Posts Tagged ‘S&S’

S&S Cycle celebrated its 50 year anniversary in June.  Sadly the company announced this week that it would “release” 60 employees through a combination of voluntary separation and layoffs, most of which were made at the engine company’s plant in Viola, Wis., but a couple positions were eliminated at the La Crosse, Wis., location too.  Two weeks ago the company offered up voluntary separation packages that 33 employees accepted, but even that couldn’t stop the decline. 

Much has been written of late on the motorcycle parts business, it’s health and the difficulties facing aftermarket manufactures and their distribution networks.  Clearly motorcycle sales are down and the reduced discretionary spending on parts has Drag Specialties, Bikers Choice, and Custom Chrome all singing the blues while more consumers head to the internet for bargains.  I wonder if it’s really lack of sales or a  deeper industry problem caused by lack of differentiation?  Pick up any parts catalog and everything looks similar with price and availability being the main difference. 

S&S started out with one goal in mind, the vision of founder George Smith-to make all motorcycles go faster.  With that mantra in mind the second and third generations of Smith family have steered the company as a leader in high-performance v-twin components and engines.  The S&S core business of bolt-on, high-performance motors remains strong, but with the bankruptcy asset sale of Global Motorsport Group to Dae-Li USA (a Korean group) and makers of RevTech engines I wonder if this is an early prediction of aftermarket directions?  Nace Panzica (founder of Custom Chrome) is the president of Dae-Li USA.

It’s all about the bottom line numbers…and the register is not ringing.

Register photo courtesy of Flickr/Zizzy.

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