SIGNIFICANT COMMERCIAL CHANGES ANNOUNCED BY STIHL GB
Almost all products can now be shipped directly to customers
This morning, Friday 5th April 2019, STIHL has informed its dealers of a number of significant changes and announced plans for a new STIHL Approved Dealer contract.
In an official statement released to dealers, the company say these changes have been brought about by “a huge surge in customers’ appetites for online shopping and more recently, STIHL’s merger of its VIKING and STIHL businesses” – this they say, “now requires the introduction of a new dealer contract.”
The headline change in the contract, as defined in the official statement is, that with immediate effect, all STIHL products – with the exception of chainsaws and spare parts – can be shipped direct to the end customer.
The statement said, “Customers must continue to be offered the option of advice and instruction however online methods, such as videos or web chats, can now be used for this purpose as well as face-to-face instruction.
“All products – except those prohibited for shipping – may now be dispatched in their original packaging and unassembled.
“All chainsaws and spares parts must continue to be personally handed to the customer.”
The official statement also laid out the company’s revised policy for battery and electric powered products. This read, “Battery and electric-powered products can be sold in store, in their original packaging. However dealers must still provide the option of product assembly.
“Petrol products must still be assembled and tested before being handed over to the customer in a ready-to-use condition.
“Chainsaws, irrespective of power source, still need to be assembled and tested before sale.
“These changes apply with immediate effect and can be implemented by STIHL Approved Dealers before signing a new dealer contract.
“A third-party platform ban continues to apply which means that products cannot be sold on sites such as Amazon, eBay or any other third party marketplace website.”
The statement also addressed the recent transfer of the Viking product lines to the STIHL brand, saying dealers will be asked to discontinue using the Viking brand. The company say they are “actively supporting its dealers to remove Viking branding from their stores.”
The statement also said the company would be “working with its Approved Dealers to achieve a higher standard of service across the sub-dealer network.”
Speaking about these changes, STIHL Great Britain’s managing director Robin Lennie said, “STIHL has had a hugely successful partnership with our dealers for over 90 years. Although more items are being sold online, the vast majority of STIHL products are still sold in store and this will continue to be the case for years to come.
“STIHL remains absolutely committed to the STIHL Approved Dealer Network and we will continue our programme of dealership development to improve the physical shopping experience. We will also be enhancing our training programme with webinars and marketing courses to help STIHL Approved Dealers to increase their ability to sell online.”
HONDA’S MEAN MOWER V2 SETS ACCELERATION RECORD
Officially recognised by Guiness World Records
Honda’s Mean Mower has re-entered the record books after setting a brand new Guiness World Records title for the ‘Fastest Acceleration 0-100 mph for a Lawnmower’.
The new record was set at the Dekra Lausitzring, near Dresden, Germany, on May 6th 2019. Under the watchful eye of a Guiness World Records adjudicator Honda’s all new Mean Mower V2 averaged 0-100 mph in just 6.29 seconds; driven by Jess Hawkins experienced stunt driver, kart and car racer – who appeared with the record-breaking machine at last November’s Service Dealer Conference & Awards.
Check out the action in the video below:
s well as hitting the straight-line speed to set the new record, Mean Mower V2 also had to demonstrate that it could still do what it is actually designed for – to cut grass – which it does. The ability to still cut grass is thanks to slight revisions to the cutter deck to house the chain driving the rear tyres and the two batteries required to power electric motors which spin carbon fibre blades to mow. Under the regulations of Guinness World Records, the mower must also ‘intrinsically look like a lawnmower’ – in this case the Honda HF 2622 lawn tractor– which it does by carrying over its front cowl, grass box and body panels.
Unveiled in summer 2018, Mean Mower V2 set out to build on the success of the original Mean Mower, which became the world’s fastest lawnmower on 8th March 2014 when it hit 116.87mph. But this time Honda say themselves and their British Touring Car Championship partner, Team Dynamics, took the development to a new level, using computer aided design, bespoke parts, advanced materials and even 3D printing.
At the heart of Mean Mower V2 lies its engine. This time a 999cc four-cylinder unit taken from the company’s CBR1000RR Fireblade SP motorcycle – producing 200bhp at 13,000rpm. It packs almost double the power of the original Mean Mower, with a super-light frame and engine dry weight of just 69.1kg, which overall results in a power-to-weight ratio in excess of that of a Bugatti Chiron.
The official acceleration figure was measured using a VBOX on-board recording device, which was fitted, set-up and verified by independent and accredited timers, Timing Solutions Limited. To meet the requirements of Guinness World Records, the mower had to record the same run, in both directions, within an hour – with the average acceleration of these two runs taken as the official time. With an average of 6.29 seconds, Honda set the new Guiness World Records title for ‘The fastest acceleration 0-100 mph for a lawnmower (prototype)’.
The team also took the opportunity while at the Lausiztring to put Mean Mower V2 through its paces on a longer run to see what it is really capable of, recording an incredible top speed of 150.99mph. The time was once again independently recorded by Timing Solutions Limited using the VBOX data.
Dave Hodgetts, managing director of Honda (UK) said, “The original Mean Mower was an incredible machine; but this time we’ve taken it to a whole new level with version two. After taking the top speed record in 2014, we wanted to do something a little different by setting an all-new record for acceleration, and the result is fantastic.
“Team Dynamics have gone above and beyond in developing and building this real feat of engineering, and hats off to Jess for being brave enough to get behind the wheel!”