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Pon.Bike breaks ground on Lithuania bike factory

Published February 23, 2023

KĖDAINIAI FREE ECONOMIC ZONE, Lithuania (BRAIN) — Pon company officials buried a symbolic time capsule this week in the foundation of a new 40,000-square-meter (431,000-square-foot) bike factory being constructed here.  

The new factory is expected to open in the summer of 2024 and employ 300 people initially, rising to 600 employees when it reaches full capacity. The three-story building  will house bicycle assembly and painting workshops, a warehouse and administrative offices. When fully operational, it will produce up to 450,000 bicycles and e-bikes per year under the Gazelle, Kalkhoff, Focus and Urban Arrow brands initially.

Aušrinė Armonaitė, the Minister of Economy and Innovation of the Republic of Lithuania, joined Pon's vice president for operations, Janco van der Heiden, and other guests at the time capsule ceremony.

"Our strategy is to produce bicycles in a site that is close to our customers, and Europe is one of our biggest and fastest-growing markets," said van der Heiden. "The Kėdainiai factory is proof of this. By strengthening manufacturing capacity in Europe, we are not only creating new jobs, but also obtaining more control over our supply chain. In the end, this will also benefit our customers."

The factory will be Pon's eighth, worldwide and features a 10,000-square-meter (107,000-square-foot) rooftop solar power plant that will supply electricity to the production lines.

"We recently opened a similar factory in Germany, completely based on our successful business set up, and we are happy and proud to bring this same set up to Lithuania, so the new factory will benefit from our knowledge and experience to be a safe and inspiring place for our new Lithuanian colleagues to work. In addition, we firmly believe in the benefits of continuous training and development, which leads to personal growth and new career opportunities," said Janco van der Heiden.

Armonaitė, said, "The Ministry of Economy and Innovation has granted the Pon.Bike factory in Kėdainiai the status of a major investment project. This makes it much easier for new investors to settle in Lithuania. We continue to work to ensure that conditions are right for new manufacturing facilities to be built and new jobs created."

Pon's brands in include Kalkhoff and Focus in Germany, Cervélo and Santa Cruz in the U.S., and the Dutch brands Urban Arrow and BBB Cycling. In 2021 Pon.Bike announced the acquisition of Dorel Sports, the parent of Cannondale, GT, Schwinn and other brands. That purchase was finalized in January 2022. 

The time capsule was buried in the factory foundation this week.

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