It’s interesting just how quickly the industry’s “Jungle Telegraph” works. My dealer friends always are the first to know what’s going on, and they seem to think I’m holding out on them when they start beating on me for answers. Case and point, the current Kawasaki/Cabela’s collaboration. Within seconds of the Big Box chain of outdoor retail outlets announcing that it would be carrying Kawasaki ATVs and Mules at select locations, my phone started ringing. Within 20 minutes, my e-mail system started pinging.
They say good news travels fast, but bad news operates at light speed . . . oops, bad analogy, make that warp drive (with my apologies to any offended Trekkies). Truth is, the Jungle Telegraph announcing an unholy alliance with Cabala’s started sounding off a full day before I even caught a glimpse of what was causing the consternation. Even now my friends in low places at big companies are staying well clear of this subject and definitely off the record when it comes to talking about this IED.
Speaking of dropping a bomb on an unsuspecting dealer network, doesn’t anyone at Kawasaki remember all the fall-out from a similar deal with the devil they made with Wal-Mart to market Mules a few years ago? Angry dealers do! Sounds like a sour note to mar the 40th anniversary of the green team that was to be celebrated at their dealer meeting at the close of September.
Curiously, after rolling out the red carpet to the motorsports media for the past couple of years, Kawasaki’s normally effusive PR department has completely clammed up. Repeated requests for comment on the Cabela’s conundrum went unanswered, and most of the media was “uninvited” to the dealer meeting. Even higher up the food chain, Kawasaki management had no comment prior to their dealer meeting.
I haven’t been holding out on my dealer friends, honest. I know nothing more than they do (of course there are those who have been harping that I know nothing about anything, al