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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, May 29, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY
Brad Baker, CEO and co-founder of Works Electric, is a good husband. His wife, an OHSU employee, sought a more efficient way to commute up Marquam “Pill” Hill, so she asked Baker to build a transportation solution.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
BY JON BELL
A new generation of outdoor apparel companies targets the young and the urban.
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
BY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER
Demand for organic food continues to soar: Last year, sales of organic food rose to $32.3 billion — up 10% from 2012. In Oregon, organic produce wholesaler Organically Grown Co. has been championing organic growing methods for four decades.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
BY JONATHAN FROCHTZWAJG
For Far West Fibers, one of Oregon's largest and oldest mixed-recycling companies, garbage alchemy has long been big business.
Monday, July 07, 2014
BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
Named after the 2010 experiment by Thomas Ryan, "Robin Sages" are fake social media profiles designed to encourage linking and divulging valuable information.
Friday, July 18, 2014
BY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
Back in May, we shared a common Wall Street quote about investing, “Sell in May and go away.” Fast forward to July and the most common question we have been getting from clients is, “When is the market pullback going to occur?”
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.
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