BRAND SPOTLIGHT: Raleigh electric bikes

It’s certainly catching on in the UK, but should you believe the hype about the facts, figures and optimistic projections for future turnover? Mark Sutton talks to Raleigh’s Lloyd Clarkson about the distributor’s increased interest in the electric bike sector...
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With a flagship model weighing in at £1,799, utilising the very latest in Panasonic’s Crank Drive Technology, it’s fair to assume Raleigh has done its homework ahead of an own-branded push into the electric bike market.

Having sent the first batch of Dover Deluxe Premiums out to dealers during May, it will be a while before feedback on turnover, maintenance and returns filters through, though with the sudden level of investment placed behind Raleigh’s e-bike push, it’s clear the firm is committed to progressing its share of the electric sector and if the hype is anything to go by, just in time too.

Raleigh’s electric bike expert, Lloyd Clarkson, tells BikeBiz: “We have numerous national ads going in around the various target market publications and some independent product reviews due out at the end of May.”

Raleigh does typically support all of its products at a national level where possible, so what’s different about this marketing push?

“The emphasis on our campaign is ‘try before you buy’, aftersales and support,” explains Clarkson. “We feel that this is what is lacking in the UK e-bike sector, and combined with a lack of dealer confidence in most electric bikes on the market I feel this is the reason that the UK is slightly behind the rest of mainland Europe’s sales figures at present.

“Raleigh Germany is riding off the back of the last two years success with this bike, however, achieving impressive sales of approximately 40,000 units per year. I feel that with the right dealer network in place to support the product, we can start to really appreciate the potential this new market has to offer,” continues Clarkson.

Coming later this year will be a further range of lower priced electric models focused around what Raleigh describes as an entry-level point it is comfortable to get behind, retailing at around £1,299.

Clarkson adds: “There is another model coming out later this year, the Velo range of e-bikes. This will be focused around the more entry-level price point of £1,299 and will feature a frame designed in-house at
Raleigh UK, with specific spec and geometries for the UK e-bike market. More details around this exact model will follow towards the end of June.”

Component specification is said to be reliable for all bikes with Shimano hub gears, internal cable routing and Schwalbe tyres featuring throughout. But what else, apart from peace of mind in the build, will dealers receive in return for their hard earned cash?

“Margins are fixed at 35 per cent for dealers and our backup support is huge. We are offering an e-bike point-of-sale stand with all new dealers (worth £1,000), plus they get included into our national dealer and
demo locator online,” explains Clarkson.

Clarkson is currently driving around the UK recruiting and training new dealers in the art of keeping electric bikes on the road – a process which is fairly simple with Panasonic’s technology. “The feedback I’ve had on the road has been very positive, with every single dealer put through the training so far impressed with our level of support and product knowledge,” says Clarkson.

If you’re interested in carrying Raleigh’s premium line of electric models, Clarkson can be contacted on
lloyd.clarksson@googlemail.com, or via telephone at 07717 667327.

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