E-bike brand HNF Nicolai has reported a 103% growth in sales during the 2020 calendar year, compared with the previous 12 months.
Michael Hecken, chief sales and marketing officer of HNF, said HNF and Hero International’s joint strategy of working with independent bike dealers is paying off with more than half of all sales coming from IBDs.
He said all of the Hero International businesses would benefit from the integration of HNF into the group, bringing with it German precision research and development.
HNF has established a global research and development centre in Berlin to design and engineer bikes and e-bikes for all the business, including Hero Cycles India, Insync in the UK, and Firefox India. HMC’s factories in India and Sri Lanka will support the brands with production and assembly of Hero International e-bikes and bikes.
Hecken said Hero International is planning further investment in research and development, brand building and expanding its distributor network to become a pan-EU brand. There also plans to expand in the UK through Manchester-based Insync.
He said: “For almost a decade our growth was limited due to the very conservative German Banking System, now the knot is cut with Hero’s strength in the background. Now with Hero’s supply chain supporting the rapid growth in sales, these growth rate numbers are very likely to sustain for the next few years to come.”
HMC Group chairman and managing director Pankaj Munjal said it plans to support the success of HNF with the upcoming ‘Cycle Valley’ plant in India which will add a capacity of four million units to the existing six million units per annum.
He said: “We are delighted to see HNF grow with the support of Hero International in such a short span of time. The expertise and capabilities offered by HNF were identified as a good fit for the Hero International group, allowing all of our brands to keep up with the increased demand for bikes through our in-house manufacturing and research and development offerings, leaving us less reliant on external suppliers.
“We see HNF’s expertise in e-bikes being a key component of our plans for the new 100-acre Cycle Valley in Ludhiana, in the Punjab region in northern India. This will be the biggest and most advanced bike making centre in the world. We plan to have all the suppliers and parts in one central location to de-risk supply chain disruption and share innovation between cycling industry’s leading companies.”
Munjal said the addition of HNF to the Hero International group gives the company greater reach into Europe, working alongside its UK company Insync Bikes.