Speedo, a multinational in the sports product area, is going to release a line of bicycles in Brazil. This is the first time the company, which operates in 170 countries, will operate in this sector.
The objective, according to the marketing director of the Brazilian subsidiary, Roberto Jalonetsky, is to have 15% of the Brazilian market, which had a turnover of around US$ 700 million in 2003 (in current figures), in two years time.
In this period, the Brazilian market is also going to serve as a laboratory for future company operations in the area.
“In two years time we are going to decide whether or not we take bicycles to other markets and release other products in the sector,” stated the executive.
The bicycles, a total of 11 models, have already started being produced by Track & Bikes, a company based in the city of Guarulhos (in the southeastern Brazilian state of São Paulo, the most industrialized in the country), which was licensed by Speedo. Jalonetsky hopes to sell 30,000 units this year.
The executive stated that the decision of entering the cycling market was taken by the company subsidiary in Brazil at the beginning of the year. The Speedo head offices are in London.
He added that Speedo “has always been close” to the sector as the company already sells products for triathlons, a sport that includes running, swimming, and cycling.
“We want to use the Speedo power to transform it from a sports brand into a lifestyle,” he declared.
The 11 models are going to be sold for prices ranging from US$ 110 to US$ 530.
The line will include simpler riding bicycles to equipment for “professional” use, like mountain bikes with double suspensions and aluminium frames.
Some components, like the gears, will initially be imported.
The company already trades a series of sports items in Brazil, among them tracksuits, bags, backpacks, baseball caps, and the traditional bathing suits, swimming trunks, and swimming caps.
Some of these products are produced by Speedo itself in Brazil or by third party suppliers. Other products, however, are imported from Asia, Europe and the United States.
This is the case with the line of watches and glasses that the company plans to release in Brazil in 2005, as part of the strategy to make the brand into a “lifestyle”.
Speedo Brazil, according to Jalonetsky, has already exported a line of towels and bathrobes, but shipping was interrupted. Now the company is considering foreign trade once again.
“We are studying placing our products on the foreign market. This is a great possibility,” stated the executive.
Speedo was established in 1928 in Australia, and the head offices were later transferred to London.
In Brazil, the company has been operating since 1978, with offices in São Paulo.
At the end of last year, the Brazilian subsidiary had revenues of US$ 15.7 million, and traded 6.5 million products.
ANBA – Brazil-Arab News Agency
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