Kee Twuan Tee, general manager of the EP Group, has emailed bikebiz.co.uk with news on the "downsizing" of EPMB (UK) Ltd.
The company has not been able to "achieve the set financial milestones that were projected."
Blame is being put at the door of foot and mouth disease, bad weather and "the September 11th incident". Consequently, said Tee, "there was a need for EPMB to refocus on its goals and mission in UK cycle industry. In view of the expected continued situation and downtrend in overall UK retail market and cycle sales, EPMB (UK) Ltd will now downsize its operations in UK to reduce the impact of the high operational cost overheads."
However, IBDs will still be supported:
"We still envisage to build a strong presence in the UK cycle market. Our dealers being the backbone of our goals shall be and must be fully supported in terms of profit allocation and as such EPMB (UK) Ltd will continue with similar targeted margins for the 2002 Dealers Program.
"EPMB (UK) Ltd shall remain cost effective and efficient to support the cycle industry in UK to ride over this period of uncertainty and to achieve our long term goals with our dealers."
Eight staff have been made redundant, including Tasha Beetison, whose father helped set up the UK company and who recently left for pastures new.
The two remaining are admin manager Musa Mushardin and tech guy Chris Hodges.
EP-X bikes were liked by IBDs, but clearly not enough stocked them.
EPMB walked off with three of the top prizes at the 2001 Cycle & Leisure Show, including first and second in the Best New Adult Cycle award.
EPMB even won the FashionClothing/Ancillary Award despite not producing any clothing!
The company launched its bikes in January 2000.