MARKET LEADER SCHWALBE ENTERS THE NEW CYCLING SEASON WITH CONFIDENCE
Reichshof, 17 March 2016
“In many of the world's conurbations, the modern bicycle is a key part of daily life on the roads," highlights Frank Bohle. "The bicycle has become an important means of transport on congested city streets." The managing director of the bicycle tire manufacturer Ralf Bohle GmbH from Reichshof near Cologne, known for its brand Schwalbe, adds: "For more and more people, a high quality bicycle is also a status symbol. They use it to show off their modern urban lifestyle."
Away from all thoughts of lifestyle, however, Bohle can also see several rational reasons for the increased popularity of the bicycle: "The fitness trend is continuing to forge ahead. Then there is the fact that bicycles and cyclists ultimately help to take cars off the congested roads. The bicycle has become a global mobility factor." The move towards electric mobility is also playing an ever increasing role. There are now 2.5 million e-bikes on the roads of Germany alone. Frank Bohle has ascertained key differences here compared with e-cars, however: "While the electric car is still too expensive or impractical for a lot of people, the e-bike has become a popular way of getting around during both the working day and leisure hours. And this trend has been going on for ten years."
The managing director of Schwalbe believes the future to lie in a superior interfacing between every method of transport: "The sense of mutual annoyance which is evident in some places should soon become a sense of solidarity and collaboration." The intelligent development of bicycle lanes such as the Ruhr cycle superhighway could help break down the resistance of many drivers. Cars and bicycles shouldn't always have to use the same roads. A rapid cycle lane could also be provided for the space-saving bicycle on many other routes. Frank Bohle is delighted about the developments in the 21st century: "Bohle has been dedicated to the bicycle as a means of transport for many decades. It was often the case that people used to laugh at our ideas. We can therefore be proud that we have worked so long to help bring about the present renaissance of the bicycle."
NEW PLANT PROVIDES ADDED CAPACITY THIS YEAR
At the start of this year's bicycle season, the European market leader for bicycle tires is looking to the future with confidence: “After a commercially successful 2015, we are seeing the first positive trends for the current year." In 2015, the Bohle Group was able to increase its turnover to EUR 180 million in comparison to the EUR 160 million it achieved in the previous year.
The development of the firm's production facilities has also been characterized by confidence. The considerable demand for Schwalbe tires made the construction of a second plant necessary. The new production plant in Vietnam is now relieving the workload of the main Schwalbe plant in Indonesia. Frank Bohle states that the delivery capability has clearly improved: "Over the course of this year, the retailers will clearly see the added capacity that has been provided by the new plant in Vietnam. When constructing the plant we once again saw that the German-Korean cooperation is alive and well." The South Korean family-owned company Hung A and the German family-owned company Bohle have now been manufacturing tires together for the Schwalbe brand for more than 40 years.
Further information and photos: