US bike brands take market share from top-end Euro road-bike marques, reports NY Times

The New York Times reports that sales of top-end road bikes from Trek, Cannondale and Specialized have risen from next to nothing ten years ago to 50 000 a year.
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"The Americans now have the reputation for advanced technology and innovation. That was something French bikes used to have, but no more," said Frederic Pedegaye, IBD owner of Velocite, Pau, France.

"Now there's enormous recognition of American brands."

The piece in the New York Times said: "A few years ago, to suggest that an American-made bicycle would be used in, let alone win, Europe's biggest bicycle races would be a little like saying that the president of France would drive to state functions in a Hummer.

But American companies like Trek, the Cannondale Bicycle Corp, Scott USA and Specialized, are trying to extend their domestic dominance of the road bike market, not just to France, but to all of Europe. If they succeed, they will become the first bicycle brands to dominate not only in France but in all of the fractured European market."

[NOTE: Despite the name, Scott USA is not, in fact, a US brand. It's European, and is not available in the US, although ought to be as the new Scott CR1 road bike and the Scott Genius MTB are both rated as the best bikes available today by many European bicycle magazines].

Dan Alloway, vice president for sales and European operations at Cannondale told the New York Times:

"You could equate it to Germans coming into the NFL or Toyota coming into NASCAR."

The piece stressed that Trek, Cannondale and Specialized were brands associated only with IBDs.


The NY Times piece is syndicated here:

http://www.taipeitimes.com/.../2003085844

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