Recent Reorganization At Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. Brings Sales And Marketing Functions Closer Together

Part of company¿s approach to increasing efficiency and improving coordination of operational activities

IRVINE, Calif. (June 1, 2004)¿The reorganization at Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. (KMC), effective May 10, is intended to increase overall efficiencies and productivity within the various operational groups that have helped the company grow so markedly over the past decade.  Among the changes taking place at KMC are the integration of functions that have a synergistic relationship¿such as marketing and sales.

KMC¿s president, Steve Hamada, stressed the need for shortening the lines of communication within the company, supporting management desires to remain responsive to dealers and consumers.  Bringing together the marketing and sales operations under Tom Orbe, who moved from vice president, marketing to vice president, sales and marketing serves that need, ¿both for short and long-term KMC growth plans,” according to Hamada.

To further position KMC for competitive activity, Orbe is taking advantage of the talents offered by four key management individuals.  Tony Murr, who had been vice president, sales, moves over to become vice president, marketing.  ¿Tony¿s involvement in marketing and communications will provide our internal staff and agencies with a clear view of the current situation at the dealership level and will prepare us to be very responsive to immediate retail needs,¿ said Orbe.

Rodger Howe, who had been director, communications, becomes director, national sales.  ¿Rodger¿s recent responsibilities in guiding the company¿s communications efforts, coupled with his extensive field sales experience, will certainly give him the ability to address our needs in the sales arena,¿ said Orbe.    Howe will be assisting Orbe, who also holds the title of vice president, sales.

Jim Weston, formerly west region sales manager, moves into the newly created position of director, sales planning and inventory management.  Integrating sales & program planning, dealer order planning and vehicle/import planning, Weston will direct his field sales experience at optimizing KMC¿s supply chain to support dealer needs.

Patrick Kelly, previously director, product management becomes director, product planning and research.  Leading the combined activities of product management, accessory product development and marketing research, Kelly will be focused on enhancing future product development.

¿The more effective we become at increasing management sensitivity to all areas of the company¿s operations, the better positioned KMC will be moving forward,¿ according to Hamada.  He indicated that Murr¿s and Weston¿s extensive sales experience, Kelly¿s deep product management capability, along with Orbe¿s and Howe¿s marketing expertise, would bring fresh thinking and new dimensions to their realigned roles.

This blending of the sales and marketing activities compliments the overall approach Hamada outlined when announcing the reorganization earlier this month.  Combined with the consolidation of several product-related functions into a product operations group under Dave Dora, vice president, product operations, KMC is ¿ideally positioned for efficiency and profitability,¿ said Hamada.

Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. markets and sells at wholesale Kawasaki motorcycles, ATVs, personal watercraft, utility vehicles, power products and general-purpose engines.  These product lines are sold through a network of more that 1,500 independent retailers.  KMC and its affiliates employ nearly 2,400 people in the United States, with approximately 400 of them located at the Irvine, California headquarters.

Kawasaki¿s tagline, ¿Let the good times roll.&tradee;¿, is recognized worldwide and the brand is aggressively carrying its heritage of power, performance, leading-edge design and exhilaration into the 21st century.  Information about Kawasaki¿s complete line of recreational products and Kawasaki affiliates can be found on the Internet at www.kawasaki.com.