2009 Husqvarna Dealer Meeting highlights
Husqvarna Motorcycles North America picked the bright lights of Las Vegas to showcase their 2009 Dealer Meeting, show off the 2010 model line-up and to recognize some local off-road racing legends. "Husqvarna first came to America to race more than four decades ago," says Husqvarna National Sales & Marketing Manager, Scot Harden. "Now we are ready to race ahead again in 2010, so what better way to showcase our newest products and recognize our hero dealers than at an event like Endurocross?"
Themed "Racing Ahead" the dealer meeting was a combination business and pleasure. First Husqvarna treated their dealers to an exclusive track walk with Ty Davis at The Orleans Arena track and VIP seating for the evening’s Endurocross season opener. However, despite being based in the gaming capital of the world, it was all business for the dealers come Sunday morning.
"Husqvarna used the excitement of the Endurocross race as the focal point for our national dealer convention, and we are counting on the Husqvarna motorcycle brand as a sure bet," explains Husqvarna Motorcycles North America President Mark Brady.
"Today Husqvarna enters a new era with rock solid backing from BMW and a renewed commitment to developing the Husqvarna brand as well as the business that supports it," Brady told the assembled dealers. At a time when the industry is slowing, Husqvarna plans to get on the gas! "We know business is tough, but with our wholesale and retail financing, better communication with the factory, a host of new policies and programs to expedite business and of course, the new 2010 motorcycles, Husqvarna is ready to Race Ahead!"
Recognizing the dealers that made this Husqvarna repositioning possible was an important order of business. For outstanding performance in Husqvarna motorcycles, parts and accessory sales in 2009, the following dealers were presented award plaques by Brady and Husqvarna Motorcycles srl. President Rainer Thoma:
>> Top National Husqvarna Dealer: Hall’s Cycles, Springfield, MO
>> Top Midwest Region Husqvarna Dealer: Hall’s Cycles, Springfield, MO
>> Top Northwest Region Husqvarna Dealer: Bill’s Motorcycles Plus, Salem, OR
>> Top Northeast Region Husqvarna Dealer: Central Jersey Cycles, New Egypt, NJ
>> Top Southwest Region Husqvarna Dealer: MotoXotica, Vacaville, CA
>> Top Southeast Region Husqvarna Dealer: Upstate Cycle, Greenville, SC
>> Relative Marketshare Performance: Sage Motorsports, Tarrenton, Idaho
>> First Runner-Up In Relative Marketshare Performance: L & D Race Tech, Warrenton, OR
In addition to the top dealers, a couple of very special Husqvarna Heroes & Legends Awards were presented to a pair of Las Vegas locals, Jack Johnson and Casey Folks. "In recognition of your lifetime of unparalleled achievement in the sport of off-road racing and as a member of Team Husqvarna, Husqvarna Motorcycles North America is pleased to acknowledge your status as an official Husqvarna Racing Hero and Legend on this 26th day of July, 2009," Scot Harden read off the engraved crystal trophies and then to really commemorate the event, America’s first and only 500cc GP Motocross Champion Brad Lackey came up on stage to present each award. (in the 1970s, Husqvarna was Lackey’s sponsor the first two years he raced motocross GPs in Europe).
"What better way to set the stage for racing ahead than to recognize the racing heroes from the past who made this all possible," asked Harden. Who better indeed?
In addition to being a Husqvarna dealer himself since 1968, Casey Folks has won a total of 16 #1 plates (12 of them on a Husqvarna) as well was creating The Best In The Desert racing series in 1984. Folks is also recognized by the off-road industry as a tireless land usage advocate.
Perhaps the best desert racer of all time, Jack Johnson’s list of race wins in everything from the Baja 1000 to TT racing goes back to the 1978 Mint 400, the biggest desert race of the era. A last minute injury to racer Mitch Mayes resulted in then privateer Johnson to be recruited to share seat time with Husqvarna Factory star Rolf Tibblin and the dynamic duo went on to win the coveted event by a wide margin. Johnson has won the Baja 1000 overall 12 times, and the Baja 500 3 times and remains the only rider in the history of the Baja 500 to ride solo and capture the overall win!
"The legacy of our Husqvarna Heroes combined with our new Hero Dealers should have Husqvarna racing ahead for the next decade!" proclaims Harden.