Industry News – January/February 2015

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SUITE SEATS HAS EXPANDED

United Commercial Upholstery (UCU), the manufacturers of the Suite Seats family of golf cart seats and accessories has expanded into a new 42,000 sq ft facility. The new building is situated on 7 acres of industrial zoned land to allow for future expansion.

As most of you know, UCU’s Original Suite Seats was one of the very first golf cart seat upgrades. Beginning in 2005 with just a handful of dealers the Suite Seat line has grown to over 500 dealers across the US & Canada. Couple that with the fact that 100% of everything UCU manufactures is done on site in the great state of Minnesota it only makes sense that this growth would eventually require purchasing and moving into a larger facility.

According to Phil Vorwerk, the President of UCU, “In the last 24 months alone we’ve added four new products to our golf cart products line: The Suite Seats Touring Edition, the Legacy Line of OEM style seat assemblies & covers, Floor Mats & Custom Coolers. Add to that a substantial increase in our Marine OEM business we simply did not have the space required for more employees and new equipment and technologies”. Adds Chris Vorwerk, the other half of UCU’s husband & wife ownership, “A lot of people are unaware that we are structured into two divisions. Our Brands Division primarily serves the golf cart industry and our second division is for OEM manufactures. This OEM Division supplies sub-components for several manufacturers in a broad range of industries including boat/pontoons, children’s furniture & the automotive aftermarket to name a few. We are very fortunate that the manufactures we work with are spread across a wide range of varied industries”

Along with the building UCU invested heavily in new equipment, offices & added several new people as well. Say’s Phil “The production flow we’ve been able to achieve with the larger building has really enhanced our ability to substantially increase production volume without sacrificing quality or service times. And because we relocated to a much larger community it has really improved our ability to attract & retain skilled, motivated people”. Notes Chris, “due to the labor intensive nature of upholstery manufacturing this has been a big plus to our move.”

YAMAHA NAMES MIKE APONAS DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL ACCOUNTS

Yamaha Golf-Car Company has named 35-year industry veteran Mike Aponas as director of national accounts, according to Sales and Marketing Director Kevin Norcross.

In his new role, Aponas will develop integrated strategies to nurture and grow existing national accounts, while taking advantage of his worldwide network of corporate relationships to promote new business.

Aponas most recently owned a distributorship for Yamaha Golf-Car Company based in Minnesota. His company covered four states, where he grew market share from 5% to 28% over the course of eight years.

From 1982 through 2002, Aponas worked his way up through various sales related positions with E-Z-Go, including branch manager, regional manager, V.P. North America sales and V.P. of global sales for all of E-Z-GO vehicle product lines.

Said Norcross, “We’re thrilled to have Mike as part of the Yamaha family. He is a resourceful leader and one of the most tenured and respected professionals in the golf car industry.”

For more information about Yamaha Golf-Car Company, call 770-254-4154 or visit online at www.yamahagolfcar.com.

THE 2014 CLUB CLAR CLEARANCE; JUST IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Special Offers and Financing on Precedent® Golf Cars and Street-legal Villager™ LSVs (Low speed vehicles)

The 2014 Club Car Clearance is a great opportunity for retail buyers to slide behind the wheel of a new Precedent golf car or street-legal Villager LSV (low speed vehicle.) Both make wonderful Christmas gifts.

And, from Nov. 15, 2014 – Jan. 31, 2015, qualified retail customers can purchase any new 2014 or 2015 Precedent golf car or Villager LSV and choose:

1,000 bonus cash

Or 0% financing for 24 months

Move into the Fun Lane in a Precedent Golf Car: Precedent golf cars are renowned for their durability, style and comfort. “They’re built on the industry’s only rustproof aluminum frame and feature our unique Monsoon Top™ Canopy that channels water straight to the ground,” says Consumer Marketing Manager Mary A. Sicard. They also deliver the smoothest, most comfortable ride in the industry thanks to Club Car’s exclusive SportDrive™ steering and suspension system.

Precedent golf cars are not only great on the course, they are ideal for use in gated and retirement communities, for homeowners with acreage, at small businesses and in many other applications.

Choose a gasoline model with a Subaru 14-hp-rated, 404-cc overhead cam engine with electronic fuel injection. They deliver best-in-class power, fuel efficiency and warranty. Or select a quiet, zero-emissions electric model with the industry’s longest range and Club Car’s new high-frequency, solid-state ERIC charger that uses audio and visual alerts to prevent common user errors.

Go Green and Save Green with a Villager LSV: These stylish, zero-emissions electric vehicles are street-legal in most states on roads with speed limits of 35 mph or less. They are available in two- and four-passenger models, travel at speeds of 20-25 mph and come with all required safety equipment. “Because Villager LSVs are small, nimble and open-air, they are easier to park, more sociable and much more fun to drive than traditional cars,” says Sicard. The vehicles can be charged through a standard 110-volt outlet, costs just pennies per day to operate and gets up to 30 miles to a charge. No more $50 fill-ups! All this makes them ideal for shopping, running errands, going out to dinner, zipping to the gym or just cruising.

Club Car vehicles are sold through Authorized Club Car Dealers. To find a dealer near you, visit www.clubcardealer.com.

E-Z-GO ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF DELTA-Q SC-48 CHARGER FOR 2015 GOLF CAR MODEL YEAR

E-Z-GO®, a leading global manufacturer of golf cars and light-transportation vehicles, announces the arrival of the new SC-48 Battery Charger for its 2015 model year RXV® and TXT® electric fleet golf cars.

Exclusive to E-Z-GO, the SC-48 Charger is the outcome of a multi-year collaboration with Delta-Q Technologies to design a durable, high-efficiency charger that will last beyond its initial lease and be field-serviceable by approved E-Z-GO authorized distributors and service centers.

The SC-48 Charger design uses a rugged and sealed die-cast housing to protect against dirt, water and other contaminants entering the charger. Based on the two companies’ experience, sealing is key to a charger’s long-term reliability and ensuring that a golf course’s fleet will be available for multiple rounds of golf each day.

The SC-48 also offers course operators worry-free charge quality, delivering the unique temperature-compensated charge profile employed by all of E-Z-GO’s fleet golf chargers since 2007. The charger adjusts charging performance based on measurements from the temperature sensor installed on the car’s battery pack. This approach is preferred by leading battery manufacturers, and is proven to maximize overall battery life.

“We worked closely with E-Z-GO on this particular design, and validated the SC-48 by testing hundreds of chargers in the field,” said Lloyd Gomm, Director of Product Management at Delta-Q Technologies. “We think the SC-48 will really appeal to new and existing E-Z-GO customers.”

“The SC-48 Charger is unique in its serviceability, as the only high-frequency golf car charger that is repairable in the field,” said Steven Meyer, Product Manager, Golf for E-Z-GO. “If a charger is damaged and reports an internal fault, our network of service technicians and distributors can repair the charger with a service kit available from E-Z-GO Genuine Parts and Accessories.”

Field serviceability extends to the AC and DC charger cords, which, when under excessive stress, will be released from the Delta-Q SC-48 without damaging the charger. This is a helpful safety feature for charge barn employees, as it helps avoid pulling chargers off ceiling rods when an adjacent car canopy inadvertently pulls on the cord.

Simple LED charge indicators on both the charger and vehicle keep customers up-to-date about AC power status, charging progress, charge completion, or whether a fault has occurred.

Visit www.ezgo.com or www.delta-q.com for more information.

CLUB CAR OFFERING NEW PHANTOM BODIES, SEATS AND WHEELS IN VIBRANT COLORS FOR PRECEDENT GOLF CARS

Owners of Precedent golf cars often use body kits, seats, wheels and other accessories to personalize their vehicles. But the process can get confusing, and the quality of the workmanship and materials often come from various sources and can be dubious.

“Poorly designed customized bodies can affect the fit of canopies and other accessories, and certain types of customization can put the vehicle’s original warranty at risk,” says Rex Edmunds, Club Car’s aftermarket product manager.

Club Car has a better solution. Its new Phantom parts and packages let owners customize their Precedent golf cars, and stay with the Club Car brand they know and trust.

Instant Inspiration: The Phantom package consists of three complementary components, available as complete kits with everything needed for installation or as individual parts.

Phantom front cowls and rear bodies with dual headlights.

Handsome marine-grade seats with colors, piping and stitching to match the body tones.

Matching 10” aluminum wheel and tire assemblies.

“The parts are made in America and can be used to upgrade any existing Precedent or ordered on new vehicles through Club Car’s Custom Solutions Department via Authorized Club Car Dealers,” Edmunds says.

The Durable Phantom Body: The Phantom body is distinctively different from the classic rounded Precedent body with a single headlight. It features dual halogen headlights and more robust automotive styling.

The bodies and cowls are available in six brilliant new colors, as well as classic red and black.

Many body kits are made of fiberglass and require painting, but Phantom bodies, like Club Car’s modern bodies for fleet golf applications, are made with color embedded into the durable ABS plastic from which the bodies are formed. No painting is required, and dings and scratches won’t discolor the body. A protective clear gloss finish gives the bodies a deep, rich shine.

Phantom bodies accommodate all Precedent accessories including the four-inch lift kit, five-panel mirror and rear-facing, two-passenger seat.

Priority Seating: Phantom seats are available in white or pewter, with piping and stitching to match the body colors, or in caramel with beige piping

Made of Spectrum™, a soft but durable marine-grade vinyl that feels like the inside of a golf glove, the seats resist mildew, UV light and wear. They are hand-crafted, with a blind stitch covered by a top stitch. This prevents sand from entering the seats and cutting threads, and it helps water run over, rather than into, the seams.

The seats are made using a multi-density foam process that allows different parts to be molded in specific patterns, with softer seat bottoms for comfort; denser backs and bolsters for support.

Be a Big Wheel: Complete the look with 10” aluminum wheel and tire assemblies. The wheels feature polished spokes and background colors to match the Phantom bodies.

Each of these items can be ordered separately, but ordering complete packages that include the Phantom bodies, complementary seats and wheels is a better value.

For more information visit visit www.clubcardealer.com.

PRO-FIT® ANNOUNCES WIRLESS VEHICLE MONITORING SYSTEM FOR E-Z-GO®, CLUB CAR®, AND YAMAHA® GOLF CARS

This January, Pro-Fit will introduce a groundbreaking system to allow golf car owners to monitor and manage their vehicles more closely than ever before. Smart Link™ combines specially designed hardware with a smartphone application to provide owners with unprecedented control over their vehicles.

Smart Link is compatible with multiple golf-car models, including the E-Z-GO® TXT®, E-Z-GO RXV®, Club Car® DS and Precedent®, and Yamaha® Drive®. Pro-Fit is a line of universal and economical golf car accessories, available at more than 479 golf car dealerships nationwide and online at Pro-FitParts.com.

Smart Link provides golf car owners with the ability to gather robust data about vehicle performance including current vehicle speed, battery charge level, and expected recharging time. In addition, operators can plot their desired route to their destination with GPS guidance, receive maintenance reminders as necessary, and lock their vehicle to prevent unauthorized usage or theft.

“The Smart Link system offers peace of mind to the end consumer,” said Frank Cisterino, General Manager of Lake Erie Golf Carts. “With this tool, a father can lock the vehicle in the garage so his young child doesn’t accidentally turn it on, or an elderly golf-car owner can be notified that his golf car has less than 25 percent of its battery charge remaining and it’s time to get home. This is revolutionary in our industry.”

Smart Link is compatible with Android and Apple iOS-powered hardware, and allows monitoring functionality for up to 5 users, so a family can place the app on multiple smartphones. Alternatively, the app can connect to unlimited vehicles, creating a monitoring system for golf-car fleet operators. The required hardware and device are sold together, with no monthly fee for the application.

Smart Link easily attaches to the vehicle’s rear body with a supplied bracket and pulls only three milliamps of power from the battery. The “Lock-Out” feature connects to the Charger Interrupt circuit on all E-Z-GO, Club Car Precedent, Club Car DS and Yamaha Drive vehicles.

For more information about Smart Link or to inquire about becoming a Pro-Fit dealer, please visit pro-fitparts.com.

WORLD’S FASTEST GOLF CART REACHES 118 MPH

A team from Plum Quick Motors claims to have reset their own Guinness World Record mark for “Fastest Golf Cart” at the Darlington Dragway in South Carolina on Friday.

The Plum Quick-designed cart reached a speed of 118.76 mph, annihilating their previous record of 103.65 mph.

Founded in 1981 by Carson Steen and his two sons, Rick and Robby, Plum Quick Motors is a Fort Mills, S.C.-based company that produces “high performance golf cart motors for a variety of applications,” including golfing, hunting and racing.

The Steens began drag racing golf carts in 2008 as a way to test products and promote the Plum Quick brand, but it wasn’t until 2013 that they petitioned Guinness to open a “Fastest Golf Cart” category. They set an initial mark at 103.65 mph in October 2013 and have been working to beat it since.

“It was a very wild ride, right on the edge of being a very bad day,” wrote Robby, 52, who piloted the cart on its record-setting drive, in an email to Golf.com. “Prayed a lot and the good Lord let me walk away safe.”