LAGUNA HILLS, CA (BRAIN)—BMC will sell complete bikes in the U.S. this year for the first time as the boutique Swiss brand looks to broaden its customer base and increase sales volume.
In the past, BMC sold only high-end framesets in the U.S., but is adding a second-tier pricepoint and 11 complete road and mountain models as part of its new direct distribution strategy.
That decision was a calculated risk, said Fabio Selvig, general manager of BMC USA, but important to avail the brand to customers who can’t plunk down $5,000 for a frame.
“It might erode the image a bit, but it will expand the number of people who can go buy a BMC without spending their entire salary,” Selvig, during an interview at the BRAIN offices on Thursday.
To reach a wider array of riders, BMC is offering a carbon fiber road bike spec’d with a full Shimano 105 groupset for $2,400, and an aluminum road bike with carbon fiber fork for $1,400. Bikes under $2,000 are spec’d with a stem, seatpost and handlebars from BMC’s Scor house brand to help keep prices down.
BMC will continue to offer framesets only in its two top road models—Impec and Race Machine—and two top mountain bike models—Team Elite 01 and Four Stroke 01.
Growing its U.S. business has become a greater focus since BMC formed its own U.S. subsidiary in late 2009 upon parting ways with Quality Bicycle Products.
Since then, it’s increased its dealer base to 107 and hopes to drive that number up to 140 by the end of the year. Business is brisk with 80 percent of BMC’s committed dealers doubling preseason orders this year, Selvig said.
Along with the U.S., in the past two years, BMC has also gone direct in Germany, Austria, France, Spain, Portugal and Italy.
“That’s all contributed toward better sales goals, so I think that was the right move,” said Markus Eggimann, brand manager for BMC in Switzerland.