155_RS2By Guido Ebert

KYMCO Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Kwang Yang Motor Co. Ltd., the Taiwanese manufacturer of KYMCO brand powersports vehicles, celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2014.

Founded in Kaohsiung in 1964, KYMCO spent the first half of its 50-year existence as a manufacturer for Honda. The company then developed its own research and development, production and testing campuses, and started marketing its own brand product in 1992.

KYMCO today manufactures scooters, motorcycles, ATVs and UXV side-by-side vehicles at five ISO-9001 quality accredited plants in Asia, has enjoyed the No. 1 position in Taiwan’s domestic scooter market for 13 consecutive years, and serves consumers and OEM clients – BMW, for instance – in 89 countries.

Stateside, KYMCO USA is wholly owned by Kwang Yang Motor Co. Ltd. and headquartered in an 80,000 sq. ft. facility in Spartanburg, S.C. The company imported and distributed its first KYMCO scooter in 2000, its first KYMCO ATV in 2003, and today serves as the exclusive KYMCO representative in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories in the Caribbean via 700-some dealerships.

KYMCO USA for 2014 offers a line of 15 scooters, 13 ATVs and 11 side-by-side vehicles. To celebrate the company’s 50-year milestone, KYMCO USA will be presenting a series of Limited Edition 50th Anniversary models. In two-wheelers, look for the Like 50 LX and Like 200i LX scooters to be offered in Metallic Gold and sporting a 50th Anniversary emblem.

I rode my first KYMCO product – a two-stroke ZX50, I believe – in Greece in 1996. Five years later, searching for a rental scoot in Cozumel, Mexico, I passed on the run-down Honda offerings on Ave. General Rafael E. Melgar and finally found a small storefront near the main square offering a new KYMCO Cobra Cross with a 49cc two-stroke powerplant that never allowed other throttle-happy tourists to pass my wife and I during that beach-to-beach island excursion.

My current KYMCO favorites: the do-all People GT 300i ($5,399) and Downtown 300i ($5,599); use them as commuters or go cross-country. Budget minded? The popular Agility 125 ($1,899) and Super 8 150 ($2,499) were updated for 2014.

Check out KYMCO brand products at 40 powersports retailers located within 200 miles of the Twin Cities.


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