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Kent buys Univega brand, will relaunch it as a US-made IBD brand

Published April 24, 2018

MANNING, S.C. (BRAIN) — Kent International is bringing back the Univega brand, once a bike shop mainstay. The company will roll out a new line of Univega bikes — all made in the U.S. — at Interbike in Reno, Nevada, this fall, with price points from $200 to $800. The line will be sold exclusively by IBDs. 

Kent purchased the trademark and intellectual properties for the U.S. from David Menahem, who is the brother-in-law of Ben Lawee, Univega's founder. 

All Univega bicycles will be produced at the Bicycle Corporation of America factory in Manning, South Carolina.

"Making Univega in Manning is a great way to differentiate the brand, and a good story for retailers to tell," said Arnold Kamler, Kent International's CEO.

"It used to be when I showed up at bike shows with my Kent badge no one wanted anything to do with a company that sold to Walmart. Since we started making bikes in South Carolina all that has changed: dealers thank me for bringing bike making back to the U.S. and being able to sell a USA bike is a plus," he added.

Lawee started Univega in the 70s and the trademarks and intellectual property were purchased in 2010 by David Menahem who had been selling Univega bikes into IBDs in limited numbers until he decided to sell the brand to Kent.

"For consumers that find an entry level bike from the major brands priced out of their reach, dealers can now offer them a Univega made in South Carolina. An affordable bike and the made-in-America value will be attractive to buyers in this price point," Kamler added.

Huffy recently announced its IBD brand, Batch, which the company also will reveal at Interbike in Reno. Batch is targeting the same price points as Univega.

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