Zero Motorcycles: More VPs Added

FEB 14 2015 BY TDILLARD 9

Zero just sent out a release announcing two more adds to the executive pool: Dennis Gore, as VP of Product Development, and John Zukoff as VP of Quality.

Both hail from strong automotive industry backgrounds – Gore, from Chery Automobile, Honda, Nissan and Mitsubishi, Zukoff from GM, Fiat/Chrysler and Tesla.

Gore has a strong background in China-based product development and market expansion, while Zukoff, based in the San Francisco area, shows his latest work as with FOX Racing Shox, also focused on a global perspective for Q/A and production streamlining.

Here’s the release:

LEADING THE WAY: ZERO MOTORCYCLES EXPANDS EXECUTIVE TEAM

Company Invests in Top Talent for Two New Vice President Roles
 
 
SANTA CRUZ, Calif., (Feb. 11, 2015) – Zero Motorcycles, the global leader in the electric motorcycle industry, announced today two additions to the company’s executive team. Dennis Gore joins Zero as the Vice President of Product Development, while John Zukoff becomes the Vice President of Quality. The two senior management roles are newly created, and the pair are based in Zero’s Scotts Valley, California, headquarters.
 
“These two new positions represent a strategic investment in our continued growth,” said Richard Walker, Zero Motorcycles CEO. “Dennis and John each bring such a wealth of relevant experience. We have amazing talent throughout the organization, and this enhanced leadership sets us up for the next phase of our success.”
 
As the VP of Product Development, Dennis Gore brings a hands-on approach to managing Zero’s Engineering functions and future product projects, in order to continue creating the world’s leading electric motorcycles. He has a strong background in the automotive industry, having held strategic positions with Chery Automobile, Honda, Nissan and Mitsubishi. Gore places particular emphasis upon understanding customer expectations and market requirements, which informs the entire product development cycle.
 
John Zukoff, VP of Quality, is responsible for developing and enforcing processes to ensure consistent quality from the earliest stages of product development through final motorcycle production with the clear goal of exceeding the expectations of Zero dealers and riders worldwide. Zukoff brings decades of automotive industry experience leading quality programs with General Motors,  Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Tesla Motors.
 
“We are fortunate to attract people of this caliber,” said Abe Askenazi, Chief Technology Officer at Zero. “Adding the talents of Dennis and John to our in-house expertise is already paying dividends and will lead to more advanced and better products down the road.”

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9 Comments on "Zero Motorcycles: More VPs Added"

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I hope the demand for electric motorcycles can support all the extra management. Just don’t bring Lutz on board. 🙂

I hope this does not go the same as when Aptera added executives from the automotive industry. The focus shifted away from making product and completely toward raising capital. With nothing to sell, yet expensive executive salaries, the company had no chance of survival.

Aside from simple fixes like better suspension and brake components, the Zeros are fantastic bikes. I particularly like the quiet kevlar drive belts — on an electric, you realize how loud a chain is. I suspect there is nothing really important to be done but market more, hope the cost of batteries continues to fall, and wait for the crowd to pick up on how great these bikes are.

However, if Zero were going to expand their market, I’d suggest building a good simple electric scooter — not for highways, but fast and capable around town, and with storage and able to carry two people in a pinch — because that market is surprisingly under-served. The removable battery is a good idea for this, and Zero known how to do it. I think it would be sufficiently different that they would not be cannibalizing their bike sales.

There are already plenty of companies who do that – in Europe, and dozens and dozens in China alone. ZERO could never compete with their prices, even if the performance and range is superior. They need an electric cruiser in their line up – that is the best-selling type of bike in the US.

Yes, that has always surprised me.
Not only are the the best selling, they are also ideally suited to electric, at least with regard to speed.
Cruisers are generally used for just that, cruisin’, which means longer range, important as long as energy density remains an issue.

Most cruisers are used for hopping from bar to bar … if you have a charger at every bar, range wouldn’t need to be more than 10 miles …

I disagree. Zero needs to focus deeply on commuter motorcycles. Cruisers would be awful because the ICE competition can be charged in minutes and get a couple hundred miles range and can fill up in tens of thousands of established locations.

Fix all three of those things, and then competing with cruisers can be attempted.

The future is bright, but the present is limited.

People do commute on cruisers. I think the important part is if Zero were to make an electric cruiser is to make it a full size bike with the same dimensions as an H-D or other brand. When you look at the Brutus V9 you see what can be done with a bike that size. It doesn’t get mentioned very often but bikes like the Zero S and SR are small. I have an SR and parked next to my V-Strom it is obvious. If you park an SR next to a H-D Road King it looks tiny. Going with a full size structure means there is room for more batteries. The V9 can have up to a 33.7 kwh battery and has 230 mile range on the highway.

There are already tons of companies that do make electric mopeds.Only way to compete would mean moving production overseas.