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Schwinn/GT

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(16 november) In 1998, Schwinn Cycling & Fitness, GT Bicycles Inc. and Hebb Industries, a U.S. manufacturer of treadmills merged. Schwinn/GT is owned by Questor Partners Fund, an investment firm. At the time of the merger, the basic idea was to work towards separate business units for Schwinn Fitness and Schwinn/GT Bicycles. The emphasis was […]

(16 november) In 1998, Schwinn Cycling & Fitness, GT Bicycles Inc. and Hebb Industries, a U.S. manufacturer of treadmills merged. Schwinn/GT is owned by Questor Partners Fund, an investment firm. At the time of the merger, the basic idea was to work towards separate business units for Schwinn Fitness and Schwinn/GT Bicycles. The emphasis was to be on international expansion, which has succeeded so far, with a full one-third of both the fitness and the cycling income generated outside the US. Recently a new restructuring scheme was announced, simultaneously with the resignation of Kevin T. Lamar as president of Schwinn Fitness and Schwinn/GT Bicycles USA. In the meantime, the company has been transformed as foreseen in two worldwide businesses, fitness and cycling.
Jeffrey Sinclair (from Honeywell) has been named chief executive officer. Sinclair will also act as president of the Global Fitness business on an interim basis.
Trevor Bell, presently vice president of the cycling branch has been named president of the new Global Cycling business. Judith A. Baranowksi has been appointed as senior vice president global supply chain operations. Lamar’s resignation fueled speculation that this portended an entry of one or both of the brands into the mass market, because Lamar had portrayed himself as a staunch advocate of the independent bicycle. However, several insiders said that the senior management at Questor does not believe that the mass channel offers the margins that will enable to group to generate the return on investment that it needs. The company is currently licensing the brand name for several non-bicycle related products, such as scooters, which may wind up in the mass merchant channel. (WJ)

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