Industry News – July/August 2015

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COLUMBIA PARCAR PURCHASES CERTAIN TOMBERLIN ASSETS

Columbia ParCar Custom Carts, Inc. announced today, an agreement to purchase certain assets of Tomberlin Automotive Group, Inc. Tomberlin is a recognized leader and manufacturer in the electric vehicle market with distribution throughout the United States and approximately 30 countries generating over 70 million in sales since 2007.

“The acquisition of Tomberlin enables Columbia ParCar to market additional vehicles and distribution worldwide, creating a larger and more agile sales and service network. This positions Columbia to be the leader in the Electric Powered Low Speed Vehicle (LSV) and Passenger Transport Vehicle (PTV) markets. This further leverages the considerable investment we have made manufacturing and distributing pure electric vehicles for the widest array of applications” said Todd Sauey, Chairman of Columbia ParCar.

“The combined product portfolios across multiple commercial and consumer based platforms will create the world’s leading privately held EV company and a very compelling message for our Dealers, Distributors and Consumers. The result will blend product innovation with superb branding into our heritage of customer care that dates back to 1946. A winning combination in any strategic initiative” said Scott Breckley, President of Columbia ParCar.

“We’re at the center of an exciting trend in a fast paced industry that this acquisition will capitalize on. Our teams are enthusiastic and while much work remains, the future is bright. Assets are being deployed to assure we have a professional and prudent roll out that meets the standards Columbia ParCar and the Nordic Group have delivered for decades. Our advisory group played a key role led by Marc Borrelli, Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. We’ll be in regular communication with our channel partners, suppliers and technology alliances regarding this outstanding opportunity. ” said Michael Tomberlin.

The agreement anticipates closing within the next 45 days subject to final approvals and certifications. Integration teams are working on exchanging information and developing robust market launches of new Dealer offerings and expanded parts & accessories programs. Until this transaction closes, the companies will maintain their separate business operations. No other details will be publicly available until closed.

For more information visit www.parcar.com.

CLUB CAR OFFERS NEW ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY SOLAR DRIVE CHARGING PANELS FOR ELECTRIC PRECEDENT, CARRYALL AND VILLAGER

Owners of 48-volt electric Club Car Precedent golf cars, Carryall utility vehicles and Villager LSVs can now capture, store and use solar power with the addition of Club Car’s new 100-watt Solar Drive Charging Panel Assembly.

“As the world’s largest manufacturer of small four-wheel electric vehicles, Club Car is offering this new accessory to help our consumer, golf and commercial customers decrease grid charging and increase range on these vehicles,” says Randall Crook, Club Car’s interim aftermarket marketing manager.

As a yearly average, the system generates 29 percent of the total energy required to drive eight miles per day in West Palm Beach, Fla. That reduces the energy needed to recharge the battery by 29 percent. Results may vary depending on area and usage. By continually transferring energy to the batteries, the panels limit how deep into the battery reserve a vehicle must go during a typical use.

Best-in-class Material, Performance and Technology: These high-quality panels are based on technology developed for the U.S. Marine Corps, which uses it to run communications equipment in the Middle East.

The panels are made in the United States of a lightweight, impact-resistant, photo-voltaic material with a Teflon-like coating that protects the cells. Measuring 40″ x 26″, the panels fit snuggly on the canopies or cabs of Precedent golf cars, Carryall utility vehicles and Villager LSVs. They weigh less than six pounds and are just .20 inches thick. Most solar panels are made in China, framed in tempered glass and weigh approximately 24 pounds, creating drag on the vehicle and limiting the benefits. What’s more, service and warranty issues can be a big problem with panels made abroad.

“The Club Car panels are designed with advanced power-harvesting technology that optimizes solar power during various weather conditions and rapidly converts it into electricity to recharge the batteries and power vehicles,” says Crook. “The system also features an intelligent microprocessor that allows a higher rate of charge and reduces charge time, without overheating.”

The panels come complete with a controller, connector to the vehicle’s power supply, all necessary hardware and installation instructions. They can be user- or dealer-installed in about 20 minutes.

In addition to the standard 100-watt panel for the above-mentioned vehicles, Club Car can configure solar panels for other types of vehicles through its Custom Solutions Department.

For more information visit www.clubcar.com.

YAMAHA NAMES TIM O’CONNOR DIVISION MANAGER OF DISTRIBUTOR SALES & MARKETING

Yamaha Golf-Car Company has named 25-year golf and manufacturing industry veteran Tim O’Connor as division manager of distributor sales and marketing, according to Yamaha President Tom McDonald.

In his new role, O’Connor will head up marketing efforts for the golf car division of Yamaha in North America. He will oversee three regional managers, while leading the effort to broaden Yamaha’s market share through 24 distribution partners in the United State and Canada.

O’Connor got his first taste of the golf industry in 1989 through positions in golf course maintenance and operations at the Oak Bridge Club at Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fl. With a career in golf in his sites, he then enrolled in the PGA Golf Management Program at Mississippi State University, earning a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in marketing in 1995.

After college, O’Connor worked as an assistant golf professional at several courses in the Carolinas. A gifted teacher, he then ascended to a golf instructor position at the Arnold Palmer Golf Academy at Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa in 1997. He subsequently moved to the Palmer Academy at Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, while also earning the rank of Master Golf Teaching Professional.

In 2000, O’Connor transitioned from golf into manufacturing and sales in Silicon Valley for a technology manufacturing company. He subsequently returned home to Atlanta and started a sales development and marketing consulting company that supported several national manufacturing brands.

In 2009, he became chief operating officer for Dang Chicks, a successful apparel and home décor company he co-founded with his wife, Stephanie. Dang Chicks has grown to 3,000 independent retailers across North America and Australia.

O’Connor most recently was director of sales and marketing for Southern Ground, a family of entertainment and manufacturing companies owned by Grammy Award-winning country artist Zack Brown.

Said McDonald, “We’re thrilled to have Tim as part of the Yamaha family. His passion for the golf industry and diverse background in marketing and sales will open new avenues for broadening the Yamaha Golf Car brand.”

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

CLUB CAR IMPROVES THE HUNTING EXPERIENCE WITH NEW LIMITED SLIP DIFFERENTIALS FOR XRT™800 AND XRT850 UTILITY VEHICLES

Utility vehicles used in hunting or work applications often cover wet, hilly and rough terrain. But this can cause problems with traction and steering for many two-wheel drive models. It can also damage lawns when the vehicles are used on grass.

That’s not the case with Club Car’s new XRT800 and XRT850 utility vehicles. They are available from the factory with an optional automatic limited slip differential. Further, they feature quiet overhead cam engines with electronic fuel injection, something rarely found in compact UTVs.

“Our innovative differential improves hill-climbing ability, traction and control, especially in the woods, rough terrain or wet weather,” says Consumer Marketing Manager Mary A. Sicard. “Add all-terrain tires and you’ve got a lifted vehicle with improved performance that can operate in areas that are inaccessible with open differentials.”

The automotive-style limited slip differential operates differently, and more effectively, than either locking or open differentials. Vehicles with locking differentials lock up completely and damage turf. They can also lock at the wrong times. What’s more, manual locking differentials require operators to pull a lever and lock the differential. “Yet you get stuck before you realize it,” Sicard says.

Open differentials, on the other hand, are simpler in design and function than limited slip differentials. But when these vehicles get stuck, the power is transferred to the tire with the least traction, so the tire just keeps spinning. “Our limited slip differential delivers true on-demand traction, without the driver having to manipulate locks or fight a steering wheel with a mind of its own,” says Sicard. When driving in a straight line, the system operates like a locking differential. Both tires are receiving power for maximum traction. But once you start turning, the internal clutches allow the tires to turn at different speeds, so the driver maintains control of steering.

“With this system, you can wind your way around trees, across gullies, through mud and over pine straw, logs and other debris,” Sicard says. The system was engineered and tuned to work both on turf and off-road. It locks and unlocks in a fraction of a second.

“Since the XRT 800 and XRT 850 are mid- or rear-engine vehicles, most of the weight is on the rear tires. That means the back tires get more ‘bite,’ so they climb hills with ease. Having weight in the back of the vehicle – like a big buck – only increases this,” Sicard says. Visit www.clubcar.com for complete information.

TROJAN BATTERY EXPANDS DISTRIBUTION IN MICHIGAN AND OHIO WITH THE ADDITION OF ENERGY PRODUCTS

Trojan Battery Co. LLC has added Energy Products as a master distributor, expanding its distribution network in the U.S. Energy Products will work alongside Trojan’s current master distributor WorldWide Battery Co., LLC to manage customer sales and support activities in Michigan and Ohio.

Serving as a master distributor for Trojan Battery ensures that customers in the region will have access to Trojan’s broad portfolio of deep-cycle battery products, and will benefit from the support of Energy Products’ knowledgeable team of experts. Energy Products offers Trojan’s complete line of deep-cycle flooded, AGM and gel batteries, to support Trojan’s key market segments, which include aerial work platform, floor cleaning equipment, golf and utility vehicles, marine/RV, material handling, and renewable energy.

“Expanding Trojan’s distribution network with the addition of Energy Products, enables us to readily meet customer demands in the region for deep-cycle batteries to power a variety of applications,” said Dave Godber, executive vice president of sales and marketing. “Energy Products also will provide the high level of service our customers have come to expect from Trojan Battery.”

For more information visit www.trojanbattery.com.