The sold-out 2023 AIMExpo show floor opened Wednesday morning with nearly 330 exhibitors presenting thousands of parts and accessories; the latest riding gear; and new motorcycles, ATVs and side-by-sides that will fill dealerships this spring and summer, according to a press release.
The Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) board of directors and MIC President and CEO Erik Pritchard soon went on the main stage for the first of nine Disruptive Thinking: MIC Symposium sessions to be spread over three days. They provided their insights on the state of the powersports industry, the year ahead, market expansion and what dealers can do to retain customers gained during the pandemic, and win over new ones.
“I think for me the message is that we have to really embrace what we did prior to 2020, and that’s making sure the customer is special,” said Bill Jenkins, senior vice president sales and operations of Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. “We know, and you know, that during COVID, supply was very limited and you could say ‘take it or leave it.’ Those times are changing quickly. We are back into pre-COVID times right now. So, you need to prepare yourself and your staff to readjust to that climate.”
“Most of us have changed to some degree as consumers,” said Derek Brooks, motorcycle product line manager of Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. “How we consume entertainment, how we consume information, how we recreate. If we’re not considering how they are engaging in something entertaining, I think we’re missing the point. I think we really have to understand … the ease that there is to get entertainment. Everything seems to be much more easily obtainable. We have to have that mindset. It’s up to us to provide that ease of access to not just returning riders but especially these newer riders, make it as easy as possible for them to adopt powersports, motorsports, into their lifestyle.”
David Savlowitz and Michael Ponton of Competitive Analytics then took the stage to talk about the importance of having a well-stocked data toolkit for market monitoring.
“This session empowered attendees with powerful data visualization tools to decipher what is really going on inside a very complex economy and enigmatic motorcycle industry, as well as gain valuable insight into when conditions could improve or downshift,” said Savlowitz, the firm’s CEO and founder. “We wanted the audience to leave this session understanding how to interpret key economic and industry indicators and which strategies should be driven by predictive analytics.”
Also included on the Wednesday education schedule: a third Disruptive Thinking: MIC Symposium session, with Jared Burt of Herohub talking about making customers the hero of your dealership story; the keynote address from NHRA superstar Angelle Sampey; plus the 6 p.m. AIMExpo Industry Party powered by Tucker.
KTM, Moto Morini, Suzuki and More Brands Shine Spotlights on New Products
Live and in-person, several powersports companies, a number of famed motorcycle brands and two e-bike makers on the move presented their latest offerings on Wednesday at AIMExpo as the show’s New Product Central was getting its debut on the convention center floor.
KTM went first, at its own AIMExpo booth, highlighting its new models for 2023. For the inaugural presentations on the New Product Central stage — near the South Hall upper level main entrance — EyeLights delivered a show-and-tell about its new in-helmet head-up display, and Moto Morini introduced its new motorcycle lineup and plans for the U.S. market.
Suzuki also rolled out its brand-new GSX-8S and V-STROM 800DE line. Greenger, QuietKat and UBCO spotlit new electric two-wheelers on AIMExpo’s opening day. Answer, Atturo, DragonFire, ProTaper, Twin Power and ZiiDMS further built on Wednesday’s busy schedule.
For all three days at AIMExpo, New Product Central will feature a series of brands showing and talking about their latest products with special host Kevin Dunworth, award-winning bike builder and innovation leader. The presentations are open to all AIMExpo attendees.