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New General Manager At DPE

  18 July 2013

Bart Price has taken over from his father Drew as General Manager of DPE (now known as DPE Kart Technology). The move, part of DPE's succession plan, was confirmed in a communication with dealers today.

Drew started in the karting industry, operating out of his parents' garage, in the ealry 70s when he was still a teenager. Doing engine rebuilds and suppying parts, he was soon building karts and employing staff. The business steadily grew and has become a world-renowned manufacturer of race karts.

Now it's the next step for DPE, with Bart stepping up to the plate as General Manager. His message to the industry is below:

Dear valued customer,

For those who don’t know me, I am Drew’s eldest son, Bart Price. I am writing to you today to inform you that I have taken over the role of General Manager within DPE Kart Technology.

My career in the karting industry began at the age of 8. It was during this time that Drew had me working every school holidays to prove that my desire to race karts was not just a passing phase, but a passion that I was willing to devote my time and energy to.

At 10 years of age I had proven to Drew that karting was paramount in my life and I was willing to work towards it. I had worked enough hours to cover the cost of my first kart to begin my racing career.

Throughout my racing career I always felt that I didn’t have a lot of natural talent as a driver, however the technical side of karting was a passion for me. I always believed that if I understood the technical element of making a kart go fast then this could make up for what I lacked in driving ability. This helped level the playing field when competing against the likes of Jamie Whincup, Mark Winterbottom & Will Davison.

In order to understand the mechanics of a kart, I needed to understand how the kart was manufactured. This inspired me to complete an apprenticeship as a fitter and turner with the world renowned company, ‘Bosch’. The apprenticeship gave me the foundation to understand the engineering side of a kart and its components. During this time I would finish up at Bosch for the day and head to DPE to work wherever the business needed me. This gave me the opportunity to gain a strong understanding of each department within the business.

In 2003 I applied for a full time job at DPE. Drew has always made me work for everything and employing me through the standard channels of employment was one of those cases. Fortunately I got the job which saw me working on the Research & Development (R&D) team, developing karts and products. In my mind this was the opportunity of a life time!

In 2006 I was promoted to the role of R&D Manager which would see me take over the leadership and direction of the R&D team. Approximately 90% of my time in the next 5 years was spent in the seat of kart. During this time we developed some great products and I was able to expand my technical expertise further.

In 2008 business was very tough. With the down turn in the economy, things were not good.  We were struggling financially and seriously needed to look at all our options. Drew was getting tired of the business and I was only just reaching a point whereby I had gained the skills and knowledge to help drive us into the future. At this point we initiated the journey of our 5 year succession plan to fight to survive and lessen the reliance and work load on Drew.

We employed one of Toyota’s past Operations managers (Neil Kinsey) to join the team and learn from his experience and knowledge. From 2008 until the end of 2010 I worked alongside Neil as a sponge, taking in every bit of knowledge I could before assuming the role Operations Manager in 2011 after Neil resigned.

My key role as Operations Manager was to drive down our operating costs. To do this I needed to engage the staff in Lean business systems which is a common business practice used within the manufacturing industry worldwide today. Through this process we restructured departments and appointed team leaders to help drive the changes and create accountability at all levels of staffing. Fortunately for me, we have a very motivated and passionate team in Operations and together we achieved significant cost savings improving the financial viability of the business.     

2013 sees us at the end of our 5 year succession plan. As of the start of this year I have been working alongside Drew to acquire the final skills and knowledge to take over the leadership of the business as General Manager. 

I see the journey described above as a 22 year apprenticeship to put me in a position to lead DPE Kart Technology into a successful future with a brilliant team alongside me. It is my belief that a successful business is founded on a team of skilled staff. We have therefore structured DPE Kart Technology to put personnel with expertise in the key areas of our business.

My current focus is to improve our customer service and develop better communication with our customers.  Nobody knows how we can service our customers better than you. I therefore look forward to hearing any thoughts and ideas you may have on how DPE Kart Technology can better service you in anyway.

In closing I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing support of DPE, and to assure you that the leadership of DPE Kart Technology is in the hands of an extremely motivated and enthusiastic team that is focused on continuous improvement.

Best Regards,

Bart Price
General Manager