BLOOMINGTON, MN (BRAIN)—Quality Bicycle Products and BMC will end their distribution agreement, effective next July, both companies confirmed on Wednesday.
BMC has formed a new U.S. subsidiary, and will assume sales and marketing responsibilities for the brand effective immediately.
During the transition, QBP will continue to sell its remaining stock of BMC frames and bikes, as well as new 2010 frames and bikes supplied by BMC Switzerland.
QBP will assist BMC sales efforts until the end of this year, and provide logistical and customer service support until the end of next June. This includes invoicing, stocking, shipping and warranties.
QBP has distributed the high-end Swiss brand for the past five years.
“This is a mutual decision in the best interest of both companies and our customers,” said Rich Tauer, QBP director of product and product development. “BMC is rolling out a more aggressive sales strategy that doesn’t support QBP’s operating structure. We are negotiating an orderly transition and will continue to support BMC until their US organization is fully operational.”
“Despite an excellent partnership with QBP, the objective of this change is to be closer and more responsive to the U.S. market. We believe the best way to do this is with our own sales organization in the United States,” said Mike Hürlimann, chief executive officer of BMC. “We have moved to direct distribution in France and Germany and see it as a logical step to growing in the U.S.
Hürlimann said the new sales strategy would allow BMC to readjust its prices to be more competitive.
Fabio Selvig (pictured) has been hired for the role of general manager for the new BMC USA Sales and Marketing office, and is currently working out of his home in the Boston area. Selvig worked for Cervélo for the past two years and Quintana Roo/Merlin in prior years.
Selvig said he hopes to grow the U.S. dealer base from 50 to at least 75 by next July, and that the brand will launch an aggressive new demo program to help build brand recognition.
As of now, BMC will handle all athletic sponsorships and local, regional and international team support. BMC is ramping up its investment in the BMC professional road racing team and plans to center its marketing efforts on new riders like George Hincapie and current road-racing World Champion Alessandro Ballan.