ACCELL'S CEO SPOKE WITH CHINA CYCLE JOURNAL
The director of China Cycle organizing committee sat down with Accell's chief executive Rene Takens to talk about the developing history of Accell group and the future expansion plans.
Q: Accell group is the No.1 bicycle giant in Europe and America. Now it is eventually stepping into the Chinese market. We would like to know more about the developing history of Accell group.
A: The roots of Accell Group start with Batavus in Holland that was established in 1904. A family company that was taken over in 1986 by another company. Within the company a cycle division was started up and acquired several bicycle brands in Europe. From 1998 this cycle division got an independent listing at the Amsterdam stock exchange with the company name Accell Group N.V. Since then Accell Group N.V. acquired several companies in Europe and U.S.A.
Q: The famous brands such as GHOST, LAPIERRE, KOGA & VAN NICOLAS, VARTEX, CURRIE all belongs to Accell group and spread in different countries. How does Accell group manage and control these brands.
A: All Accell Group brands are selling medium and high-end products. Every brand has a specific positioning both geographically and on product base. Accell Group manages the several companies as independent organizations with a strong own responsibility.
Q: We noticed that Accell Group has merged and acquired several high end brands in the world recently, what consideration are these of mergers and acquisitions is based on?
A: Accell Group has an important position as a worldwide high-end bicycle supplier. To increase the turnover of the group Accell Group is interested to acquire companies with a strong brand positioning. All new acquisitions should contribute to the company value of Accell.
Q: As a giant in bicycle industry, Accell Group has accumulated a wealth of experience on design and development, could you share with us on this topic?
A: To sell high-end products like the Accell brands do, the most important drivers are innovation in technique and in design. During regular meetings all the Accell Group companies share their knowledge on innovations. By doing this we make sure that we always can have the best available products.
Q: We heard that Accell Group is also committed to developing and manufacturing electric bicycle, could you give us some introduction. How do you think about the development of electric bicycle in the future?
A: Accell Group is in Europe one of the pioneers of the actual type of e-bikes. We developed a product for the European markets that could easily be used for commuting. When we introduced the product 10 years ago the market was very interested and developed rapidly in countries like Holland and Germany. Nowadays the product is more mature and is used by hundreds of thousands of happy bicycle riders.
Q: The high end bicycle market in China is booming. Many world famous bicycle companies are moving into the Chinese market. Accell group also set up plant and trade company in China. We would like to know you opinion on the current Chinese market. How is the business of Accell group in China? What are the future expansion plans?
A: Already many brands are introduced in the Chinese market. The Chinese consumer is interested in high-end bicycles, especially for sportive use. Next to other brands Accell Group thinks that our brands too have an added value for the Chinese market. We will carefully look into the position possibilities of our brands; actually we set up some distribution for the Ghost brand.