Husky North America Moves To So-Cal
Husqvarna Motorcycles, a part of the BMW Group since October 2007, are making changes here in the U.S. for 2011.
Originally founded in Sweden in 1903, Husqvarna motorcycles have been designed and manufactured in Varese, Italy since 1987. With the might of BMW behind the brand, changes have been afoot.
"We are happy to announce changes that will position Husqvarna North America to serve the U.S. off-road market like never before," says National Marketing Manager Corey Eastman.
"New management has been brought on board to help better serve our dealers needs, as well as expanded staffing to allow greater focus on key customer service and marketing functions."
These changes come in conjunction with a new headquarters located in Southern California, as well as revolutionary new products.
"We are committed to re-establishing Husqvarna as a leading off-road motorcycle brand in the United States," adds Eastman. "New people, new attitude and new product should help alleviate some of the old concerns!"
Husqvarna is quite literally doubling the size of its staff, allowing the company to react more quickly.
"We will be able to play a more active role in the marketing and selling of motorcycles by keeping the Husqvarna brand top of mind among off-road motorcycle enthusiasts," explains Husqvarna Motorcycles NA president Kris Odwarka.
"The job of not only meeting, but hopefully exceeding your needs is being taken on by a new management team."
Leading the new team is Kris Odwarka, who took over as Husqvarna NA President in December. Kris originally started working in parts and service departments at motorcycle dealerships to support his racing in Colorado and New Mexico.
He later worked for BMW in various positions in Europe and the States for a decade before becoming sales director of ALPINA GmbH in 2002.
In addition to his real world training at the dealership level, Kris also has both a Bachelor degree and MBA from the University of Colorado.
Kris brings both industry knowledge and experience with Husqvarna's parent company BMW.
This will be beneficial as Husqvarna moves forward, enabling Husqvarna to more easily access BMW's competitive advantages including financing, distribution, sourcing and more.
"Kris exemplifies the open and creative spirit that is an integral part of the new Husqvarna," notes Eastman.
Industry veteran Revelle Harrison joins the Husqvarna team as National Sales Manager. Revelle moves over from KTM, where he has held various roles in the field and HQ for the past 12 years, including serving as KTM's National Sales Manager.
Racing and trail riding have been favorite activities throughout Revelle's life, activities he now enjoys sharing with his family. Harrison has a degree in Business Administration from Montana State University.
Revelle's experience and deep understanding of what takes place on the sales floor is a valuable asset.
His ability to create structured programs that help dealers sell is combined with an understanding of when to apply creativity and create solutions that get results.
Revelle will be leading Husqvarna's established dealer sales team, helping them reach new levels of dealer and customer service.
Andy Jefferson is a former professional motocross racer, riding for Pro Circuit Husqvarna through the early 80s.
Andy is especially excited to be returning to his roots in the motorcycle industry after spending the past 27 years in the document management industry, specializing in service, customer relations and project management.
Andy brings a rare combination of knowledge from outside and inside the motorcycle industry. His past professional experience has given him a vast knowledge for managing service, parts, projects and customer relations that he now applies to the motorcycle business.
In addition, he has the added advantage of understanding the industry from the inside as he has continued to participate in motorcycling since his pro racing days.
Racing with the West Coast-based Husqvarna Zip-Ty Racing Team has given him hands-on experience with the full range of Husky products.
Corey Eastman has more than 17 years of motorcycle marketing experience, including serving as the marketing manager, director of marketing and most recently VP Brand Development for Cycle World Magazine.
An avid rider, Corey has explored much of the Southwestern U.S. on two wheels. With a BA in communications/public relations from Cal State Fullerton and solid industry experience, Corey will be taking on all marketing, product development and racing activities effectively immediately.
Corey has been on both the client and media side of marketing. He understands that today's marketing environment demands hard work and creativity.
He will be developing a marketing mix that will build the Husqvarna brand, and most importantly, remain relevant on the sales floor.
Husqvarna North America's new corporate headquarters are located in Corona California. The goal in this move is to allow sales, aftersales and marketing activities to be located closer to the majority of the companies that serve the off-road industry, the media that reports on the industry and a healthy portion of consumers who participate in it.
Additionally this will allow for more hands-on product development specific to the American market - making for even better motorcycles moving forward.
The new Husqvarna is far more than just another attempt to reposition this historic brand. The investment and commitment are very real and a very clear sign that Husqvarna is committed to becoming a leading off-road motorcycle brand.
"We aim to make the Husqvarna ownership experience more inclusive," concludes Corey. "We are excited to get to work building the Husqvarna brand of the future. Please join us for an amazing ride!"
Throughout 2010, Husqvarna continued to expand its professional race team to compete in AMA Enduro, GNCC, Endurocross, National Hare & Hound, the AMA Hare Scrambles Series, and WORCS competition.
Husqvarna team riders have competed in the premier classes of each series aboard 2010 Husqvarna TXC 450, TXC 510, and WR 300 off-road models.
Look for more in motorcycle racing action 2011.