10 Jun Dahon Bikes Now Made in Europe
Buoyant mood at the summit of Dahon’s worldwide distribution partners. Leader in folding bikes announces important changes and previews new product range at its annual global distributor’s conference in bike-friendly Zagreb
Zagreb, Croatia, June 10, 2011 – This week, sixty Dahon distributors and suppliers gathered from all over the world for the 4th Annual Dahon International Distributors Conference (DIDC), held in Zagreb, Croatia. Participants heard forward-looking plans and discussed topics including marketing and business issues, production and logistics, supplier-distributor interaction, as well as future sales strategies.
One of the major new announcements made during the week was that all future Dahon bikes for the European market will be made directly in Europe. The preview of the company’s new 2012 product range, to be officially launched at Eurobike, was a further highlight of the event. A marketing strategy aimed at building on Dahon’s leading market position was also announced as well as new senior-level management additions.
Commenting on the buoyant mood at the four-day annual gathering, Dahon CEO and founder Dr. David Hon said: “Dahon bicycles have played a major role in raising interest in the foldable bike market. The increasing market in folding bikes presents a major opportunity for our company to show its full capabilities and we are all excited about the future.”
Dahon moves all European production to Bulgaria
As part of a significant supply chain overhaul, beginning in 2012 all Dahon brand bikes destined for Europe will be made in Bulgaria. In a strategic partnership with Maxcom Ltd., the company is setting up a full-scale production base at one of the most modern facilities on the continent. All of the bikes for the European market will be made at the ISO 9001:2008-certified facility in Plovdiv, which specializes in the manufacturing of bicycles and features state-of-the-art machining technology and modern quality inspection equipment. This factory will include a dedicated production area, bespoke assembly lines, and have dedicated, on-site personnel working in the critical functional areas necessary to maintain consistency in production and ensure all schedules are met. Outside Europe, Dahon will continue production at its main factory in Shenzhen, China, and has plans in place for a completely new factory in central China, with an initial production capacity of 700,000 bike units per year. Another facility, near Beijing, produces Dahon bikes for the Chinese market, a market that continues to grow strongly for the U.S.-based company. “We are excited about these developments as they will greatly improve quality and delivery times for all our markets in the short-term and secure our continued growth in light mobility in the long-term,” states Dr. Hon.
New Management Strength
Concurrent with Dahon’s operational advancements are two key additions to its global management board: Henry Hon, original co-founder of Dahon, and Eddie Eccleston, an industry stalwart. Hon actively rejoined the group as Vice President following the departure of Joshua Hon earlier this year. “Josh’s departure left a void, but it was something he felt he had to do and we wish him well,” commented Henry Hon, who is already involved in the day-to-day management and the overseeing of US operations. Eccleston has taken on the role of Global Sales and Marketing Director for the Dahon Group.
Upgraded marketing program to grow brand’s emotional brand appeal
Dahon furthermore revealed its 2012 marketing strategy, which builds on reinforcing the brand’s positioning as a technology-rich brand with a broad product portfolio. As part of a shift to further enhance the focus on the brand’s emotional appeal, the company presented a fresh multi-channel marketing approach, communicating the brand’s emotional values in a more personal way.
The 2012 campaign, aimed at strengthening Dahon’s leading position, will feature above-the-line advertising, street-level marketing in key markets, as well as national retail promotions, and point-of-sale retail programs.
In the future distributors and resellers will enjoy stronger support through Dahon’s trade marketing partner program. The strategy combines global and localized initiatives in an effort to achieve a more engaging brand experience at retail.