International Dealer News IDN 138 August/September 2017 | Page 24

ROAD TRIP control cable manufacturer with particular success in Italy with manufacturers such as Piaggio, Aprilia and Ducati. Because of the evolving technology of motorcycle brakes, J. Juan entered the flexible hose sector in the 1990s, and the same quality control focus we still see today resulted in their first ISO 9001 Certification. European brake hose market leadership happened quickly, and the next stage for J. Juan was to be able to start being able to supply the complete brake system, from levers and master cylinders, through cables and hoses to the calipers themselves. These days Europe accounts for some 50 percent of sales, with 30 percent in America and some 20 percent in Asia. Still headquartered at Gava, on the coast just south of Barelona, expansion is underway in the region with an additional facility added to the group, and internationally with wholly owned or partnership factories in China and India, a U.S. office in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a factory to service their growing American sales, especially in the ATV/Quad and UTV/SxS markets, due for completion in Mexico in 2018. The company’s OE customer roster is impressive, with customers from right across the powersports industry spectrum, from small cc, scooters and trails bikes, through to big inchers, the Quad/ATV and UTV/SxS 24 sectors, even including a growing number of electric vehicle manufacturers. From Rieju and Gas Gas in Spain, to BMW, Ducati, Triumph, Husqvarna, KTM, Piaggio, Moto Guzzi, Peugeot, Aprillia, MV Agusta, Govecs, Domino, Magura and others elsewhere in Europe; to Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki in Japan; Hyosung, Loncin, Mahindra, Kymco, Quadro, Zongshen, CF Moto and Hero in India and elsewhere in Asia; through to the likes of Polaris, BRP, Can-Am, Indian Motorcycle, Ski-Doo, Arctic Cat and Zero Motorcycles in the United States and Canada. J. Juan says it is the second largest manufacturer of brake components in Europe and that 90 percent of “Western” manufactured motorcycles have at least some J. Juan brake components on them – in 2015 alone the company invested some 1 million euros into brake component R&D. Therein lies the heart of the J. Juan story. As I saw for myself on my recent visit to their Gava, Barcelona factory, their R&D, testing and quality control processes and procedures are among the most extensive and exhaustive I have seen in any motorcycle parts and accessory business I have ever seen – and I INTERNATIONAL DEALER NEWS - AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2017 have visited manufacturing plants of more kinds in more countries in the past 25 years than I care to try to count, literally hundreds. Their Internal Validation Procedures have built-in redundancy and double or triple checks for every stage. As CEO Jose Luis Juan says “we are in the safety business. Where safety is concerned you just cannot invest in too many ways of making sure that the product we ship to our customers not only lives up to our reputation, but theirs too. “Original Equipment manufacturers will supply-side source product from a company such as ours specifically because we can supply a better and more reliable product than they can, and because we can ‘we don’t just homologate the product, we homologate the process’ deliver it cost effectively. We can do so, compared to an OE factory, because our investments are spread across such a wide range of applications and higher volumes than they can ever leverage themselves. “At J. Juan we don’t just homologate the product, we homologate our processes too – design, materials, testing, manufacturing, more testing and quality control procedures are subjected to the most intense scrutiny, so we can achieve ISO accreditation for the process.”