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What’s That Sound? The Panama Connection & What’s Fit for Print

“Jump back, what’s that sound?” Cue Van Halen’s Panama… I recently had the opportunity to travel to Panama, filling in for someone on another Babcox magazine title at the Latin Auto Parts Expo.

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[dropcap]“J[/dropcap]ump back, what’s that sound?” Cue Van Halen’s Panama… I recently had the opportunity to travel to Panama, filling in for someone on another Babcox magazine title at the Latin Auto Parts Expo. I probably wouldn’t mention this to you except for the fact that I visited the Panama Canal while I was there. It dawned on me just how interconnected economically, socially and culturally we are because of this man-made wonder.

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RA_2015-06-19-13.26.37How many parts do you stock that have traveled through the canal? You may not realize it exactly, but chances are it’s a pretty high number. Look for this number to increase exponentially! In 2016, Panama will be expanding the canal to handle super cargo ships. The current plan is for two new flights of locks to be built parallel to and operated in addition to the old locks.≈

This will enable the shipment of even more goods and products for our industries. I use the plural form of industry because it doesn’t matter whether it is auto parts, powersports or any other industry in America.

These super cargo ships will be able to carry 30 percent more capacity from the far reaches of China and the Pacific Rim. The question is: are we ready to handle it all?

On another note, we have received word that one of our competitors, Dealernews, printed its last issue in June. The statement released on its website said that it will continue to publish online, but will produce only two printed editions a year.

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Now we are not going to argue with their decision, but it does make you wonder what is happening to our industry. To paraphrase former presidential candidate Ross Perot: “What’s that giant sucking sound?”

We will not go into the digital abyss… at least not any time soon. We remain fully committed to the concept of print, as you can see from this issue of MPN in your hands. We have surveyed the readership repeatedly and have listened to the dealers over the years: you are telling us you want print! So print it is
for now.

However, we also recognize that digital has its place, so we are continuing to build MotorcyclePowersportsNews.com to better serve your digital needs as well. We have even embraced digital editions of the magazine. We also know that many of our readers are dealer principals and managers of a certain age, who grew up with newspapers and magazines and continue to read them. And that is just fine by us. We are there, too.

We are all busy and have too much going on, so a magazine sometimes sits on a pile, but you also read our emails and look at our social media. Those interactions with you may remind you that there’s a great article sitting on your desk somewhere and that now is the time to read it and get the information you need to help grow your business.

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We get it, and we’re right there with you, whichever format you prefer. Who knows what the landscape will be like in the years to come. Now back to Van Halen!

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