Dutch bike giant Pon.Bike has announced it will build a new factory Lithuania, as the company steps up its production capacity in a number of countries.
The Lithuanian factory is scheduled to open in 2024 and will be capable of scaling up to produce 600,000 bikes annually for several of its brands, including Gazelle, Kalkhoff, FOCUS and Urban Arrow.
It is expected to employ around 300 people during its first three years of operation, with the potential to grow beyond 500 employees in the longer term.
Located in the 13-hectare Free Economic Zone, the factory is the latest venture by Pon.Bike to boost its production capacity.
In October last year, it confirmed it was purchasing US company Dorel Sports, taking Pon.Bike’s combined revenue to €2.5 billion (A$4.05 billion) and elevating it above Giant Bicycles as the world’s largest manufacturer of bicycles.
The purchase included the newly constructed Cannondale factory in Almelo, in the Netherlands, and a new site in Georgia, in the US. Production in the US is expected to start in the third quarter of 2022.
In May, Pon.Bike announced it was upgrading and renaming its operations in Germany’s Cloppenburg district. It is currently building a new headquarters with state-of-the-art production facilities and offices, and has changed the name from Derby Cycles to Kalkhoff, in line with one of its key brands.
Described by Pon.Bike as “one of the most modern e-bike production facilities in Europe”, the plant will go into operation this year and will manufacture high-quality e-bikes for Kalkhoff, Focus and Raleigh.
The Clopperburg factory upgrade mirrors Pon.Bike’s overhaul of the historic Gazelle site in the Netherlands town of Dieren six years ago.
Business law firm Sorainen, which is advising Pon.Bike on the Lithuanian development, says Pon.Bike is increasing its manufacturing capacity in Europe to meet growing demand and keep logistics simple and efficient.
Speaking to Bike Europe, a Pon.Bike spokesperson said: “This new investment allows us to better adapt to changes in the global micromobility solutions industry, in which Europe plays an important role.
“After reviewing a range of options in Central and Eastern Europe, Lithuania came out best. The country clearly stands out in terms of stability, ease of doing business, as well as a motivated and skilled workforce. Given the recent market developments, the excellent logistics Lithuania can offer also were a deciding factor.”