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February 22/98 23:17 pm - Industry News, BC Track


Posted by Editor on 02/22/98
 

Rover DNFs Canadian road pro Steve Rover, a rider with the Mutuelle de Seine et Marne team was not listed among the finishers for todays Haribo Classic road race. HYDE ATHLETIC BUYS MERLIN (story courtesy Coffrin Group) Merlin Metalworks, a USA producer of high-end titanium frames since 1986, has been sold to Hyde Athletic Industries (Nasdaq: HYDEA & HYDEB). Hyde also owns Quintana Roo, a producer of triathlon bikes and wetsuits it purchased in 1996. Dan Empfield, founder of Quintana Roo, has been named President of Hyde's bike division. Merlin's General Manager, Federico Larco, will continue with the company. Hyde markets athletic shoes under the Saucony and Spot-bilt brands and clothing under the Saucony, Dave Scott, and Hind brands. COFFRIN GROUP ANALYSIS. The industry can expect the Merlin brand name to be used on new products, including some products at least a bit down-scale from current offerings. And, we expect to see a new emphasis on out-sourcing. Hyde brings some much needed financial muscle to Merlin. We expect Hyde to be successful in efforts to grow the Merlin name, a brand that has much greater and more international strength than Quintana Roo. The question facing Hyde after the acquisition is how do they make money with the brand. Increasing sales with such as strong name will be easier than increasing profits. EX-GM CHAIRMAN JOINS IACOCCA (story courtesy Coffrin Group) Robert Stempel, former General Motors chairman, has joined Lee Iacocca at EV Global Motors. Stempel, 64, is chairman of Energy Conversion Devices, a Michigan company that is developing new battery designs for electric vehicles. Iacocca, 73, is founder and chairman of EV Global Motors. EV Global will introduce its first electric bike (e-bike) in August. Iacocca has said the company eventually will enter the electric car field. Lee Iacocca, the man who brought Chrysler back from the brink of bankruptcy in the early 1980‚s, started efforts in 1997 to gain publicity and capital for EV Global. The company is said to have raised US$20 million before the investment from Stempel‚s company. EV Global‚s corporate partners already include Giant Manufacturing (to build the e-bike frame), Unique Mobility (to supply the electric drive train), and Millennium Financial Group. COFFRIN GROUP ANALYSIS Never has the bike industry had a spokesman with the power and credibility of Lee Iacocca. Iacocca‚s ability to get press coverage can certainly help gain both publicity and legitimacy for the e-bike industry in the USA. If anybody understands that advocacy is needed to help an industry to grow, it is automotive industry veterans like Iacocca. His company may give a significant boost to advocacy efforts to gain safe places to ride bicycles and e-bikes that have a limited top-end speed. (Let‚s hope EV Global joins and helps strengthen the bicycle industry‚s promotional and advocacy organizations.) Is there a potential downside to EV Global‚s entrance into the electric bicycle industry? With an aggressive first year sales forecast of 50,000 and a second-year forecast of 100,000 e-bikes, EV Global could overspend trying to build sales volumes that are not obtainable so quickly. Every e-bike company predicts large growth on a percentage basis. However, the USA base to grow upon is sales of about 3,000 e-bikes in 1997. If EV Global overspends chasing sales that are not yet available, it could damage consumer and retailer perceptions about the viability of the e-bike market. If EV Global has thousands of obsolete models that must be dumped at year end, it puts the squeeze on competitors who do not have the resources of EV Global. EV Global, with its financial muscle and Iacocca‚s PR capabilities, has the potential to open up the USA market for e-bikes. And, EVG‚s mistakes could cause damage to the USA market. Wednesday Night League, Burnaby Indoor Velodrome (courtesy Chester Lam) February 18, 1998. Group A: 1. 30-lap scratch race 1st - Tim Kilcullen (8:20.05, 13.23) 2nd - Louis Bernhart 3rd - Lido Crema 2. Devil 1st - Tim Kilcullen 2nd - Chester Lam 3rd - Lido Crema 3. 10-lap scratch 1st - Randy Cunningham (+1 lap) 2nd - Keith Bruneau 3rd - Tim Kilcullen 4. 40-lap points race, every 5 laps, 3,2,1, double on final lap 1st - Tim Kilcullen (19 pts, won final sprint) (11:22.94) 2nd - Chester Lam (19 pts) 3rd - Lido Crema (11 pts) Group B: 1. 20-lap scratch race 1st - David Fayram (5:58.72) 2nd - Paul Manson 3rd - Craig Hanna 2. Devil 1st - Paul Manson 2nd - David Fayram 3rd - Craig Hanna 3. Sprints 1st - David Fayram 2nd - Craig Hanna 3rd - Chris McKay 4. 10-lap scratch 1st - David Fayram (14.25) 2nd - Craig Hanna 3rd - Chris McKay Overal Standings: Group A 1. Murray Solem 10 pts Tim Kilcullen 10 pts 2. Randy Cunningham 8 pts 3. Lido Crema 6 pts Chester Lam 6 pts 5. Paul Henderson 4 pts Keith Bruneau 4 pts 6. Louis Bernhart 2 pts Alain Boucher 2 pts Jim Moore 2 pts Group B 1. David Fayram. 14 pts 2. Paul Manson 8 pts 3. Craig Hanna 6 pts 4. Ken Cunningham 5 pts Chris Mckay 5 pts 5. Ian Manson 1 pt

 


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