GE Gives Financial Backing to Siberia-Made Motorcycles

General Electric (NYSE: GE  ) wants in on the popularity of rugged Ural sidecar motorcycles.

On Thursday, GE announced that its GE Capital Commercial Distribution Finance business will begin providing inventory financing to dealers stocking Russian Ural Motorcycles. The Urals, which are manufactured in the Siberian town of Irbit, are distributed by Irbit Motorworks of America based in Redmond, Wash. Ural products first came to the U.S. in 1993.

In fact, there are already 75 active dealers operating in the U.S., selling the classic cycle notable for its sidecars and tough, off-road driving capability. Ural is hoping to widen its reach even further with the help of its new ally. Said Ural Chief Marketing Officer Jon Bekefy: "Due to their vintage feel and durable construction, we've found a real appetite for our products in the U.S. Now that we've arranged for inventory financing through GE Capital, we can continue to focus on growing retail sales and building long-term relationships with our national dealer network."

Since its start in the 1940s, the motorcyle company has produced more than 3.2 million motorcycles.

Inventory financing, also known as floorplan financing, is a revolving line of financing whereby a dealer goes to a third-party lender (GE in this case) to obtain money needed to buy inventory from a manufacturer. The inventory secures the loan from the financier, and as inventory is sold and rolled out the door, the retailer pays back its loan and takes on new credit to buy new inventory.


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Rich Smith

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