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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Cannondale goes Canadian

As the owner of two Cannondale road bikes, I read with great concern that Montreal-based Dorel Industries has purchased Cannondale Bicycle Corp. The purchase is reported as an all-cash transaction valued between $190 million and $200 million, VeloNews reported this week.

Dorel also owns Pacific Cycle, the parent company of Schwinn, GT and Mongoose.

As a result of the acquisition, Dorel’s recreational/leisure segment, which includes Pacific Cycle, InStep, Playsafe and Roadmaster, will be split into two separate divisions, VeloNews reported. The Cannondale Sports Group, which will target the independent bicycle dealer and be separate from the mass-market line, will include Cannondale, Sugoi, GT and the company’s other premium bicycle brands, presumably Schwinn and Mongoose. Cannondale Sports has already stated that it plans to seek acquisitions of similar high-quality brands.

Bethel, Conn.-based Cannondale Bicycle Corp. also includes the Sugoi Performance Apparel Co.

CyclingNews.com reported this about the sale:

"As with any event of this nature, speculation as to how this will affect Cannondale's corporate structure and product line have run rampant but (Cannondale President and CEO Matt) Mannelly and (Pacific Cycle President Jeff Frehner) Frehner were quick to dispel any rumors. According to them, there are no plans 'at this point' to move production overseas (other than items that are already produced in Asia, that is), Cannondale designers and engineers will still be able to pursue their trademark 'out of the box' style of research and development, and the company will remain very distinctly focused on the enthusiast independent bicycle dealer) market."

For more than 20 years, I've been happy with the quality of Cannondale bicycles. Their aluminum frames are well-suited for a larger cyclist such as myself. The fact that both of my Cannondale bikes were made in the United States is a bonus.

Let's hope Cannondale's new owner not only keeps up the quality of the bikes, but continues to make bicycles in the United States.

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Roger 1 comments links to this post 4:49 PM

Perhaps we'll see cheap Cannondales sold alongside cheap Schwinns at Target?

This worries me because some people (e.g., me) look into certain brands based on word of mouth, being too clueless/new to have any eye at all for quality until several tens of miles too late. And just when a couple of people are telling me that Cannondale is great and I should check them out, they're bought by the same folks who bought Schwinn! I suppose the fact that they want to separate the premium brands from the mass-market brands is hopeful news, though.
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