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Orbea to go on summer tour to visit US dealers

Published June 5, 2015

MALLABIA, Spain (BRAIN) — A lot has changed at Orbea USA over the past six months as Gonzalo Garcia de Salazar took over leadership of the wholly owned subsidiary of the Spanish brand. 

The company has consolidated two third-party warehouses in Durham, N.C., and Reno, Nev., into one larger, central warehouse in Little Rock, Ark., which it owns. It launched a new B2B website earlier this year and more recently has overhauled its sales structure. 

Salazar said the U.S. market is now divided into three territories — Northeast, South and the Rockies — that will be managed by Matthew Smith, Ty Stevens and Kemi King. Each territory manager will be responsible for a number of independent reps with the goal of increasing the number of Orbea dealers and also visiting those dealers on a more frequent basis. Before Orbea USA relied on an inside sales model. 

“It has become necessary to adapt a new approach to managing the growing dealer network that Orbea is creating. As such, Orbea has recently restructured its territory management to allow for additional growth over the coming years,” said Salazar, Orbea US general manager. “The primary goal of this strategy is to improve the level of service we offer to our dealers and consumers, increase the brand presence, and to care for the long-term health and stability of Orbea in the North American market.”

Matthew Smith will manage the Northeast, South and Rockies. Ty Stevens will manage the Southeast and Great Lakes Area. Kemi King will manage California and Southwest territory.  

Salazar also said that he’s adding staff to Orbea’s Arkansas headquarters in sales, accounting and after-sales service. About 15 employees currently work out of Little Rock, with another 15 on the field, he said. 

The Little Rock, Ark., facility has gone through a lot of staffing changes in recent weeks as well, with new hires across warranty, financing and sales departments. 

“We want to be more oriented to customer service,” Salazar said about the reason behind the changes. “We are trying to implement the same model as in Europe at Orbea USA. We’re looking to be more customer service oriented. My background is all about IBDs. I understand very well what the IBDs need.” 

This summer Salazar plans to unveil Orbea’s 2016 model range as well as the revamped company to dealers during a 12-city tour that will travel to Denver, Salt Lake City, Portland, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Dallas, Chicago, New York, Orlando and Charlotte among other cities. Orbea will present the new range and host product clinics. 

The tour will also give Salazar the opportunity to meet dealers, and coincides with Orbea’s 175th year anniversary. Not many people know that the company started in 1840 as a manufacturer of guns before switching to bikes in 1930, he noted. 

“For me it’s a fantastic opportunity to personally meet all of my dealers. It’s going to be a big effort,” said Salazar, who started with Orbea USA last November, after working for Trek Spain as country manager for 11 years. Salazar said he’s worked in the industry for 28 years in various capacities, as a retailer, country manager for a bike brand, on the trade show side and even in media. 

“Of course in my experience as a retailer I really appreciated good customer service and warranty service is key,” he said. “We want to be fantastic. We’re working hard to have enough inventory and to deliver it as quickly as possible.”

The dealer tour is set to begin June 27 in Golden, Colo., and concludes Aug. 3 in Little Rock, Ark. Salazar said Orbea currently has 130 stocking dealers in the U.S. and he would like to double that number. 

Summer Tour cities and dates:

Golden, CO - June 27
Salt Lake City, UT - June 29
Portland, OR - July 1
San Francisco, CA - July 7
Irvine, CA - July 10
Phoenix, AZ - July 12
Dallas, TX - July 14
Chicago, IL - July 17
New York, NY - July 20
Charlotte, NC - July 24
Orlando, FL - July 27
Little Rock, AR - August 3


Gonzalo Garcia de Salazar

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