Canadian company acquires Indian motorcyle brand internationally

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TORONTO--After a 10 year trademark dispute with U.S. firm Eller Industries Inc. of Niwot, Colorado, Indian Motorcycle Co. of Toronto has acquired the trademark for the U.S. market to add to its Canadian business.

Along with that acquisition come the rights to several other international markets including Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, Malaysia, Greece and the U.K.

Now the Canadian company also has plans to relaunch the Indian Motorcycle brand across North America through a series of measures, including offering a $20,000 1999 Limited Edition Indian Chief motorcycle, which has already been entirely presold, and the opening of around a dozen Indian Motorcycle Caf1 & Lounges across North America, with the first opening in Toronto last January.

The Cafes will be a place to dine, dance and shop for Indian Motorcycle brand casual clothing, as well as view a display of vintage Indian Motorcycles and memorabilia. The Toronto location uses a large two floor warehouse space converted into a stylish, light wood and metal environment. Brilliantly colored bikes are a main visual attraction.

Other plans include marketing the brand through fashion and hospitality publications and special events, along with an ad campaign that will include outdoor and transit ads. Holmes & Lee of Toronto have been working with Indian Motorcycle since last August, and expects spot ads to start soon with a full campaign by the fall.

The Canadian company reports current sales of about $20 million. Indian Motorcycle was at one time a well-known U.S. brand of motorcycles that were built in Springfield, Massachusetts from 1901 to 1953. Competition from other major companies, such as Harley Davidson, left Indian Motorcycle behind in the dust for the past few decades.

Copyright March 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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