CS (Sepoct11) - Star Car

sepoct11-coverThe pictured Star EV 48U-HA1 vehicle is used by the City of Charlotte for street maintenance and recycling pick up. This vehicle can be off road or Street legal and can carry up to 2,000 lb payload if used off road. The versatility is great as this Utility truck can be fitted with turf type tires on the rear for off road traction, yet has a wheel back design for improved turning radius. At a cost of about $10,000 fully enclosed and street legal, this vehicle can out-perform many of the “white trucks” that cost, in many cases, double the cost of the Star 48U-HA1.

Charlotte is not alone, other Cities across the country are trading out gas UTV’s and small trucks for clean, green electric work vehicles. The City of Greenville, SC has been using two street legal Star EV’s for on and off road maintenance. The vehicles get used extensively on a daily basis and have been in service for over a year now. Businesses, Universities and Government agencies are all converting a large portion of their gas fleets to electric.

Star EV (a division of JH Global Services, Inc.) offers 40 different Electric Vehicle models which cross five product segments including, Golf & Recreation; Street Legal; People Movers; Commercial/Industrial and Off Road. “We have really been on a roll increasing our dealer network with traditional Golf Car dealers as well as Industrial oriented dealer types”. “We also have 19 models on the GSA schedule and getting great receptivity from the various Government purchasing entities”, stated Joe Wallington, VP, Sales and Marketing for Star EV.

JH Global Services launched a new division called Legacy E-Ride which markets and distributes high end E-Bikes like the famous European Brand, Stomer. Check out all of the JH Global line up at www.starev.com and www.legacyeride.com

ATG (SepOct11) - Opening A Dealership

I will not show a name or state on this question as requested. The term Dealership means many different things to different people and how we get there is hard to do! You must consider many things from financing to family. Just to hang a sign out in front of a building means very little. I am in a unique position as I talk to Dealers world wide and hear a lot of the pain they go through as well as the fun side of things. Believe me it is very rewarding to have your own business and be able to serve the general public, your way! Having the satisfaction for that brief moment in time to solve a customers needs is very rewarding to say the least. Those needs can be anything from a new car to something as simple as a spark plug. Bottom line is you filled some ones need and you did it professionally and with prompt good quality service. Following are a few suggestions to consider before making the plunge.

1) Know your local and state ordinances concerning owning and operating your business.

2) Understand paying your taxes (suggested quarterly).

3) Understand office supplies such as phones, internet, faxes, paper supply, filing, computers, billing, desks, chairs, restrooms, or anything that is related to an office space.

4) Banking and accounting.

5) How much space do you need (square foot). Include it all, office and work area.

6) What market am I in, gas or electric? Understand what your customers are going to be looking for.

7) Show room is a must, so make sure you have space for that.

8) Parts window/service window for customers to approach and ask for assistance.

9) This is huge and most people overlook this,

accessibility, this is very important.

10) Professional look to building and services. First impression says it all!

11) Car cleaning area, this is a must.

12) Storage for cars, parts, racking and miscellaneous product.

13) Loading and unloading car area or dock.

14) Does the area land lock you from driving and testing cars or growth?

15) Insurance, health, after the job completion, on the premise, building, cars, customers etc…..

16) Tools and equipment, service truck, delivery truck.

17) Locate a car supplier.

18) Rental fleet, room to put them.

19) What is the area labor rate, will you be competitive and be able to support sales with it.

20) Have a base business don’t get to big to fast! Crawl before you walk. Don’t mix with other lines of business stay with what you are doing golf cars. Be specialized in golf cars, talk golf cars and know that product.

The big thing to all of this is, it is a must you have some sort of technical training or experience background. Today’s golf cars especially the electric cars can be very complicated if you do not have an understanding of DC voltage, reading schematics, and trouble shooting solid state controls. Be willing to take time to have training in this area before even beginning to open you business. Understand you will need to purchase the proper testing equipment and tools required. Lack of proper equipment or technical knowledge will frustrate you and your customers to no end. So be prepared to do the job first. Understand this is a family decision that will affect your family! Know that you will work unbelievable hours for the first year or two to get things off the ground. Up front fall back money is a good thing to have for the unforeseen emergencies that may arise. Don’t go into this thinking a whole bunch of money is going to fall into your lap. You have to earn it, prove yourself to the community, and have firm commitment to the task. As with any business there will be peaks and valleys but the reward of owning you own business is worth the sacrifice. I wish you well in your venture.

TS (SepOct11) - Nivel’s New Chameleon

By: Matt Vallez

It is not often that an idea comes along that is so good it changes the way we do business.  Something that is so simple and easy and makes stocking and selling a custom product ten times easier than it was before. I know exactly what most everyone will say, either out loud or at least in their own mind, “why didn’t I come up with that”? What that is, is the new Tampa G “Chameleon” a breakthrough in custom Sunbrella®/Outdura® technology that just made everything about Sunbrella®/Outdura® a little easier! It allows you to install the enclosure and the accent valance separately. That’s correct the valance is a separate part from the enclosure they are not sewn together, instead assembled on the car. This makes the whole coordinating thing a lot easier, because the decision is not a one time permanent decision; now you can change your mind later.

This breakthrough came about the time when Nivel, LLC was in the first days of working with Tampa G on a stocking program for the Sunbrella®/Outdura® enclosure line. The question came up first, can we manufacture enclosures without valances and sew them on later, per order? That would be fine if you are manufacturing and distributing out of the same locations. Unfortunately that would remove one of Nivel’s great strengths, multiple warehouses for fast delivery.  The ultimate answer was the “Chameleon” which is a tract style enclosure with an interchangeable valance that allows you to order, stock and promote virtually any combination of base enclosure and valance. Now when considering what to stock in Sunbrella®/Outdura® enclosures you only need to think of the base color and what golf car it should fit on. The valance can be stocked in any solid and also the many different stripes that we are all familiar with. The other great thing about this if someone becomes bored of the way their Sunbrella®/Outdura® enclosure looks they can easily change it.

The significant thing here is that products with a 4 to 6 week delivery time, which is that of a custom Sunbrella®/Outdura® enclosure made today, is now something that with a small investment can be a stocking item at the dealer level. Or, if the dealer would prefer not to stock them, can be delivered from Tampa G / Nivel inventory in just a few days. This reminds me of when Alltrax introduced the programmable controller in early 2000’s. It was a game changer for a dealer to stock one of each amperage controller and be able to make it work on any golf car. The ability to have a 400 amp controller on the shelf and program it for use in Club Car, E-Z-GO or Yamaha as well as Columbia and Taylor-Dunn to this day is a great feature. Unfortunately with the proliferation of sepex motors, which require dedicated controllers this feature is not as revilement is it was a when first introduced. It is nice to see an improvement in how we do things, and this new “Chameleon” is just one of those milestone improvements.

Think to yourself of an enclosure you own now, or had for too long because no one wanted it based on the color combination. This problem is now removable, as long as the bottom color of the enclosure is acceptable, which all of our stocking enclosures are in the acceptable color range, we can’t help you if you special order pink or purple. Now, back to this example, you have a new “Chameleon” enclosure that a customer ordered with a certain striped valance, the guy takes it home to surprise his wife, the problem is the wife doesn’t like it. So he comes back the next day to return it. Instead of putting the enclosure back into inventory and hope that someone with a Yamaha G2 with a Denver top comes into your store soon, you can just change the valance, yourself. Better yet, you can take the order for a valance that he or more accurately his wife, wants and have it within a few days for him to pick up. No more dead inventory. Let us know what you think about the new “Chameleon” as you can tell I think it is revolutionary idea.

Industry News - September/October 2011

FAIRPLAY ELECTRIC CARS, LLC IS NOW EVERGREEN ELECTRIC VEHICLES, LLC

Fairplay Electric Cars, LLC today announced their corporate name change to Evergreen Electric Vehicles, LLC. The new name reflects the wider scope of products offered under the multiple brands manufactured by the company in its assembly facility in Southern California.

The President of Evergreen Electric Vehicles, LLC, Keith Andrews, explains, “When our company began 7 years ago, we imported electric golf cars under the Fairplay brand. Since then we have moved our assembly to the United States. In 2009 we introduced our EVE LSV street legal electric vehicles. We have expanded our HOSS Extra Duty Utility Vehicles for commercial and industrial use in the spring of 2011 and are in the final development stages of our new GOAT HV line up of off-road vehicles.”

“Our move to assemble in the United States reflects our commitment to quality and timely delivery,” adds Andrews. “The Fairplay name is still synonymous with an imported product, therefore in addition to the corporate name change, our golf and recreational product line will be renamed LEGACY. The LEGACY name will better define our new golf products that are made right here in America.”

Evergreen Electric Vehicles, LLC is a Colorado Company with assembly facilities in the Long Beach, California area where it produces 100% electric vehicles. The 4 distinctive brands owned by Evergreen Electric Vehicles, LLC are; HOSS Extra Duty Utility line of commercial vehicles, LEGACY Golf and Recreational, EVE LSV street legal low speed vehicles and is developing an off road hunting vehicle under the GOAT brand. Evergreen Electric Vehicles, LLC sells through its network of authorized dealer throughout North America and the world.

For additional information about any of the vehicles offered by Evergreen Electric Vehicles, go on line to visit us at www.evergreenev.com

CUSTOMIZED GOLF CARTS HIT THE ROAD

Don Ware needs to update his “Don’s Battery” sign on west Venice Avenue to include “And Custom Golf Carts,” but he has been too busy building the low-speed vehicles to get around to the task.

Ware’s tinkering to get more mileage out of golf-cart batteries a few years ago has evolved into a booming business building Jaguar versions of carts that can move at a jacked-up 44 miles per hour. Call it America’s love of the automobile meets the realities of aging.

“A lot of people on Venice island are driving them to the grocery and the doctor,” said Ware, 48, who has owned Don’s Battery for about 12 years.

Florida’s older demographics and its gated golf-course communities make it — and other Sunbelt states — hot markets for zipped-up carts that some seniors use as their only vehicle.

The three major golf cart manufacturers — E-Z-Go, Yamaha and Club Car — sell combined about 300,000 new carts each year, said an industry expert. But those numbers do not capture the customized market that is made up of mom-and-pop builders, such as Ware who strips down old carts to the frame and rebuilds them into dream carts.

By law, people driving street-legal carts on public roads have to have a driver’s license. The carts, considered low-speed vehicles, can travel on streets with speed limits up to 25 mph but can cross busier streets.

At The Villages near Orlando, it is oft-repeated that “first you buy your house, and second your golf cart.” The Cart Man sells thousands of battery-powered Cadillac and Hummer carts to residents in Florida’s largest retiree community.

In Southwest Florida, Ware competes with a handful of small cart builders. Ware assembles about three dozen customized Jeep and Mustang carts each year and now gets orders from as far away as Arkansas.

“Usually it’s a buddy who sees his friend’s cart and says ‘I wants one too,’” Ware said.

Ware’s bread-and-butter though, comes from people who see the carts in the parking lot of his battery shop.

Many customers come in to make their cart “street legal,” which costs about $1,200 in lights, blinkers seatbelts and a high-speed motor. Then they fall in love with one of the blinged-out carts.

Among the most coveted is a pearl-white Mercedes Benz that sells for about $10,000 at the top end. A standard street-legal cart runs about $5,000.

Ware will take a trade on a Club Car, because they have solid aluminum frames, and then strip it down and rebuild it into a Florida Gator cart, or his latest invention, a camouflage four-wheel drive hunting buggy.

There are a myriad of colors, tires, rims and options, many Ware inventions.

A woman who wanted to haul things in her cart prompted Ware to invent a rear seat that folds into a cargo hauler - a golf cart version of a pick-up truck.

Ware created a carbon-fiber dash board to withstand heat and sun; a custom-mounted stereo in the drivers’ side glove box “so its hidden away and out of the elements,” he said. Ware and a Punta Gorda firm that makes canvas car tops invented a convertible top that unsnaps and folds up. A nearby upholstery shop customizes the seats.

To make a golf cart street legal requires that it be weighed and licensed. Ware has to take the cart to the dump to weigh it and then the customer transports it to Palmetto, the closest state facility that inspects and licenses the vehicles.

Now, Ware has turned his attention to motorizing another vehicle popular with seniors - the trike. “I love building these things,” Ware said. “Your imagination just goes crazy.”

MARC DEFOUR NAMED PRESIDENT AND CEO OF CLUB CAR

Longtime Ingersoll Rand Executive Succeeds Gary Michel

Marc Dufour has been named president and CEO of Club Car, an Ingersoll Rand brand. Dufour will have overall responsibility for the operational performance and strategic direction of the golf car and utility vehicle manufacturer.

Dufour is Club Car’s fifth president in the company’s 53-year history. He succeeds Gary Michel, who recently was named president of Ingersoll Rand’s Residential Solutions Sector.

The 30-year Ingersoll Rand veteran has spent his entire career in the company’s Industrial Technologies Sector, which provides products and services – from compressed air systems, tools and pumps to material and fluid handling systems and small task-oriented vehicles – that enhance energy efficiency, productivity and operations. After joining Ingersoll Rand in 1981 as an application engineer, Dufour has held various positions with increasing responsibility. For the past five years, he has served as president of the America’s Region of the Industrial Technologies Sector. Previously he was president of Ingersoll Rand’s global Air Solutions business.

Dufour assumes leadership of one of golf’s most respected brands as Club Car expands its reputation as a leading manufacturer of small task-oriented vehicles that serve a growing number of industries.

“Marc has demonstrated strong leadership skills throughout an impressive career at Ingersoll Rand. He is extremely well qualified to take on this important role within our organization,” said Robert Zafari, president of the Industrial Technologies Sector.

“I’m thrilled and honored to lead a company as respected and well positioned as Club Car,” Dufour said. “Throughout the Ingersoll Rand enterprise, as well as anywhere in the world where its people and products serve, Club Car is known for its innovative spirit, dedication to customers and unique culture. This is a very special opportunity for me.”

For more information, go to clubcar.com.

GOLF INDUSTRY SHOW SELECTS SAN ANTONIO FOR 2015

San Antonio has been selected by officials of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) and the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) to host the 2015 Golf Industry Show and education conferences. The dates of the trade show are Feb. 25-26 and the education conferences are Feb. 23-Feb. 27.

Feb. 29 – Mar. 1, 2012 Las Vegas

Feb. 6 – 7, 2013 San Diego

Feb. 5 – 6, 2014 Orlando

Feb. 25 – 26, 2015 San Antonio

“Based on attendee feedback we selected San Antonio for the 2015 Golf Industry Show,” GCSAA Chief Executive Officer Rhett Evans said. “It is a new location that attendees and exhibitors want to go to and do business. It is a great addition to the Golf Industry Show lineup and another outstanding destination.” The 2012 Golf Industry Show (Feb. 29-March 1) and education conferences (Feb. 27-March 2) will be in Las Vegas.

“San Antonio is a perfect complement to the next three Golf Industry Show locations: Las Vegas, San Diego and Orlando,” NGCOA Chief Executive Officer Mike Hughes said. “San Antonio is an easy city to travel to and typically features pleasant weather that time of year. We are very optimistic about the networking opportunities available there with the convention center being located on the Riverwalk, where there are so many hotels and restaurants.”

The Golf Industry Show is an innovative trade show designed for the owners/operators of golf facilities and the professional members of the golf course industry. The event combines education, networking and solutions for golf course superintendents, owners, operators, architects, builders, equipment managers, appraisers and others.

The Golf Industry Show is presented by GCSAA andNGCOA, along with participating partners the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA), the Golf Course Builders Association of America (GCBAA), the United States Golf Association (USGA), the National Golf Foundation (NGF), the International Golf Course Equipment Managers Association (IGCEMS), and supporting partner the Society of Golf Appraisers (SGA).

E-Z-GO PROMOTES JOHN COLLINS TO VICE PRESIDENT, INTEGRATED SUPPLY CHAIN

E-Z-GO, a Textron company and a leading global manufacturer of light-transportation vehicles, announces the promotion of veteran executive John Collins to Vice President, Integrated Supply Chain.

In his new role, Collins will be responsible for all aspects of E-Z-GO’s operations, including the functions of sourcing, manufacturing, logistics, quality control and facilities. He will report to E-Z-GO President Kevin Holleran.

Collins succeeds Ron Draper, who left E-Z-GO to join sister Textron business unit Cessna Aircraft Company as Director, Production Control and Logistics. A native of Augusta, Ga. and a 1995 graduate of Hephzibah High School, Collins has worked at E-Z-GO for more than 12 years in numerous roles. He was program manager for development of the company’s RXV golf-car platform, and subsequently served as plant manager. Most recently, Collins was Director, Sourcing and Materials.

Collins holds a bachelor’s degree in Technology Management from Clayton College and State University in Morrow, Ga., and a master of science in Quality Control Systems and Management from Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, Ga. Collins is a Textron Six Sigma Black Belt. In 2009, he was named one of Augusta’s Top 10 Young Professionals to Watch by the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce.

“John is a talented strategist, an experienced motivator, and a dynamic and accomplished leader,” Holleran said. “Those skills, and his extensive company knowledge and industry experience, will serve E-Z-GO well as it designs and builds new products and enters new markets around the globe.”

“I am honored to have this new opportunity at the company where I have worked for my entire career,” Collins said. “I am excited to lead E-Z-GO’s Integrated Supply Chain organization and these talented, skilled and dedicated employees who make E-Z-GO an exceptional place to work and grow as a leader.”

More information is available at www.textron.com

CURTIS INDUSTRIES INTRODUCES IMPROVED SNO-PRO FRONT END LOADER PLOW BLADES

Built tough for farmers, landscapers, ranchers, contractors and homeowners

Curtis Industries has introduced a line of Sno-Pro front end loader plow blades which offer major advantages over bucket plowing. Designed for snow removal and general purpose use, Sno-Pro blades are ideal for pushing snow, aggregate materials, livestock feed, and silage. Built tough for farmers, landscapers, ranchers, construction companies and homeowners these unique implements give an added versatility to your bucket loader.

These blades feature 30 degree hydraulic angle for efficient and productive plowing, four heavy duty trip springs for added protection against blade damage from surface obstructions, easy-adjust depth shoes, and highly visible guide markers fro easy location of blade edge/corners. Sno-Pro front end loader blades are made with heavy-duty 11 gauge powder coated steel, an extended four foot push frame for added durability, and a high carbon steel reversible cutting edge. Blades are available in five through eight foot models and are recommended for tractors and skid steers up to 47 HP with quick-attach front mounting adapters.

For more information on Curtis products please visit www.curtisindustries.net

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