the plan is to establish the brand with the smaller displacement bikes, and then bring the larger bikes to the market as a network is established. He noted that margins are generous, all bikes come with a 12-month warranty, and that the line can be a good fill-in for existing Suzuki (and I presume other brand) dealers.

    SSR Motorsports distributing’s floor plan financing is through GE. In addition, consumer financing is available via NeXtep consumer lending. Dealers currently using Capital One can also use it with Benelli, with their reps OK.

    Models are expected to start arriving in the US by the end of October, and dealership applications can be applied for on-line, at ssrmotorsports.

    Publish Date: Aug 7, 2015
    By: Mike Vaughan
    Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist
    - Pablo Picasso
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  2. #2 Re: Benelli returns to U.S.A. market 
    Senior C-Moto Guru MJH's Avatar
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    May 2010
    Mell Harris left Suzuki in 2009, that was part of a restructuring and his position there was replaced with three individuals. It came with an influx of new people district sales managers and regional sales managers. It also brought a new head to the Suzuki Powersports Group. That was likely due to the losses at Suzuki, their auto sales peaked in 2007 at 100k and fell to 40k by 2011, and they shut down in 2012 and no longer sell autos in the USA.
    They shut down the autos sales and reorganized powersports.
    SSR has more than one OEM, they source from at least two or three different factories in China. So it’s still the same scenario, technical support and operational management is weak. Putting aggressive sales on top of that is recipe for failure.
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