Industry News - May/June 2010

By Editor,

FLIGHT SYSTEMS INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS (FSIP) ACQUIRES CERTAIN PRODUCT LINES, ASSETS, AND JV EQUITY INTERESTS FROM GENERAL ELECTRIC
On March 1st, 2010, FSIP formalized an acquisition of certain assets of General Electric’s Motion Controls Business.  The acquired business is primarily located in Patillas, Puerto Rico and it manufactures and distributes controls used in various electric vehicle applications:  forklifts, neighborhood electric vehicles, golf carts, walkies, tuggers, go-carts and personnel carriers.

FSIP is the industry’s leading remanufacturer of controls for the electric vehicle control market.  FSIP remanufactures over 45,000 controls annually and is associated with many of the industry’s leading OEM’s.  FSIP remanufactures controls for forklifts, aerial lifts, golf carts, scrubbers/sweepers, personnel carriers and mobility controls.

FSIP and GE have been involved in a Joint Venture (JV), the GE/Flight Systems Servicenter, for over 12 years.  During these 12 years FSIP served the needs of GE with remanufacturing, warranty services and the manufacturing of specific GE controls and components.  FSIP will continue to provide GE customers with their remanufacturing requirements.

President of FSIP, Barry Bowman says “products which are currently manufactured or provided by GE’s Patillas Puerto Rico plant will be transitioned to FSIP from March 1st through June 1st.  Both FSIP and GE have diligently prepared for this transition of the products and equipment and will be implementing safety stock levels for all controls and components to allow for minimal inconvenience of availability for our customer’s needs throughout the transition period.”

Also, through this acquisition, FSIP will continue to perform the warranty service for the GE product and will retain exclusive rights to the GE trademark.  “We will comply with regulations and specifications that apply to the product line. The integrity and quality of the GE product that the market expects will remain in tact.” says Bowman.

He adds “we are very excited here at FSIP and we look forward to growing our business with our customer’s support.”

FITZROY ELECTED GCSAA PRESIDENT
James R. Fitzroy, CGCS, director/superintendent at Wollaston Recreational Facility/Presidents Golf Club in North Quincy, Mass., was elected president of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) at the association’s annual meeting Feb. 12.

The annual meeting was held in conjunction with the GCSAA Education Conference and Golf Industry Show in San Diego. Fitzroy will serve until the 2011 annual meeting and election.

Fitzroy is a 43-year GCSAA member, and has been at Wollaston Recreational Facility/Presidents Golf Course since 1975. Previously, he was superintendent at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Mass., and Cazenovia (N.Y.) Country Club. He earned an associate’s degree in turf management from the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts in 1967 and a bachelor’s degree in park administration from Massachusetts in 1970. Fitzroy serves on The Environmental Institute of Golf Board of Trustees and he is a member and past president of the GCSA of New England. He also holds membership in the Golf Course Managers Association of Cape Cod, as well as the Rhode Island GCSA.

Robert M. Randquist, CGCS, director of golf course and grounds at Boca Rio Golf Club in Boca Raton, FL. was elected vice president. Sanford G. Queen, CGCS, manager of golf operations for the city of Overland Park, KS. was elected secretary/treasurer.

William H. Maynard, CGCS at Milburn Golf and Country Club in Overland Park, Kan., was elected to the GCSAA Board of  Directors and Patrick R. Finlen, CGCS, director of golf course maintenance operations at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, was re-elected to another two-year term. The 2011 GCSAA Education Conference is scheduled for Feb. 7-11, held in conjunction with the 2011 Golf Industry Show Feb. 9-10 in Orlando.

EZEEBIKE USA SETS OUT TO RESHAPE AND BUILD DOMESTIC ELECTRIC BICYCLE INDUSTRY
Golf Car Dealerships Sign On

The electric bicycle industry is picking up speed and going mainstream in America.  That’s the view of eZeebike USA, Inc., the year old exclusive U.S. distributor of a premiere line of electric bicycles moving onto “Main Street” in many communities throughout the country.

“There is an amazing symmetry, we are discovering, that exists with our electric bicycle and the electric golf car business,” said Joel P. Gayner, president and CEO of eZeebike, USA.  “Their customer profiles and lifestyle choices are the same.  Our exclusive dealer in Rancho Mirage, CA “The Electric Ride Store”, has already received two containers of bikes, and his prime selling season only began last October 15th.  Golf car dealers get it, they see how eZee electric bicycles add a significant profit potential, without increasing overhead.”

The eZee brand, nearly 10 years old and already distributed in 13 countries, is well known for its quality construction and ease of maintenance.  Its current eight model domestic product line, sports an MSRP of $1,995 (for the compact/foldable Quando that can easily fit into a car trunk or be carried onto public transportation) to $2,495 for the top-of-the-line Forza performance bike.  Other models in the line include a beach cruiser, commuter, mountain bicycle and a tricycle.

“In order to build out the market, we started to sell dealerships in the second half of 2009.  To date, 11 eZee dealerships and independent authorized retailers have been established in the U.S. with numerous others in queue,” said Gayner.  “We’re working to define the electric bicycle industry by developing an eZee bike eco-friendly lifestyle coupled with branded eZee bike stores.  We’re encouraged by the marketplace response and the willingness of entrepreneurs to invest upwards of $50,000 to purchase protected territories and become part of our dealership network.” For information about purchasing an eZeebike USA dealership, visit www.ezeebike.us.

TROJAN BATTERY EXPANDS ITS MASTER DISTRIBUTOR NETWORK WITH NORTHEAST BATTERY
Expanded partnership brings greater domestic distribution

Trojan Battery Company, the world’s leading manufacturer of deep cycle batteries, announced today that Northeast Battery, a longtime master distributor of Trojan battery products, will expand its distribution into the states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Established in 1985, Northeast Battery is headquartered in Auburn, Massachusetts, with key distribution centers throughout the region. Northeast Battery offers a full line of products including starting, lighting, ignition products, stationary power systems for telecommunications and uninterruptible power supplies, and high-end motive power batteries.

“We are excited for this opportunity to expand out distribution of Trojan Battery products,” said Tom Scarduzio, President of Northeast Battery. “Northeast Battery provides only the finest, highest quality products and services to our customers, and with Trojan products we can proudly say that’s what we have done for the past 25 years and will continue to do for many more years to come.”

CLUB CAR INTRODUCES VISAGE
Golf’s First Mobile Information System Transforms Golf Car’s Role From Basic Transportation to Business Solution

A golf car’s primary function is transportation, but equipped with the right technology its potential goes far beyond moving golfers and their equipment, according to Club Car, which has introduced golf’s first mobile information system. Known as Visage, the system represents the golf car industry’s most extensive marriage of vehicle and technology to help course managers address critical revenue and expense needs while enhancing customer satisfaction.

Visage utilizes a combination of cellular, wireless and Global Positioning System technologies to create what Club Car calls the “new face of customer experience.”

Visage, a joint development of Club Car and GPS Industries LLC, puts a robust set of features and benefits at the fingertips of golfers that include: Intuitive touch-screen technology, 10.2-inch screen with 1000 nit brightness that automatically adjusts for changes in natural light and enhanced graphics of each hole. 3-D flyovers with audio (similar to network television coverage), tee-shot distance stats and scorecard and tournament management features that make it easy to keep up with scores of other players during a competitive event.

Visage is available on Club Car Precedent and DS electric- and gas-powered golf cars. When Visage is installed on Club Car’s Precedent golf cars equipped with the Excel power drive system, the vehicle also comes with the Guardian SVC system installed at no additional cost. Visage can be installed on any brand of golf car. Visit www.clubcar.com.

FAIRPLAY EXPANDS 2010 PRODUCTION IN THE USA
Fairplay Electric Cars, LLC located in Grand Junction Colorado has signed a long term lease in Southern California. “It is very exciting for us to increase capacity and rely on our made-in-America quality,” said Keith Andrews, President of Fairplay. “The expansion doubles the size of our assembly plant here in the United States. Our dealer network reports a noticeable improvement in quality since the middle of 2009 when we started manufacturing in America.”

Fairplay enjoyed rapid growth last year in the Low Speed Vehicle arena, with sales of the popular EVE brand, spurred on by the Federal Tax stimulus. “Our initial focus with the EVE LSV was to offer a competitive price point to stimulate interest and allow the MSRP to draw customers in fro our dealers,” Andrews added. “This was possible due in large part to a great group of suppliers in the United Stated who provided us with quality parts at competitive prices.”

“The reaction from dealers and customers had been fantastic,” states Ryan Alexander, National Sales Manager. “Our assembly facility here allows us to offer a custom OEM product mix to our dealers, something that puts us head and shoulders above most other manufacturers, either domestic or imported.”

For more information on where you can test drive the new EVE LSV or see any of the fine line of Fairplay Electric Car products, go to www.fairplaycars.com or www.eve-lsv.com.

IT’S THEIR VEHICLE FOR SUCCESS
Golf Cars of Houston co-owner says most buyers use them for reasons other than the sport.

Towering over Interstate 45 in north Houston is a 1,100-square-foot sign for Golf Cars of Houston. But less than a fourth of the vehicles sold at the dealership are used by golfers. The rest are purchased by families with beach and lakefront properties, or by companies. “As an industry, we’ve gotten away from the term ‘golf cart’,” said Derek Severns, co-owner of Golf Cars of Houston. “A golf car is something you drive; a cart is something you pull.”

Severns, 37, a former golf course manager, launched Golf Cars of Houston in 2004 with partner Sonny Thornton.

The two first bought a small dealership in Kingwood, and then began planning for a super center in north Houston. Severns said the idea for a golf cart super center is unique in that his showroom stocks more that 100 vehicles, versus the usual 10 or 12 found in a dealership.

“We wanted to bring the sales and service experience indoors, not outdoors, like it had been done,” Severns said. “Customers are more sophisticated today, and it used to be that mom-and-pop operations were their only option.”

Within six years, Severns said, the pair’s business grew to roughly $4 million in annual revenues to more than $10 million in revenues last year. That’s between new and used vehicle sales, service and parts sold at its three locations, among them the super center.

“We’re just like a car dealership,” Severns said. “We rely on everything to make this business work – be it service, sales, parts or rentals.”

WIRELESS RECHARGING SYSTEMS DEVELOPED IN WEST MICHIGAN COULD POWER GOLF CARTS, ELECTRIC CARS
Wireless recharging systems developed by two West Michigan companies could soon enable electric golf cars and electric cars to re-energize without tangled cords or bulky plugs.

Gill Industries Inc. and Fulton Innovation LLC unveiled a high-power system, able to transfer 1,000 watts of energy as smoothly as an electric toothbrush recharges in its cradle.

“The development is done. Now we’re getting more to the marketing phase,” said Richard Perreault, president and chief operating officer of Gill Industries. Fulton Innovation, a subsidiary of Alticor Inc. is based in Ada Township, Michigan. Gill’s headquarters are in Plainfield Township, Michigan.

The partners unveiled their new charging system at the Consumers Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Perreault expects the first customers to be golf car manufactures. “They produce about 450,000 golf carts a year, and about 60 to 70 percent of them are electric,” he said. Eventually, Gill hopes to market the wireless recharging system to automakers.

The charging system is controlled by a mini-computer that senses charging time and matches it to the least costly time of day. Depending on the site of the cart’s battery, the vehicle could be pulled into a bay of garage where the wireless recharging unit is built into the floor.

ELECTRICAL MOTOR PRODUCTS, INC. INTRODUCES THE 25 MPH YAMAHA DRIVE (YDRE) MOTOR REDESIGN
Electrical Motor Products, Inc. has created a 25 MPH motor redesign for the non PTV, Yamaha Drive.  The non PTV vehicle currently drives up to 15 mph.  Motor redesign allows the cart to drive 25 mph without a control change.  The original control should be set on 5, 10, 15, or 25 along with a redesigned motor to obtain 25 mph.  Test data on the new design was acquired during the summer of 2009.  Electrical Motor Products, Inc. would like to thank Power Equipment Solutions of Vandalia, OH for vehicle support during the project’s design and test phases.  Vehicle tire size will be taken into account with motor redesign to achieve top speed.  Please provide the tire OD when ordering the Yamaha Drive (YDRE) 25 MPH redesign.  Dealers may send Yamaha Drive motors for redesign or purchase a redesigned motor.  For more information contact Electrical Motor Products, Inc. 1-877-455-1599, www.empinc.biz.

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