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Brose's Dan Jeffris: 'A bigger impact ... will be the change in attitude towards bikes'

Published October 12, 2020
Part 3 of BRAIN's Crystal Ball series.

Editor's note: For a feature in Bicycle Retailer & Industry News, Retail Editor Ray Keener spoke with 14 leaders on the supplier side of the industry. Ray spoke with leaders of major bike brands, component suppliers, e-bike startups, accessory makers and more. We will be running sections of that article online this month.

BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — It’s been a hectic and unprecedented several months for our industry and many others. Fortunately for our companies and retailers, hectic has meant managing demand rather than fighting for survival.

Now that the season is waning, inventories are catching up (in some cases) and suppliers are catching their collective breaths, we reached out to a cross-section of suppliers and service providers to get their take on the future.

Dan Jeffris, Account Manager, NA OE Sales, Brose 

As a system supplier to OE for mid- to high-end e-bike drive systems, Brose is adjusting to the unusual swings in demand. There was an initial pause as factories shut down, then we saw subsequent high demand put strain on the bike supply chain. challenges with our raw material inventory at the outset of the pandemic due to uncertainty and order adjustments. This has largely worked its way thru the supply chain.

Ongoing, we will base manufacturing and distribution strategy decisions on longer-term planning, in spite of sudden fluctuations from circumstances such as COVID.

The trailing edge of new orders from OE to fill demand will last into Q4 2020 and possibly Q1 2021. Beyond that, OE purchases will likely see a return to normal volumes (including standard, maybe slightly-elevated growth forecasts) into 2021.

With COVID, the industry saw a fairly immediate impact on retail sales of entry-level bikes and e-bikes as people were forced to work from home. There has since been a move toward normalizing remote work, which is impacting urban populations. 

These trends could definitely result in continued increases in demand for recreational bikes and e-bikes as well as updating to a nicer bike from the initial low-cost bike purchase. A bigger impact of COVID will hopefully be the change in attitude towards bikes as transportation as well as municipal actions and investment that make cycling safer. 

Dan Jeffris
Topics associated with this article: Crystal Ball, Electric bike

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