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|Articles - March 2013|
|Monday, February 25, 2013|
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Another visionary concept of Bramscher’s finally came to fruition late last year. Polaris Industries out of Medina, Minn., a company known globally for its snowmobiles, ATVs and motorcycles, made a big move into the electric-vehicle arena in 2012, acquiring both North Dakota’s Global Electric Motorcars (GEM) and France’s Goupil Industrie SA. In October, Polaris and Brammo consummated a four-year courtship when Polaris acquired a minority stake for $28 million.
Bramscher’s looking for more, but the Polaris deal “helped dramatically.” Besides the capital, the deal cleared the way for Brammo to offer financing for dealer inventory, known as “flooring,” courtesy of GE Capital. Further, consumer lender Sheffield Financial has agreed to terms with Brammo to finance retail purchasers, Bramscher says. “Most [financing] companies want to see you have a couple hundred million in revenue before they’ll start financing.”
Beyond the numbers, the Polaris investment allowed Brammo to remain an Oregon-based asset. Bramscher says seven other states were actively recruiting him to relocate. One state’s package of incentives totaled $41 million. He admits, “There are days when I think I could just stop fundraising and take the money and go.”
Now that Brammo’s purchase of the 100,000-square-foot former Walmart facility in Talent is nearly completed, and with the announcement of plans to establish an R&D office in Portland, Bramscher says he’s here to stay. “That’s the plan,” he offers with a wry smile, thinking no doubt of how “the plan” has changed in the past three years.
As soon as the deed is recorded for the Talent property, Bramscher will establish a manufacturing facility to “cover all R&D for headquarters, assembly of batteries for North America and assembly of motorcycles for North America.” The R&D office in Portland will bring together a number of freelancers currently working out of their homes in the Portland area. Brammo also has designers and engineers working in Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Bramscher’s ever-evolving plan means big doses of globe-trotting. Currently, Brammo has more dealerships in Europe than in the U.S. thanks to growing demand for the commuter-oriented Enertia R, which is being built in Hungary in partnership with global manufacturer Flextronics. Bramscher also is working on deals in Singapore and Hong Kong while eyeing expansion into Japan, South Korea and maybe Malaysia, among other possibilities, including Mexico. Wherever he goes, Bramscher carries the Oregon business brand proudly. He’s urging the governor and legislators to color that brand in brighter shades of green. “We’ve got this amazing opportunity,” he says. “It’s good to be green. It’s something that fits the state so well.”
Thursday, July 31, 2014
BY MARY SPILDE | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
Faced with the aftermath of the “great recession,” increasing concern about the environment and dwindling family wage jobs, we have some very important choices to make about our future.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
Remember the naysayers? Those who called the South Waterfront aerial tram a boondoggle? Those who rejoiced at the massive sell off of luxury condos at the John Ross and Atwater Place?
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
The New Yorker recently published a sharply worded critique of “disruptive innovation,” one of the most widely cited theories in the business world today. The article raises questions about the descriptive value of disruption and innovation — whether the terms are mere buzzwords or actually explain today's extraordinarily complex and fast changing business environment.
Update: We caught up with Portland's Thomas Thurston, who shared his data driven take on the disruption controversy.
Thursday, June 05, 2014
BY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER
What does it take to launch and run one of these mobile food businesses?
Thursday, June 26, 2014
BY ERIC FRUTS | OB BLOGGER
Last year, the housing market in Oregon—and the U.S. as a whole—was blasting off. The Case-Shiller index of home prices ended the year 13% higher than at the beginning of the year. But, was last year a blip, or a trend?
Monday, July 14, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER
Some people think Amazon’s winking eye logo is starting to look like a hoodwink.
Thursday, July 03, 2014
BY TED AUSTIN & MIKE BAELE | GUEST CONTRIBUTORS
The Office of Economic Analysis announced that Oregon is currently enjoying the strongest job growth since 2006. While this resurgence has been welcome, the lingering effects of the 2008 “Great Recession” continues to affect Oregon businesses, especially with regard to estate planning and business succession.
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Vigilant enters a New Year with a new president.
How George Fox has become one of Oregon's largest private universities.
Forest Grove sees growth in the burgeoning food and beverage scene.
Lane Powell Shareholder Susan K. Eggum has been elected as vice chair of programs and projects for the International Association of Defense Counsel’s (IADC’s) Employment Law Committee.
Geffen Mesher is saddened to announce the passing of long-time shareholder, Tom “Mike” Anderson, who died on July 10, 2014, from liver disease diagnosed after recent heart surgery. He was 55 years old.
Fifteen Lane Powell attorneys have been named 2014 “Oregon Super Lawyers,” and another five attorneys have been named as “Oregon Rising Stars” by Super Lawyers magazine.