Friday, February 8, 2008

Hyosung working on powerful Side-by-Side and ATV?

Ron Lutrell, National Sales Manager for Hyosung, was overheard at the International Motorcycle Show in Atlanta hinting at just that! Specifically mentioned their 650 V-Twin engine that would make a nice powerplant in either of those platforms.

While I think there is plenty of room for innovation in the core ATV market, I can see why companies are going after the side-by-side business. Despite the recent downward trend in the US economy and its impact on offroad sales, side-by-sides are holding healthy growth. Similar to Arctic Cat, Yamaha just recently reported a 7.15% increase in Rhino unit sales, while their annual ATV sales fell 10 percent.

For those of you not familiar, Hyosung Motors America is the U.S. subsidiary of S&T Motors Ltd (formerly Hyosung Motors and Machinery) based in Korea. When started back in 1978, they produced vehicles for Suzuki and other manufacturers. Today, they also make a 450-class sport machine that is also sold by United Motors under the UM brand. While this 450 is not well known to many, it is known to those familiar with it to be very powerful.