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Kawasaki Unveils 2003 Off-Road Motorcycles and All Terrain Vehicles

    IRVINE, Calif.--June 6, 2002--Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. has unveiled its 2003 off-road motorcycle and all terrain vehicle (ATV) line-up to a gathering of media serving those recreational vehicle categories. The company also took advantage of the product presentation to clarify its position regarding the announcement made in Japan last year of a strategic alliance between Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. and Suzuki Motor Corporation.
    Kawasaki executives provided an overview of favorable market conditions in the off-road motorcycle category and showed a full complement of two-wheeled units to meet what they see as a significant industry-wide sales surge in the next two years. Models introduced included competition, enduro, and dual purpose motorcycles.
    The company is equally bullish regarding the expanding ATV market, and sees industry retail sales for the four-wheeled vehicles moving close to 900,000 units by the end of next year. That would represent twice the total number of units retailed in 1998.
    The most rapidly growing segments in the ATV area have been in the youth-sized and sport categories during the past 12 months, according to the company.
    Kawasaki's latest introductions are weighted to meet those consumer preferences, said Bob Shepard, Executive Vice President, Marketing Group.
    Among the product shown to the media were two youth-sized ATVs and a model targeted at the hardcore sports riding enthusiast. These were complimented by introductions of an addition to the brand's very successful Prairie line-up and units dressed in camouflage livery for the weekend hunter.
    The alliance between Kawasaki and Suzuki is intended to increase competitiveness and profitability on a worldwide basis for both brands. Cooperation in development, supplying OEM products and commonizing and purchasing of parts compliments each other's business resources.
    OEM production of certain models, much like the auto industry has done for several years, will help provide each brand with a wider range of product offerings while allowing each to individually broaden its consumer base.
    The two brands will maintain total separation and independence, especially in the areas of sales, marketing, and dealer distribution.
    According to Kawasaki's Shepard, "The outcome of this arrangement will be to strengthen the brand, strengthen our retail network, and ultimately provide the customers with more opportunities to join Kawasaki's `Good Times' family." He made reference to the advertising tagline that the brand has used for nearly 30 years, and has become synonymous with Kawasaki's expanding products in the motorcycle, ATV, personal watercraft, and utility vehicle categories.