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Messingschlager USA prepares for growth as Cunnane joins as CEO

Published November 18, 2022

AMES, Iowa (BRAIN) – Messingschlager USA has named industry veteran Pat Cunnane as its CEO. Cunnane most recently was president and chief operating officer of Yuba Bicycles.

Messingschlager USA, formerly known as Cycle Force Group, is now the U.S. outpost of a 100-year-old German distributor, Messingschlager GmbH, which acquired Cycle Force Group last year.

Cycle Force Group has long been a quiet mainstay of the industry. It has two divisions: Cycle Force, which specializes in fulfillment, warehousing and bicycle assembly for a variety of brands; and North America Cycles, which distributes to specialty retail.

This year the company added Head bikes and KTM Bicycles to its portfolio. 

Under Messingchlager and with a new CEO and a growing list of brands, Cycle Force founder Nyle Nims said the company expects substantial growth in the coming years.

"This is as big a piece of news as we've ever had in our company," Nims said. "Alongside our acquisition of rights to KTM this opens a whole new world for us. We anticipate they will bring not only the best customers in the world but some of the best talent."

Dennis Schöemburg, Messingschlager's managing director, told BRAIN that Messingschlager hopes to partner with more European brands to distribute their products in the U.S.

Some European brands perceive barriers to the U.S. market and would like to partner with a company they know in Europe that has "boots on the ground" in the U.S., Schöemburg said.

"It's a reassuring concept to work with us," he said. "We offer a one-stop approach."

"It has been our philosophy at Messingschlager over decades to partner with brands and help them grow and succeed in the market. Pat has demonstrated this likewise throughout his remarkable career in the USA and that makes him the perfect match for us to successfully build our new U.S. entity with European brands like KTM Bikes and others to come."

Cunnane comes to Messingschlager with decades of experience in the industry. Prior to joining Yuba he was CEO of Advanced Sports Enterprises, the parent of distributor ASI and of Performance Bicycle shops. He sits on the board of directors for PeopleForBikes and has been active in bicycle advocacy since the 1970's. Cunnane worked with Nims at Ross Bicycles 40 years ago.

At Messingschlager USA Cunnane will work with Nyle's son, Matthew Nims, the company's vice president of sales and marketing. Matthew Nims said Cunnane, who he met in 1988 at the Interbike Philadelphia show, has been a mentor in recent years.

Cunnane said he is working to establish a KTM's sales force, which will be announced soon.

Cunnane replaces interim CEO Kobus van der Zel, who joined the company after Messingschlager acquired it last year. Cunnane said he has rented an apartment in Iowa and plans to spend work weeks at the headquarters, commuting home to Pennsylvania on weekends.

"I'm thrilled to be working with Messingschlager USA. Nyle and the team have created a great base to build upon — and I'm excited to get to work," Cunnane said.

Left to right: Nyle Nims, Pat Cunnane and Dennis Schöemburg.

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