imports

Four generations of a family in motorcycle sales

by Julie Perine from https://www.connect-bridgeport.com Those who were into the Suzuki GT750 might remember Leeson’s Import Motors moving into its West Main Street storefront. That was in 1970, but the history of the family-owned retailer dates back much further. It all started in the 1930s when Paul Leeson started a motorcycle shop out of his house on James Street, selling Harley Davidson and Triumph bikes. During the ‘40s, the shop was relocated to Route 50 in Adamston, operating into the ‘50s when Leeson retired. “Our grandfather loved motorcycles and it is just in our blood,” said Shawna Merrill, current sales manager. “Once you have ridden a motorcycle, it gives you such a sense of freedom. There is nothing else that makes you feel the way you do when you are riding.” In 1968, Leeson’s daughter Janice and her husband Sam reopened the shop, then called Clarksburg Suzuki Sales. Just two years later, Leeson Import Motors came full circle when it returned to Bridgeport. Four generations and many members of the Leeson family have been part of the operation which today carries a variety of power sports vehicles and accessories. “We sell Suzuki motorcycles and ATVs, Kawasaki Motorcycles, ATVs and side-by-sides, Kymco scooters, ATVs and side-by-sides, Arctic Cat ATVs and side-by-sides and SSR Pit bikes, off-road motorcycles, youth electric ATVs and side-by-sides,” Merrill said. “We are a full-service dealership, offering sales, parts and service.” Through the years, there have been definite trends and sought-after vehicles. The Suzuki T20 and RM370 of the late-1960s and ‘70s gave way to the Kawasaki 900 Eliminator of the ‘80s. That decade also featured Suzuki’s buy-out of the GSXRs and, of course, the ATV era as Suzuki introduced the Quad Runner 125 and 185. “In the 1990s, ATVs and motorcycles got bigger and faster,” Merrill said. […]

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Royal Enfield withdraws from Japan until new importer takes charge

by Abhinand Venugopal from https://www.rushlane.com Royal Enfield’s Japan operations were carried out by the importer, Wingfoot Chennai-based motorcycle manufacturer Royal Enfield operates in more than 50 countries across the globe. The automaker has a huge fan following in many parts of the world, especially for its single-cylinder ‘Classic 350’ model. In India, the company has updated most of its products to BS6 specifications while readying to launch the next-gen ‘UCE 350’ models, starting with the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 (which replaces the Thunderbird range). Wingfoot Co. Ltd., Royal Enfield’s official importer in Japan has announced a business termination with the British-origin motorcycle manufacturer. The official statement stated that it has “finished all business related to the import and export of Indian-made Royal Enfield motorcycles” after ending the contract with Eicher Motors — the parent company of Royal Enfield. In other words, Royal Enfield has temporarily withdrawn from the Japanese market until a new importer takes charge. Royal Enfield Japan’s official website will be taken down by the end of this month while its social media handles will be deleted on May 15. In a matter of days, Eicher Motors might announce a new partner to commence operations in Japan. Royal Enfield has not been a strong player in Japan since the country has its own compelling alternatives from the likes of Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki and Kawasaki. Even in India, Japanese two-wheeler brands often come at the top of monthly sales charts while Royal Enfield mostly remains at the bottom of the top 10. However, it is no secret that India is a volume-sale market and six-digit numbers need not always tell the story of a brand’s success or struggles. As mentioned before, Royal Enfield has already made a smooth transition to BS6 emission norms. In the process, the company has

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