US-based folding bike manufacturers Dahon have bucked the industry trend of moving all production to the Far East by setting up a new factory in Europe. At their annual distributors’ conference in Zagreb, Croatia this week they announced that all bikes destined for European markets will be made in Plovdiv, Bulgaria from now on.
There, Dahon are setting up a state-of-the-art factory in partnership with metal fabricators Maxcom Ltd, who’ll also produce their own bikes, to be sold under the name Sprint. The plant will produce a total of 500,000 bikes a year and create 500 jobs.
Bikes for outside Europe will continue to be manufactured at Dahon’s main factory in Shenzhen, China and a smaller plant in Beijing. Plans are in the pipeline to construct a new factory in central China with an initial production capacity of 700,000 bikes a year.
Dahon look to be making a big marketing push this year, with their 2012 range to be unveiled at the Eurobike trade show in Germany in September. CEO and founder Dr David Hon said: “Dahon bicycles have played a major role in raising interest in the foldable bike market. The increasing market in folding bikes presents a major opportunity for our company to show its full capabilities and we’re all excited about the future.”