GRENCHEN. Switzerland (BRAIN) Mar 2, 2012 7:35 AM MT—BMC will take over sales in North America for its newly acquired Stromer Swiss e-bike brand, the company said on Thursday.
For the past year, Stromer sales and distribution have been handled by JH Global/Legacy E-Ride, a South Carolina manufacturer and distributor of electric vehicles. JH Global will continue to warehouse, prep and ship Stromer bikes, as well as handle technical support.
Brent Meyers, Stromer’s director of sales at Legacy E-Ride, will become part of the BMC sales team. Steve Marpes will stay with Legacy to handle technical support and training.
BMC acquired Stromer late last year from its founder Thomas Bingelli, who joined BMC as head of its bike division, newly renamed Group of Velo Friends. That group includes BMC and Bergamont.
Stromer was developed by Bingelli and the head of Fairly Bikes, a Taiwanese manufacturer. The pedal assist bike has been lauded for its modern, clean look due to the design that encloses the Samsung lithium ion battery inside the down tube.
Even with its $3,500 to $4,000 pricetag, sales in the U.S. in the first year were positive with about 70 IBD and e-mobility dealers stocking Stromer, said Legacy E-Ride’s Joe Wallington. The typical consumer is 30 to 55 years old, a bike commuter or enthusiast with annual income in the $100,000 range, he said.
BMC will be investing heavily in marketing to increase the awareness of the e-bike category in North America and to build the position of Stromer at the high-end, BMC said in a press release.
“I think this will be really good for the brand,” Wallington said, citing BMC’s global reach.
With BMC’s acquisition of Stromer; the purchase of U.S. e-bike manufacturer Currie Technologies by Dutch giant Accell Group; and Hero, India’s largest bike maker, taking over Ultra Motor, Wallington expects big things from the e-bike category in the coming years. E-bikes sales, though thriving in much of Europe, have struggled in North America’s car-centric culture.
“I think this is going to be enough to push it over the edge to get the growth we’ve needed,” he said.
The Stromer Elite is scheduled to arrive to Legacy E-Ride by March 15.