GRENCHEN, Switzerland - Thomas Binggeli, the new CEO of BMC (see photo), sits firmly in the saddle: just three months after joining, he announced considerable structural changes – from a reinforced management team to a sharpened brand profiling.
Last November BMC owner Andy Rihs provided the deal of the decade in the Swiss bicycle industry when he took over the e-bike brand Stromer and appointed its founder Thomas “Thömu” Binggeli as the new head of BMC and new associate of his ISH Holding. Binggeli has tackled his homework and after the first 100 days he presents an entire package of measures.
New Group Name - new directors
First, the abbreviation ISH (International Sport Holding AG), which never had a meaning outwards, was given up. The three brands BMC, Bergamont and Stromer are summarized now under the new roof BMC group.
Second, new names come into the management: As COO is acting now Stefan Sommer, the former CFO of Intersport group. Another new entrant at BMC is Christian Muller (former DT Swiss) as new head of the e-bike division Stromer. Rolf Singenberger, longest serving cadre member, has been appointed as new BMC brand chief. Nothing changed at the Hamburg division: Bergamont is still run by founder Stefan Berkes.
New brand profiling
Finally, the all the brands will be better positioned and profiled:
- BMC (60,000 units, about half of them frame kits) will focus exclusively on high-end racing and mountain bikes - according to BMC the appropriate strategy for a Tour de France winner brand.
- Bergamont (120,000 units) will, according to Binggeli, cover “to a greater extent the segment of the best bicycles for the respective price” in future.
- With the electric bike Stromer, Andy Rihs, chairman of the Board of Directors, is heading for the top: The award-winning e-bike will be marketed internationally and launched even more consistently as the “iPhone of the electric bikes”.
New Stromer plant
In fact Stromer has the greatest potential of all brands. Last year’s sales of 11,000 will be doubled in 2012. And plans are even much more ambitious at the start of a new Stromer factory in Oberwangen near Berne this spring. This is another clear endorsement of the work place Switzerland following the opening of an automated carbon production at the BMC head quarter in Grenchen in 2010. After prolonged initial problems they can finally start the serial production of the Impec models thanks to the use of new materials.
Caption: BMC CEO Thomas Binggeli on the new carbon factory: “the processing has been optimized now and the premium racer Impec can go in serial production.” .