Cervélo Changes Australian Distribution
Leading triathlon and road bike brand Cervélo will no longer be distributed by Gemini Bicycles. From August 18th onwards the new distributor will be Derby Cycles Australia (DCA).
DCA itself is a relatively new entity. It was formed in June 2011 when the global owner of Focus Bicycles, Derby Cycles Germany, bought out the previous Australian distributor of Focus, Green Apple Sports whose founder and owner Graeme Moffett was then appointed Managing Director of DCA.
More recently, Derby Cycles globally was purchased by Pon Holdings, who in a separate deal bought Cervélo. Pon is a multi billion dollar automotive distribution company that was looking to diversify into the bicycle market. Now Pon Holdings is consolidating distribution of the two brands in a number of markets, including Australia.
The announcement leaves Gemini Bicycles without its biggest brand.
Gemini’s founder and owner Noel McFarlane was on an extended international cycle tour and unavailable for comment.
“We have a number of other products, but not enough to continue the business in its current format,” said Gemini’s General Manager Sebastian Dicker.
“We’ve been winding down our Kuota stock. We own our Vivente World Randonneur brand, which is going well, but it’s not currently big enough on its own.
Sebastian was philosophical about the Cervélo announcement, “It’s a blow,” he said. “It’s a pity to hand it over after nine years of building it up, but not owning the brand means that you only have the distribution rights to that brand for as long as the owners want you to have it.”
Not surprisningly, DCA’s Graeme Moffett was more upbeat. Graeme is already well known in the bike industry. He started working at Turramurra Cyclery in Sydney’s northern suburbs before moving to Clarence St Cyclery, then Trek Australia from 1999 to 2006 where, after completing a marketing degree, he was promoted to National Sales and Marketing Director.
He then moved to Adelaide and formed Green Apple Sports, which began importing Focus from the 2010 model year.
“Gemini have done a fantastic job over the past nine years and established a very solid dealer base with Cervélo”, he said. “Our goal is not to come in and make wholesale changes, it’s to build upon the good work that Noel (McFarlane) and his team have put in place. I haven’t heard a bad word said about them from anyone I’ve spoken to.”
“In some areas it might make sense to have a Focus / Cervélo dealer. In other areas it will make since to have one Focus and one Cervélo dealer. The brands are quite distinct. Globally Pon wants to keep the brands different and distinct.
“We’re currently in the process in growing our team. We’ve had discussions with sales reps in both Queensland and WA to increase our sales force.
“We currently have two internal sales staff, Mark Chadwick and Fred Bonail, a Frenchman who we’ve just sponsored to get his residency visa. We have some new staff starting shortly.
“At this stage it’s just Focus and Cervélo. Pon is building their bicycle group. They’re not actively looking at other bike businesses right now, but I’m sure if the right business came up, they’d look at it. They’ve got some significant financial resources behind them. I’ve been told that they’re a seven billion euro per year company.
“Fundamentally they’re a transport company. They’re distributor for the Volkswagen group in the Benelux countries. They see bicycles as a good fit, with fossil fuels becoming scarce in the future.
“We use third party logistics in Adelaide which works pretty well for us, because we get pretty good rates shipping back east and we’re half way to Perth. We’re based in Adelaide for a host of reasons. It works well for us.”
“I think it’s an exciting period of change that we’ve been through in the past 18 months and it’s great to be part of it. The industry has gone through an evolution into a subsidiary based model as opposed to a distributor based model. We’re looking forward to being here for a long time.