KENT, WA (BRAIN) — Lapierre, a French bike brand with little presence in North America currently, will become "the premiere performance brand" within the newly formed Accell North America, the company said this week.
The new North American Accell group’s formation was announced earlier this week. It includes Raleigh America, Raleigh Canada, Seattle Bike Supply, Currie Technologies and Lapierre North America.
Lapierre was founded in 1946 and four generations of the Lapierre family have contributed to shaping the company. Located in Dijon, France, Lapierre has been a long-time supporter of the French professional cycling team, Francaise de Jeux (FDJ), as well as the Gravity Republic mountain bike team.
Accell Group bought Lapierre in 1996. The company has been led since then by managing director Gilles Lapierre.
“The launch of Lapierre North America is an exciting opportunity for us to press ahead with the very important U.S. and Canadian markets,” Lapierre said. “We are especially excited for the introduction of our mountain bike products in the North American market; while many in the U.S. may know our road product, we think some of our best and most innovative work is in the mountain category,” he said.
Accell North America has hired Kirk Bausch director of sales and marketing in the North American market. Bausch has held positions as sales director, design consultant and athlete agent and management for brands including Oakley, Smith, Spy, Monster Energy and Lava magazine. He’s also an accomplished cyclist who holds several Masters road and time-trial titles. Bausch will work closely with Dave Taylor, who leads the sales and marketing efforts for the Canadian dealer market.
Lorna Schouten also joins Lapierre North America as the brand’s marketing manager. Schouten has worked as Lapierre’s global marketing and PR manager at the Lapierre global headquarters in France since January 2011. She brings over 20 years of cycling market experience and has worked in IBD retail, branded product, manufacturing, management and as a professional cyclist for various brands during that time. Schouten is also an accomplished road and mountain bike racer.
“Lapierre represents innovation and performance at the highest level,” said Steve Meineke, CEO of Accell North America. “We felt it was critical that we look for leadership in the sales and marketing functions dedicated to the unique brand DNA of Lapierre and the performance sector of the market to build a long term sustainable position within the North American market. I believe that we have found that leadership in Kirk Bausch and Lorna Schouten.”
Lapierre North America will launch the 2014 model line at DealerCamp in July.