Keola Goes Global From Its Solid Base In The Netherlands
AMERSFOORT, the Netherlands – In the coming years the Netherlands based e-bike manufacturer Keola will expand its dealer network and production capacity within and beyond the national borders at a rapid pace. In the Benelux, Germany, France and Denmark CEO Victor Weng expects to work with 400 dealers by the end of 2018. Especially for these dealers, Keola and E-Wheels Studio successfully introduced a new premium e-bike brand for the middle and higher segment: VanDijck, e-bikes with a typical Dutch design.
And this is just the starting phase. From their headquarters, based in Amersfoort, Weng and his team work on an even bigger mission: within 5 years, Keola must become a global player who will ‘e-bike’ the world. Think about China, the United Kingdom, US, Australia, and the rest of Europe. “In China, we are already in motion with our own experience centre, where people can experience cycling on an e-bike. We definitely have a lift off!” says Weng.
New factory opening
“Moreover, we expect to increase our capacity by tenfold in the coming months by opening a new factory in the Netherlands.” With this step Keola adapts quickly to the current turbulent market developments. In particular, due to the ongoing investigation into dumping from China by the European Commission in relation to the quality and price of products from the Far East, bicycle resellers are reluctant to place orders in that region.
“With the extensive expansion of our capacity, we facilitate large and small e-bike resellers to complete their production ‘next door’ within a few months. By moving their production from countries like China, or former Eastern Bloc countries, to Western Europe, their business model comes closer to the market.”
State of the art design and R&D
The new e-bike factory on Dutch soil also offers bicycle suppliers a practical connection to Keola’s design and R&D facilities. “Producing e-bikes is a specialist subject, requiring a lot of expertise in electronics. Thanks to our own e-bike portfolio, we already have that unique know-how at present. A number of top quality designers with a well-known reputation in the bike market work with us. They are used to design and develop high-quality premium pro-ducts and we want to let our partners benefit from that creativity and experience.”
Expanding the dealer base
“Besides that, the Dutch bicycle manufacturer has already joined forces with more than 50 dealers in Benelux who will run the exclusive e-bike brand VanDijck. And with well-visited dealer shows and at Keola’s headquarters and in Belgium, the future looks promising. The first representatives and dealers are recruited in Denmark and Germany. By the end of this year, Keola CEO Victor Weng expects to expand its dealer network to 150 companies, resulting in 400 to 500 dealers in Benelux, Germany, France and Denmark throughout the year 2018.”
“We are in full progress, with a focus on the middle and higher segment trade,” Weng continues. “We expect a firm and rapid growth. Our unique strengths are that we are fast, flexible and highly product oriented. This enables us to market new products in a short period of time. But perhaps our most important feature is that cycling is in our hearts. To e-bike the world and contribute to a greener environment and healthier people: that’s our intrinsic motivation.“
Innovative e-bike systems
The new VanDijck models are available throughout Benelux by the end of this year at the high-end shops that joined the exclusive dealer network. These e-bikes display an unmistakably Dutch design. All Keola engine systems are represented in the VanDijck range. This also applies to the high-quality innovative systems that Keola’s e-bikes are equipped with, such as the smart-bike system, automatic shifting gear and the belt drive system, which eliminates chain tension. The final assembly of all models takes place at the Keola factory in The Netherlands.
While Keola manufactures the VanDijck e-bikes, E-Wheels Studio introduces this new premium e-bike label and presents the VanDijck collection. E-Wheels Studio is run by Jeroen van Zanten and Frankie Pattyn. Both have many years of experience in the bicycle industry at, among others, Veltec, SRAM, Batavus, Minerva and Merckx. They know exactly what is important to the dealers and what dealers are expecting. Jeroen and Frankie are supported by a dedicated state-of-the-art team including Rob Beset, with more than 30 years of experience with Accell Group.
Online marketing support
Keola has a lot to offer its dealers. Weng: “We are innovative and our products are very high quality. Our team of experienced and talented bicycle experts and product designers is dedicated to deliver that quality on a daily basis. In addition, we support our dealers with an excellent and prompt after-sales service together with good online marketing support. Also very important: We are very aware to protect the margins of our dealers.”
Ultimately, the consumer is enjoying many fine kilometres on a high-quality e-bike. “We want to bring the fresh breath of air that this cycling country needs,” says Weng. “VanDijck is an excellent product to enforce that with; a beautiful premium e-bike brand, under the flag of Keola.”