Pete Garski, GT's international director of sales, said:
"The UK is a crucial market for GT Bicycles. GT had enjoyed a very high profile and excellent sales, but the difficulties GT experienced left the UK with no dealer base and some damage to our reputation.
"Hot Wheels have done an excellent job in communicating our technology, quality and design successes to both consumers and dealers, resulting in excellent sales for 2003 model year.
"GT will again be a force in the UK market with much more to come from both Hot Wheels and GT."
Hot Wheels has now established a network of 219 GT IBD stockists with a target of 250 in total. Hot Wheels is currently recruiting in both their warehouse and sales departments to manage increased sales.
Neil Merry, seen above with the evidence of an MTB crash on his forehead, said:
"GT has given us an excellent opportunity. The bikes are fantastic. The mag test reports have backed this up and the sell through has been exceptional. 2003 model year has been a significant year for us with the move to our new Poole warehouse and distribution centre and our growth through the sales of GT bikes."
The meeting in Newport Beach is an annual event where distributors review the previous model year's highs and lows and are given sneak previews of the next year's line up. For 2004 GT will be introducing road bikes, an expanded MTB line and beach cruisers.
GT's global website will also go country-specific, including a dealer locator and map
facility to enable consumers to find their nearest stockist.
GT Bicycles is part of the Pacific Cycle group with annual bicycle sales of 6m units annually.
PIC ABOVE: Neil and Russell Merry
BELOW: The first glimpse of the pre-production 2004 Ruckus