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Top executives of Irbit Motorcycle Works speak on EICMA 2012 and upcoming changes in Ural bikes | 4 comment(s)

Top executives of Irbit Motorcycle Works speak on EICMA 2012 and upcoming changes in Ural bikes

In an exclusive interview, General Director of Irbit Motorcycle Works (IMZ) Ilya Khait shares his impressions from the International Motorcycle Exhibition EICMA 2012 with Motonews.ru, and IMZ Executive Director Vladimir Kurmachev fills us in on what lies ahead for Russian Ural motorcycles in 2013.

Ilya, could you share your impressions from the International Motorcycle Exhibition EICMA 2012? Did it meet your expectations? What did you like most about it, or what actually came as the biggest surprise?
I was really impressed by the BMW stand. The uncontested leader in the industry, BMW once again reaffirmed its dominant position in Milan.
Also, I really like what Honda is doing in the segment of bikes with small and medium cubic capacity. And the Ducati stand was quite exciting, too.
As far as most other producers go, their lack of imagination was a very unpleasant surprise for me. For instance, almost everyone now has Dual Sport models. Although it really seems to be almost the only motorcycle segment that is still showing signs of life, that is to say, the only segment that has still been expanding, there is clearly not enough room there for a dozen producers. Similarly, the Classic bike niche is on the rise again, and so everyone rushed to fill it. Generally speaking, I got a very strong impression that our industry can do without two or three producers: They have become so alike that the market would never even notice if they’d dropped out.

Revaz Magalashvili on Tissot's latest promo activity in Russia | 4 comment(s)

Revaz Magalashvili on Tissot's latest promo activity in Russia

Tissot’s brand manager, Revaz Magalashvili, shared his impressions from the Russian WSBK round and filled Motonews.ru in on the Swiss brand’s latest promotional activity in Russia.

“This past August was really one of the most important months in 2012 for the brand in terms of big event sponsorships. Throughout the year, we proactively advertised our cooperation with World Superbike, we organized our own motorcycling events and participated in events staged by our partners.
The campaign reached its peak on August 26, when an SBK round was held in Russia for the first time. Tissot sponsored a fan zone in the Superbike Village, featuring a watch exhibition open for all visitors throughout the SBK weekend, competitions, exciting shows, and a performance by the rock band Lyapis Trubetskoy.
It was especially rewarding since all fan zone guests showed interest in Tissot watches, and we are already seeing a rise in sales.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank, on behalf of our company, everyone involved in organizing the WSBK round. The event was really up to the best international standards! We were also very delighted to see our brand’s friend, Yakhnich Motorsport rider Vladimir Leonov, win third place. We sincerely congratulate Vladimir on his medal, and wish him more glorious victories in the future!
As soon as the Moscow Superbike round was over, our stand relocated to the Moscow International Automobile Salon. This year, we presented our exposition in partnership with Chrysler Group LLC (Fiat, Jeep, Chrysler brands). Our stand featured Tissot’s sports collections dedicated to car and motorcycle sports. Several times a day during the Salon week, Tissot presented a unique show bringing together the Tissot, Fiat, Jeep, and Chrysler brands, and showing how to really make the moment last… Vladimir Leonov even paid a visit to our stand as an honorary guest.”

Ilya Hait: Ural bikes yet to reach sales potential | 4 comment(s)

Ilya Hait: Ural bikes yet to reach sales potential

General Director of Irbit Motorcycle Works (IMZ) Ilya Hait filled Motonews.ru in on where the producer of Russian Ural motorcycles currently stands.

Irbit Motorcycle Works has reported strong sales of Ural motorcycles in the United States. So, for the record, just how many motorcycles did you sell in the United States in 2011? And how many did you produce in 2011 in total?
In 2011, we sold 496 bikes in the States. In total, the plant produced 900 motorcycles in 2011, the bulk of them being sidecar motorcycles.
I expect to hear comments about the numbers being fairly modest, so I’d like to point out a few things right from the outset.
First, very few producers, even well-known brands, have so far managed to sell such a number of bikes in the U.S. Ural, for one, has outsold such famous motorcycles as Moto Guzzi and Aprilia.
Second, not only is the U.S. motorcycle market very competitive, it is also going through some rough times. Compared with peak sales, the market almost halved, and it has been at its low for the past two years. Against this gloomy backdrop, Ural sales climbed back almost to their pre-crisis levels, which didn’t pan out for many other producers.
Third, it’s also very important to bear in mind that Ural operates in a very narrow niche of sidecar motorcycles. The culture of sidecar motorcycles has been virtually extinct in western countries for decades now, and what Ural is doing is essentially restoring a whole segment of the motorcycle market. The task is extremely difficult, but we are dealing with it gradually, one step at a time.

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