Are Taiwanese scooter dealers leaving the U.S.?

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by JerryH, Dec 21, 2017.

  1. tortoise2

    tortoise2 Been here awhile

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    Related blog article.
    #21
  2. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scooter Pilot

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    That blog post references the MIC (Motorcycle Industry Council), which gets figures from the Japanese, Italian, and US motorcycle manufacturers, but not the Taiwanese or Chinese scooter/motorcycle manufacturers (unless I'm getting old information). I think the last banner year for scooters was 2008, when many dealers couldn't get enough scooters to sell... and then scooter sales tanked in 2009, off about 65% from the 2008 sales. Down another 10 - 15% in 2010, before starting a gradual (small) increase after that. I am getting that info from an interview with Phil McCaleb (owner at the time of Scooterworks and Genuine Scooters) on JustGottaScoot. For the record, it seems to me that Genuine lost a valuable asset when they ran off McCaleb around 2013.
    #22
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  3. JerryH

    JerryH internal combustion rider

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    High sales in 2008 seems strange. I bought 3 used bikes in 2008, for way less than they were worth. That was the time of the great recession, and many people were out of work, and selling off things to make their house payments or rent. But playthings weren't selling. Fortunately I had a good job, and was able to take advantage of some of the great deals on Craigslist.

    Philip McCaleb was the founder of Genuine Scooters, originally established to import the LML Star (under the Stella name) from India. Then they came up with the Buddy, a real winner, and a few other models that didn't do so well. The company would likely still be doing well if Philip McCaleb was running it.

    I suspect that scooter and motorcycle sales are down due to a general lack of interest in motor vehicles. Sales of enthusiast type cars are also way down, people are buying four door front wheel drive taxicabs and four door pickups, choosing utility over fun.

    Strangely, expensive utility vehicles like Mercedes and BMW are selling well, even though they depreciate like crazy. New Harley sales are down, which is not surprising, because Harley dealers refuse to deal, believing their product is worth more than it really is.

    Also, the used market is flooded with just about any type of vehicle you could want, for substantially less than new.
    #23
  4. Onederer

    Onederer Crunch Nugget

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    They're cheap enough, that if it last's a couple years or daily riding, you'll still be able to get a few hundred or more when you sell it. Do the math as how much it cost a month over 24 months. That's dang cheap. It's hard to loose as most of them will last at least that long if taken care of and maintained by someone competent.
    #24
  5. gogogordy

    gogogordy Long timer

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    I agree wholeheartedly. Phil is both a gentleman, and a visionary, as well a passionate scooterist. The scooter community isnt the same without him doing his thing for it.
    #25
  6. Onederer

    Onederer Crunch Nugget

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  7. JerryH

    JerryH internal combustion rider

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    How is Zenen quality compared to the average Chinese scooter. I would be interested in a 150cc model. I found several that can be ordered online, some as low as $1300, with free shipping. This would be a good scooter to actually try commuting on, since it is not valuable. No way would I leave my like new Vespa GT200 or Stella in a parking lot. Of course, commuting around here would be only 5-6 months a year, even the most expensive scooter does not have a/c. I could buy a cheap helmet that stayed with the scooter, instead of using my nice one. I do not wear "gear" unless it is super cold, and that rarely happens locally. So it would be just throw on the helmet, hop on the scooter, and go.
    #27
  8. tortoise2

    tortoise2 Been here awhile

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  9. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer

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    There are a couple of Roketa 150s that came with us on a local scooter club ride and with the wind they had trouble maintaining 35mph. They kept complaining that the Buddy 125s were going to fast and leaving them behind. The Buddy and other scooter riders were disgusted since they could go the prayer special limit of 60mph despite the wind. I have to admit to being a bad group rider and leaving the group after the first stop because I couldn't stand going so far below the speed limit or listen to their bitching. Besides it was a lovely curvy country road perfect at the listed speed (or higher).
    #29
  10. JerryH

    JerryH internal combustion rider

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    The CPI Oliver has been around a LONG time. I remember buying a new Tomos moped from a local scooter back in 2000, and they had an Oliver on the floor. I'm not sure of it's quality. Seems the Genuine Roughhouse or Buddy 50 might be better quality. No local dealers and they don't ship.

    My Vespa GT200 will handle curvy mountain roads well above the posted speed limits. It seems a bit ridiculous to have to worry about getting a speeding ticket on a scooter anywhere but a school zone. My Vino 125 would barely move going uphill, and it made all kinds of horrible noises. The Vespa is smooth and quiet.

    I know a Chinese 150 is slow, but I don't ride in groups. I'm more concerned about it being able to go maybe 150 miles without breaking down if not ridden at full throttle, and being able to keep up with traffic in town. Even my Vino 125 would keep up with city traffic, as long as it was on a level road. My only use for a 50cc would be riding out in the country. But at least you can still get a few 50cc two strokes.
    #30
  11. Tromper

    Tromper Sagaciously Annoying

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    Heck Jerry, the GY6 knock offs are probably 'bout what you'd enjoy. All kinds of aftermarket parts. If gone through properly and maintained properly they do OK. Ya can even customize 'em readily, I've even seen a four valve head knocking around that seems to mostly fit.
    #31
  12. Steve_h

    Steve_h Been here awhile

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    I don't think Kymco is getting out of the US. Our local conglomerate, big showroom, dealer just started carrying them.

    They are big time rip off artists though so I won't be buying from them. They price everything well above MSRP in March and it stays that way until late November when they mark down to MSRP. They don't deal.You pay their price or leave. That's what happens when you have a monopoly in a town. Only other new motorcycle dealer IS HD. These people have all the Jap names. Their service department prices are just as bad.
    #32
  13. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scooter Pilot

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    #33
  14. JerryH

    JerryH internal combustion rider

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    I found that. Accidentally on Craigslist. I was looking at the dealer ads, and there it was. It's in the south part of town, in an area I try to avoid. But I went down there and found it. It's in an old run down building that was vacant for a long time. Of course that doesn't affect the scooters. Looks like pretty good prices. But I'm not in the market for a scooter. My Vespa will probably last the rest of my life, and if/when the Stella blows up, I'm going to put a well built Vespa engine in it.
    #34
  15. Scooterwolf

    Scooterwolf Been here awhile

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    My first scooter was a Kymco and I was able to negotiate a lower price with my dealer. With my second bike I pretty much got it at MSRP. From what I’ve seen essentially all dealers have slightly higher sticker prices. I took that into consideration when I saved up for the bike I wanted and had a price that was acceptable and a figure I would not go above. I wanted a new bike, with a warranty and no prior problems or defects, so I saved for what I wanted.

    - Wolf
    #35
  16. ToChallengeTheSun

    ToChallengeTheSun Stayin' Alive

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    Local dealer of Kymco here in South Florida is making the most massive killing selling every type of Kymco you can imagine. I doubt he's giving up soon. Dude has become a millionaire through his dealer.

    Then again, Boca Raton is definitely a college town.
    #36
  17. AMAC1680

    AMAC1680 Outdoorsman, advocate, paraplegic

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    The guy at the top of the state is doing the same in multiple locations.
    It’s about geography. Well and the fact that scooters are seen as transportation in some places as opposed to toys.

    AMAC
    #37
  18. Steve_h

    Steve_h Been here awhile

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    I know this thread has sat for a while but just wanted to jump in and say that I ran into somebody from Kymco's national headquarters the other day and he said they have no intention of leaving the US. Their national hq is just on the other side of town from me.
    #38
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  19. AMAC1680

    AMAC1680 Outdoorsman, advocate, paraplegic

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