NuVinci Cycling Changes Brand Name To ‘enviolo’
TAICHUNG, Taiwan – After ten years of investing in the brand and technology of NuVinci, owner Fallbrook Technologies Inc. decided to change the name NuVinci Cycling to enviolo. “We are not walking away from what we have built but we are advancing it,” says David Hancock, Managing Director of NuVinci Cycling, or enviolo as it will be called as of January 1, 2018.
While the rebranding is mainly based on organizational reasons, the company is taking the opportunity to mark the entry into a new chapter and set an intention to become ‘the moving standard’ for e-bikes and bicycles. In an interview with Bike Europe David Hancock explained the ideas behind the name change and the future strategy on the bicycle market.
For ten years you have been working and investing on establishing the brand name NuVinci Cycling. Why change that into a new name – enviolo?
The NuVinci continuously variable planetary technology has been developed by Fallbrook for many different applications. The initial business plan was based on licensing the technology to a wide range of industries. The first five years after the introduction were mainly used to improve the technology followed by the market introduction in a range of industries. The bicycle industry was the only exception so NuVinci technology owner Fallbrook decided to develop this market themselves with success. The downside was the potential confusion it created in other industries. It gave them the impression that NuVinci is being used in bicycle products only, which is not true. This confusion, together with the fact that today Fallbrook has signed six licensing contracts, in multiple industries, as well as with Continental for their electric drive with fully automatic and continuously variable transmission, made us decide to launch a new brand name. To support a smooth transformation from NuVinci Cycling to enviolo, all our hubs will carry the ingredient brand ‘NuVinci Optimized’.
Your press release named a more independently operation from Fallbrook. Does it include the foundation of a new legal entity?
We haven’t decided that yet, although that option is certainly open for the future. For now, we focus on crafting a great brand, a unique product portfolio and outstanding services. The new name enviolo can be seen as a marker for the entry into our next chapter. This is a great tool both internally and externally.
Where is the production currently located and will there be any changes in that?
The electronics of the Harmony automatic shifting product are made in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, in a fully robotized factory. Our hubs are made in China, which is the reason why we opened an office with a staff of five people in that country.
In the press release you stated that “the new division name aims to better differentiate between the technology brand, NuVinci by Fallbrook, and the products utilizing that technology.” Does it mean that enviolo is licensing this technology?
enviolo remains a division of Fallbrook but yes, enviolo licenses the technology from Fallbrook. This name change has been prepared in advance as we already knew for a while that Continental signed the licensee contract with Fallbrook as well. However, an important part of these licensee contracts with Continental but also the others I mentioned before, is the creation of an IP (intellectual property) community. All licensing companies agreed to share their developments of fundamental technological innovations of the system. The idea of this concept is that all parties contribute to take the product to a higher standard and to grow the business.
How will you bring additional value to manufacturers, dealers, and consumers? What does it include?
enviolo is not just about a new name and logo: the division’s next chapter, marked by the new name, is going to bring a great deal of additional value to manufacturers, dealers, and consumers. We aim to become the ‘The Moving Standard’ for bicycles and e-bikes today – with a new, needs-based product portfolio, increased service capabilities, retailer support programs, and direct-to-consumer marketing initiatives.
Our division recently launched its new MY2019 product portfolio, which includes five new group sets designed specifically for the needs of the individual rider and their respective bicycle use cases. With the new group sets for city, trekking, cargo, sportive, and commercial, enviolo is expanding the unique technology into additional segments.
Furthermore, retailer support has been increased significantly across Germany, Austria, and Switzerland (DACH) as well as Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg (BENELUX) markets with the introduction of an extensive retailer training series, online training, and the recent launch of the exclusive “Experience Partner Program.”
Will you bring more bicycle products under the enviolo brand name; products other than the stepless shifting hub?
Yes, once the new name enviolo has been established in the bicycle industry, that is certainly our aim. Just like we do with our current products it will all be aimed at improving the consumer’s riding experience. But we first have to become great and excel in our performance before growing in volume.
What do you mean with “The Moving Standard”?
‘The Moving Standard’ means that we believe that stepless automatic should be the way we shift and ride these days.
What is your current market position?
In the past four years we have grown our business by 500%, mainly in Germany and the Netherlands. Today we have some half a million bicycles with our drive system on the road. We need all the attention for gear hubs we can get, including the ones of our competitors. In that sense we regard other internally geared hub providers more as an industry partner in enabling unique ride experiences, instead of a pure competitor. People need the experience of riding a bike with a gear hub, especially on an e-bike. In our opinion an e-bike should shift automatically, as people don’t do it easily themselves. That’s what OEMs should consider when they want to improve the performance and efficiency of their e-bikes. To grow our future markets we are investing substantially in our service capability as well with new markets such as France, Switzerland, and Germany which are now being managed directly by the International Service Center in The Netherlands. New systems, tools, and processes are being implemented in service support to create a more effective process for partners.