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Old 12-12-2001, 09:19 PM   #31
Arrow
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Default Re: Update on Kawasaki/Suzuki merger

I read Mitch Boehm's article in Motorcyclist last week and he was basically saying that Japanese simply did not understand the value of branding/brand loyalty and I agree with him. Kawasaki and Suzuki could use the same platforms and make small changes to the bodywork and then call them Ninjas or GSXRs and this would make perfect sense economically. But come on, would any Kawasaki fan buy A GSXR 750 labelled as a ZX7, no matter how differently styled? Don't get me wrong, I think GSXR line is terrific but when we buy motorcycles there are other issues we think about other than functionality/performance/style. Brand heritage is important for not only Italian/British bikes but for Japanese bikes as well.



>"The company plans to unveil a new motorcycle >with Suzuki under a new brand in three years.

>'It won't be a Kawasaki, it won't be a Suzuki it will >be a third brand' said Tazaki. "



I am not sure if this is a smart move. Why would they want to give up the heritage of GSXR and Ninjas? Perhaps I'm being too emotional here, I don't know.



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Old 12-13-2001, 12:01 AM   #32
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Default Re: Update on Kawasaki/Suzuki merger

I seem to remember that BSA and Triumph amalgamated in the early 1970s, and within a few years there weren't any of either marque on sale any more. Is this Kawa-Suzi merger the start of the demise of the Japanese motorcycle industry? If so, who's going to be on top next? My money's on China...
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Old 12-13-2001, 12:35 AM   #33
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Default Re: If you knew anything about AMerican Jets...

You'd know the Harrier was BRITISH.
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Old 12-13-2001, 01:54 AM   #34
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Default Re: Update on Kawasaki/Suzuki merger

What happened folks was pre-ordained about 30 years ago. The Japenese mfgs., in their quest to make em 3 mph faster and 3 lbs lighter every year ran themselves out of money. I am sure their other interests have been covering the losses for quite some time, but that can only go on so long. Kaw ran out of development cash a few years ago. That is why you all have been crying "where is the 'NEW' ZX9R??". Well it goes like this. They can't afford to spend millions of engineering dollars and productions costs to sell it for $10,499 and lose their a$$ again. Suzuki probably had enough with the losses incurred by the GSXR line that have got THEM going broke. Yamaha has recently changed their supply chain procedures in an attmpt to ward off the same fate. Do we see a pattern here? Thought so. Honda, with deep corporate pockets, will be the last to show signs of fading and it really will be a matter of corporate will as to how long they will eat the losses of the motorcycle division. Don't be fooled by the 'public' profit sheets. Did you people REALLY think you could make a profit AND change the whole bike every year or two?? Didn't think so. Common sense says tooling and engineering costs have to be amortized over many years to make break even. I would imagine even in the BEST selling years that would be anywhere from 4 to 6 years just to break even. Borrowing from Peter to pay Paul has come to a head and Paul is sick of propping up Pete. The motorcycle industry may have to be profitable on it's own and THAT will maybe put some real motorcycles back onto the streets instead of the same ole "3 mph faster and 3 lbs lighter" every year. As far as 'brand loyalty' goes, how many of you Kaw fans ponied up for that Kaw ZX9R instead of that brand spankin' new GSXR 1000 or R1?? Not many. So much for 'brand loyalty'. People interested in the Japanese motorcycles want the fastest and the lightest and the most horsepower period. If a Suzhonyamkawaki can give them that they will buy it. Maybe Harley was right after all?? LOL Something to ponder.......
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Old 12-13-2001, 03:02 AM   #35
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Default Re: If you knew anything about AMerican Jets...

If you knew anything about fighter jets, you'd know it was actually a joint project. Primarily British, but with significant US participation.
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Old 12-13-2001, 03:15 AM   #36
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Default Re: Update on Kawasaki/Suzuki merger

Oh, man, I sure hope you're wrong.
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Old 12-13-2001, 03:33 AM   #37
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Default Re: Update on Kawasaki/Suzuki merger

Ug... what a load...



You've gotten a few things correct... it's got to be outrageously expensive to touch up a given model every year or two, with major reworking every 3-5 years. And yes, we're seeing an overall shrinking of the Japanese motorcycle industry (more or less in line with broader economic troubles in Japan, the US, and elsewhere). And I'll even agree that, in the US market at least, brand loyalty amongst the Japanese manufacturers is not as fierce as it is with most other marques (though it's certainly not dead by any means).



But pretty much all of your assumptions and your other conclusions are just wrong, and your whole post smacks of someone trying to twist a few facts to justify their unfounded opinion.



I don't have the time to argue point by point, but your statement that



"People interested in the Japanese motorcycles want the fastest and the lightest and the most horsepower period."



... clearly demonstrates a complete lack of knowledge about the situation. If you'd actually looked at the numbers, you'd see that hardcore sportbikes do not consitute the vast majority of Japanese bike sales (much to my personal dismay).



Over and out.
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Old 12-13-2001, 03:59 AM   #38
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Default Re: Update on Kawasaki/Suzuki merger

I think I got it right. Never said sportbikes were sales leaders. They are the company flagships. They lose the most money. They have to be at the head of the pack to survive. They need lots of race wins or no sales. If you eliminate the Harley clones what is left?? A few 80 tech 'standards' and an occasional original model like the GoldWing. Other than that they NEED those sportbikes to define what they are. Without em they go under totally in my opinion. The Japanese defines themselves as tech first and the rest later. If they don't have the money for the tech part, what then?? I have been riding since the 60's and watched em go under one by one. Mergers happen in bad times, not good. This is a survival measure for these companies. Honda's deep pockets may put em all under. You can say otherwise but the clouds are rising.
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Old 12-13-2001, 04:36 AM   #39
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Default Re: If you knew anything about AMerican Jets...

They sure do make a bunch of those "British" jets here in St. Louis at the Boeing (Formerly McDonnell Douglas) plant.
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Old 12-13-2001, 04:56 AM   #40
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Default Re: Update on Kawasaki/Suzuki merger

I tend to agree, if only from an economic perspective. The marketing gurus of SHZY (Suz-Hon-Kaw-Yam) justifiably tout their respective sportbikes/racing programs as R&D in action. One can easily notice a disproportionate amount of that genre in general advertising. But as has been noted, the majority of actual sales are other than sportbikes. It is not likely that SHZY accountants plan to recover R&D/tooling cost only through sportbike sales, but rather the entire line of products as those also benefit therefrom. The problem is that some SHZY strategists (in the Suz-Kaw camps) perceive the inevitable point of diminishing returns, and have formulated this planned merger to help alleviate or at least diminish the impact. If it results in an improved product, reduced costs, and/or technical innovation, the consumer will ultimately benefit - as well as the merger partners. Should this endeavor fall short of expectations... well, that's the darwinian nature of commerce.



I personally hope this results in a broadened horizon for all of motorcycling; and, entices more people to participate.
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