ARGENBUEHL, Germany (BRAIN)—Luke Bame has what he calls the best job in the world for a 24-year-old American. He lives in Langenthal, Switzerland, and works for Motorex Oil of Switzerland in its marketing and sales department.
Motorex sponsored Eurobike’s Demo Day Bike Wash where riders could clean their mountain bikes after taking them out on the area’s three test tracks. But if there was a downside for the Bike Wash yesterday, it was a warm and sunny weather with less need for the various cleaners and lubes produced by Motorex.
Last year, however, it was a different story. Hundreds of riders waited in line to clean their bikes after heavy rains had turned the trails into mud.
Still, Bame said Motorex’s bicycle business comprises a growing percentage of its sales. While the company is well known among German retailers, it is less well known among U.S. dealers.
The 90-year-old Swiss company is known for its high-end niche products sold in the automotive, motorcycle, marine and aeronautical markets. The company is the largest independent crude oil refiner in Switzerland and exports 25 percent of its products overseas where they are sold in 60 countries. In the U.S. market, Lube-Tech is the distributor for American retailers. Motorex products are sold dealer-direct in Europe, Bame said.
Bame, who worked at Lube-Tech after graduating from the University of Minnesota, joined the Swiss company after meeting executives from Motorex. “I was young, single and had no kids. It was perfect,” said Bame, now finishing his first full year in the European market.
“Switzerland is just like Minnesota but without the lakes. Instead we have the mountains,” he said. Bame, who speaks fluent German, admits that he isn’t much of a cyclist, preferring to ride motorcycles. “Demo Day is important for us. It gives us an opportunity to show how well our products work,” he said.