KMX Karts Limited has fought off the challenge of nearly 600 enterprises to reach the semi-finals of the HSBC Start-Up Stars Awards. Now Barry and Alan Smith, non-related owners of the company, are hoping the business will be selected as a finalist and go on to win the title and the top prize of £20 000. PLUS: Despite dealer reticence, KMX is looking to ramp up sales via IBDs - Norman Fay Cycles of Tyneside bought four KMXes and sold the first one within 48 hours.

Kid’s recumbent trike maker reaches semi-finals of business awards

KMX Karts has made it into the top 20 finalists of the HSBC Start-Up Stars Awards.

The ten finalists in the HSBC comp will share prizes worth over £65 000, including a £20k first prize and £5k for the runner-up.

The HSBC Start-Up Stars Award scheme, now in its third year, is Britain’s biggest awards for businesses under two years old. The winner will be announced at a gala dinner at London’s Savoy Hotel on 2nd October.

In June last year, Alan and Barry Smith took two prototypes to the Gunswharf in Portsmouth during National Bike week. A positive response reinforced Alan Smith’s belief in the commercial potential of the KMX as a new genre. KMX Karts Ltd. was launched in July 2002.

An article on the fledgling company on last year prompted a call from a

Taiwanese bike factory, asking if they had considered developing and producing KMX Karts abroad.

This led to production moving to the Far East. 300 Karts arrived from Taiwan in May and sell through has been rapid, although IBDs are reticent until they see KMXes in the flash, said Alan Smith.

An adult version is planned for next year but the existing trike – aimed at making recumbents popular with kids – is suitable for 8 to 14 year olds.

Whilst not cheap at £350, this is relatively good value for money compared to other recumbents trikes, such as Advanced Vehicle Design’s Windcheetah, the Mike Burrows classic.

The trade price is £230 plus VAT per unit with a £12 delivery price, free for orders of four or more.

To guarantee delivery for Christmas 2004 KMX Karts Ltd requires orders by the last week in September.

KMX-specific display stands are available from Kestrel Engineering.

Tel 01329 233 443. Email

Alan Smith would like to hear from independent sales agents who would like to schlepp a KMX around their accounts:

"We are slowly getting to IBDs in the south of England to show them our product but it is in areas such as Wales, Scotland, northern England, the Midlands and London that we could do with assistance from agents. Once IBDs get a hand-on experience of a KMX, we find the take up is greatly increased even where the dealer may have been sceptical at first."


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