Team America

Yesterday evening  in Cincinnati I was talking with other V-Twin Expo exhibitors about the Chinese motorcycle parts invasion. For example, last weekend I was in Clearwater Florida making an appearance at the Tampa Bay Motorcycle Expo. The bikes exhibited on the floor were very representative of what people like to build, own & ride. Of course, I checked them out. Since I am able to recognize the brand and the origin of any manufactured parts, I made the sad observation (it was no surprise) that knock off Chinese parts have invaded our industry. They are everywhere, even on cool high dollars bikes and of course in big percentage on bobbers. I talked to many owners asking them why this double stance: proud to be American & riding Chinese bikes. I knew the answer: economic reasons. They don’t have or their clients don’t have enough money to buy genuine American parts. They all know the consequences: very often unreliable parts and impoverishing our industry, financially and creatively. So, what is the solution? Maybe the collective magazine ad campaign running now in motorcycle magazines and regrouping major American manufacturers. In one of them, Phil R. Ray, President of Daytec Frames & Accessories writes a beautiful open letter. In it, he states “All of us who live in the USA are members of Team America. We need to support our team financially and mentally by doing our best to only purchase American Made Products. We may not always feel as if we are winning the game, but we still are all members of the greatest team on earth, Team America”    .  

6 Responses to “Team America”

  1. 1 Woods Feb 6th, 2007 at 4:48 pm

    It is very sad and an important observation. When company’s like Baker spend hundreds/thousands of hours developing and producing a new product to only have a foreign company come behind them and copy the idea WITHOUT having to spend all the time and money in R&D only hurts the American company’s that are putting so much effort into this industry.
    Look at S&S-they get knocked of by foreign competitors constantly. Without S&S many would not be able to find special components to rebuild/rework their older HD motors.

    These knock off artists are hurting the innovation in the VTwin industry by the very company’s that support the industry that so many love!

    Important observation that more need to stand behind.

  2. 2 Fausto Simoes Feb 8th, 2007 at 7:57 am

    The impact China has had on the V-Twin Industry is only a small fraction of the extent of damage to the North America Economy.

    Manufacturing-the production of useable goods from raw materials- is the lifeblood of any nation. Cheap labor, non-existant labor laws, lax enviromental laws and lack of respect for patent law have helped the manufacturing juggernaught in China to quickly erode the manufacturing sector in North America.

    I see ads in Metal Finishing Industry magazines complaining about chinese glass bead and how it contains more lead than domestic glass bead.

  3. 3 Fausto Simoes Feb 8th, 2007 at 9:07 am

    I can only imagine how many other companies are being affected by the importation of cheap goods and supplies from China.

    Here are some of the ways the communist government of China has helped to tip the scales in their favor:

    As a manufacturer grows in China the Chinese government helps out by taking care of payroll and other administrative tasks.
    When the company needs to expand the government is there to help, providing funding and access to it’s resources.

    Chinese companies can import their products into North America but if you want to sell products in China they have to be made there.(How is that supposed to be fair trade???)

    Is someone copying your product in China?
    Good luck taking them to court in China.
    China is the knock-off capital of the world.

    China controls their currency and keeps it undervalued in order to remain the one of the world’s lowest cost suppliers of manufactured goods.

    What can we do so stop this unfair obliteration of North American Manufacturers?

    When you buy something see where it is made.
    If it is made in China ask yourself if you really need this item right now or can you do without it. Make an effort to buy products made in North America.

    Complain to your Government! Write them a letter! The more people complain the more the issue becomes an important election issue.

    I have nothing against China. They have the right to try and sell their goods globally just as much as any other country.

    I just don’t see why they should be making almost EVERYTHING in EVERY STORE in NORTH AMERICA!!

    Fausto Simoes
    MotoXcycle Inc.

  4. 4 BikeGeek Feb 8th, 2007 at 9:38 am

    Well said Fausto.

  5. 5 Reggie Ronzello, Jr. Feb 8th, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    I am thrilled to see people taking notice of the Chinese & Korean knock offs that are affecting our industry, but it is not only the Chinese & Korean companies, there are quite a few American companies that are lining their pockets with our hard earned cash having almost every product they make made overseas, then charging us top dollar as if the part was made here. I will not mention any names, but I think all of us as consumers need to pay a little more attention to what we are buying and support this country and industry. Just remember, everytime an American product is purchased an American family is being fed and your getting a quality product. Thanks Cyril that was great!

  6. 6 DJ Chopper God Feb 8th, 2007 at 10:04 pm

    America F%CK YEAH!!!

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Cyril Huze