Financial turmoil contributed to Ducati Redmond closure, records show

NobleRush owner owed nearly $2.7 million on new bikes. Ducati Redmond, two multi-brand dealerships in Auburn, Ducati Seattle and BMW Motorcycles of Seattle remain closed.

It’s been two weeks since the abrupt closure of NobleRush’s five motorcycle dealerships, including Ducati Redmond.

A lawsuit filed on Sept. 25 states VW Credit, a Delaware corporation that lends money to car and motorcycle dealerships to purchase new inventory, sued Howard Crow. Crow, a Microsoft executive, owns NobleRush’s five locations.

VW Credit claims Crow and several of his companies defaulted on nearly $2.7 million in loans to finance the purchase of 170 Ducati motorcycles and other equipment, according to the lawsuit filed in King County Superior Court.

According to the suit, Crow and his companies failed “to make payments when due under their loan agreement with [VW Credit] and other defaults under the loan agreement.” Crow refused to voluntarily surrender the bikes, which resulted in collateral for the loans.

In May 2018, Crow and several of his companies entered in agreement with VW Credit for the financing of a “large volume” of motorcycles, other vehicles, and equipment.

The suit says 83 of the Ducati motorcycles went to the Ducati location in Redmond, and the other 87 went to the Seattle location. The 170 Ducati motorcycles were high-performance, high-end motorcycles each retailing more than $6,000.

At the Redmond location, Stephen Hansen of JHS Properties, who manages Redmond Town Center (RTC) said they did not know about the abrupt closure. They received no pre-warning or notice from Crow.

“It’s a big loss,” Hansen said. “I can’t imagine Ducati not having a dealership here. It’s a great location for them…this is a great market for them with Microsoft being here.”

Hansen said RTC hasn’t had problems with Ducati in the past. He said they paid rent on time and he believes they were not in any sort of monetary default.

Redmond resident Bill Chappell said he bought a Ducati bike three months ago. He said he did not receive any type of notice about why the shops, including the one in Redmond suddenly closed. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo

Redmond resident Bill Chappell said he bought a Ducati bike three months ago. He said he did not receive any type of notice about why the shops, including the one in Redmond suddenly closed. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo

“It’s shocking,” Redmond resident Bill Chappell said. “They are the main Ducati dealership on the [Eastside]…it’s unfortunate.”

Chapell said he bought his bike from the Ducati Redmond three months ago. He said he had gotten a flat tire during the time of the closure but did not receive any type of notice about why the shops, including the one in Redmond suddenly closed.

According to Hansen, Crow emailed him claiming they would reopen the Redmond location. The date of the proposed reopening is still unclear, as Hansen has not heard from Crow.

VW Credit notified Crow and his companies that they were in default and demanded Crow pay the amount of nearly $2.7 million by Sept. 24 or surrender the inventory. VW Credit filed the lawsuit when Crow and his companies failed to pay and return the motorcycles.

All five locations: Ducati Redmond, two multi-brand dealerships in Auburn, Ducati Seattle and BMW Motorcycles of Seattle remain closed.