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Kawasaki has broken ties with its Spanish importer and distributor Nacional Motor as the Japanese motorcycle maker battles with falling sales in one of Europe’s biggest bike markets.

“Our relationship has not been as fluid as usual and they’ve [Kawasaki] said they want to do business in Spain in another way,” a Nacional Motor spokesman said, adding that the 2-year contract will end next September.
Kawasaki saw motorcycle sales fall nearly 20% to 946 units in the first eight months of 2004. In August, sales fell 13.6% to 102 units.

“We’ve sold everything they’ve given us and we would have sold more if they would have given us more product,” the Nacional Motor spokesman added. He would not say why Kawasaki has ended the contract.

However, a source close to both companies said Kawasaki was looking to launch its own Spanish unit similar to Kawasaki UK or Kawasaki France to better handle the business.

Kawasaki did not return phone calls.

Meanwhile, Nacional Motor, which also distributes Derbi motorcycles (a unit of Italy’s Piaggio) in Spain, expects to sell 60,000 units of that bike this year, up from 52,000 in 2003.

“We are going to put all of our power and focus on selling Derbi,” the spokesman said.

Ivan Castano