More industry news today as, following on from Madison and Commencal parting ways, Kona bikes have sent an open letter to their dealers and customers in the UK explaining that for the 2012 season they are going to change from Paligap, their current UK importer, and move UK distribution to their Kona Europe arm.
Rumours have been floating about for a while, but they have now confirmed that UK distribution will be moved to their central hub based in Geneva, which currently services all of Europe as well as the Middle East and Africa. From 2012, Kona product will be shipped from Rotterdam to the UK dealers with the help of a UK based sales and support team. The full release is below…
“Recently, many of you may have learned that the distribution of Kona Bikes in the U.K. will be changing for the 2012 season. We had originally planned to wait until June 2011 to announce this news, but as our distributor Paligap decided to make an announcement last week, we feel it important to immediately let everyone know our plans.
The U.K. has been a very important market for Kona since Second Level Sport introduced the Cinder Cone in 1989. SLS was one of our first independent distributors and proved pivotal in promoting Kona during mountain biking’s initial boom in the 1980s.
Over the years, Second Level, and more recently Paligap, have carried the Kona torch with firm conviction, consistently presenting our company as one of the country’s leading bike brands. We made strong friendships with our U.K. allies and treasured the professional manner in which they nurtured Kona among independent bicycle dealers and riders. Kona also has the great pleasure of sponsoring world-class athletes like Helen Wyman and Grant Fielder, and in the past, World Champion Tracy Moseley.
In 1995, we established Kona Europe, which has grown into a smooth and superbly functioning component of KonaWorld. Based in Geneva, our European division services all of Europe as well as the Middle East and Africa with great knowledge, experience and customer service that is second to none.
As one of the world’s leading bicycle markets, with its highly respected riders, journalists and dealers who all share a deep-seeded love and understanding of bicycles, it is a natural step for us to work more closely with our good friends in the U.K.
Starting in July 2011, Kona will begin to fully service the U.K. market from our European head office. Bicycles, components, clothing and accessories while be shipped from our Rotterdam distribution facility while relying on the leadership of a U.K. based sales and support team. We will be working with our U.K. dealers in GBP currency. All of these efforts will be fully supported and fueled by our experienced and rapidly growing product, design and communications teams based at our KonaWorld headquarters in Vancouver, B.C. and Ferndale, Washington.
We look forward to renewing and deepening our relationships within the U.K. after July 1 and to work with them closely as we continue to pursue great bikes and big fun. See you on the trail (or the road) soon!