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Changing Lanes

Imz-Ural Ramps Up Global Sales Strategy with New Dealer Services, Marketing & Distribution Structure

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Josh Kane Named U.S. Director of Sales & Dealer Services

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IMZ-Ural, the Redmond, Wash.-based owner of Ural Russian sidecar motorcycles made in Siberia, this month deeply invested in its dealer base and marketing programs by naming Josh Kane as U.S. Director of Sales & Dealer Services, and hiring Hayter Communications as its public relations agency of record.

Josh Kane

Josh Kane

In his newly-created position, Kane will be responsible for growing Ural’s dealer base nationwide and ensuring current dealers are educated with the latest tools for selling the unique Ural designs in the changing motorcycle market. Kane is a long-time motorcycle industry veteran and most recently served as Pacific Northwest Regional Sales Manager and Technical Services Manager at Piaggio Group Americas where he worked with the Piaggio, Vespa, Aprilia, Moto Guzzi and Derbi brands. As head of sales and dealer services with Ural, he intends to maximize dealer relationships by building a top-tier customer service program and establishing new dealer relationships in key markets.

While Ural has traditionally been popular with older, military-inspired riders, the brand demographic is changing with an appeal to younger, tech-savvy, active lifestyle consumers who like the bikes’ features such as sidecar trunk space and reverse gearing making it ideal for urban environments, according to Kane.

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“There is unlimited potential for Ural to grow throughout the U.S. in the coming years yet the brand is still, surprisingly, operating under the radar,” Kane said. “Every time we take one out on the road, we have an opportunity to sell one due to its unique sidecar design, 2WD drive capabilities, history and classic looks. Consumers love the product for pursuing adventures or for getting the family around town. The bikes are practical, easy to ride and park, and have a cool factor beyond just about any other ride.” 

In addition to the new internal director position, Ural has named Seattle-based Hayter Comm as its public relations agency of record to amplify the brand through earned media placements. Hayter is one of the nation’s leading adventure-lifestyle PR firms representing global outdoor, winter sports and tech brands that appeal to well-traveled, active and trend-conscious consumers. Hayter will handle all trade, dealer and consumer editorial outreach.

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To further expand its global sales, IMZ-Ural has exited its long-time distributor business model in Australia and Japan and directly taken over distribution in those markets.

“Ural has been an anomaly in the motorcycle world for a generation yet now there is more interest than ever in the brand,” said Ilya Khait, President & CEO of IMZ-Ural. “The investments we’re making today are creating a structure that will support growth and longevity for the brand as more dealers come on board and different types of consumers discover the benefits and fun of riding our sidecar designs.” 

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For more information, visit IMZ-Ural.com.

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