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Pon Holdings and Volkswagen combining to expand company e-bike leasing

Published September 5, 2023

AMSTERDAM (BRAIN) — Pon Holdings and Volkswagen Financial Services will collaborate to expand e-bike leasing for employees and commercial customers in the U.S. and Europe.

Volkswagen Financial Services acquired 49% stake in Pon's bike leasing subsidiary Bike Mobility Services (BMS). The partnership became official Tuesday when the agreement was signed at the IAA Mobility motor show in Munich.

The agreement is subject to approval by the regulatory authorities and by the Supervisory Boards of Volkswagen AG and Volkswagen Financial Services AG.

Bike Mobility Services provides company bikes to more than 600,000 employees in 65,000 companies, with 90% of its lease bikes being e-bikes, delivered and serviced through a network of 8,000 dealers. The BMS brands are BusinessBike, Lease a Bike, and B2Bike. In Germany, Volkswagen Financial Services and BMS already have been working together for more than three years.

According to Pon Holdings and Volkswagen Financial Services, the European market potential for company bike leasing is estimated to reach 10 billion euros ($10.7 billion) by 2028.

"The growth potential in the USA is also significant, with cities and state governments investing heavily in bike infrastructure," said Janus Smalbraak, Pon Holdings CEO. "BMS just opened its first U.S. office in San Francisco and has already signed large corporations for company bike leasing. Our existing presence and retail relationships in the USA can help enhance our partnership and our offer to U.S. employees, companies, and retailers."

BMS operates in six countries: Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Sweden, and the U.S. Volkswagen Financial Services is a business division of the Volkswagen AG group of companies and comprises Volkswagen Financial Services AG along with associated companies Volkswagen Bank GmbH and Porsche Financial Services.

"Together with VW FS, which already has a global footprint and global financial structure in place, I am convinced we hold a unique position to accelerate the international expansion of bicycle leasing together," Smalbraak said. "The company bike fulfills a clear need of employees, employers and governments, which is why we have been able to grow the business so fast in the last five years. The e-bike plays a vital role in future commuting and the lease option provides employees with much broader accessibility made possible by their employers. The outlook for both Europe and the USA is very promising. It is exciting to join Volkswagen in its further steps in the bike market and work together on mobility offerings."

Germany has been a frontrunner in company bike leasing, with Pon and Volkswagen saying it is a successful model for promoting employee motivation, making pedal and especially e-bikes accessible to the employee base. Both companies say following significant investments by governments and municipalities in cycling infrastructure and mobility, bike leasing is evolving in many European markets such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Scandinavia, the UK, and France.

"Our partnership with Pon is another important step in our development into a broad-based mobility services provider, thereby supporting the strategic goals of the Volkswagen Group," said Dr. Christian Dahlheim, chairman of the board of management of Volkswagen Financial Services AG, at the IAA Mobility motor show. "There is great potential in bike leasing as an additional profit pool, which perfectly complements our current mobility portfolio. We are thus systematically expanding our service offering for commercial customers and supporting our long-term growth in the European fleet business. We are determined to fully exploit the strengths of Europe's leading automotive captive company and the world's leading bike company."

Pon and Volkswagen have a long tradition of cooperation. The Volkswagen Bus was created more than 75 years ago on the basis of a sketch by Ben Pon Sr., whose son Ben Pon Jr. founded Pon. The largest importer for the Volkswagen Group brands in the Netherlands is Pon. More recently, Porsche and Pon announced the establishment of two joint ventures for the development of e-bikes and micromobility.  In addition, the Volkswagen Group and Pon Holdings are together developing Europcar in the direction of a global mobility platform.

Last week, Pon.Bike acquired Italian road and track shoe brand Nimbl to its growing portfolio. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. Nimbl shoes are available worldwide and plans exist to further expand distribution in the U.S. and Europe. The shoes are available online and through retailers.

Christian Dahlheim, left, of Volkswagen, and Janus Smalbraak of Pon.
Topics associated with this article: Electric bike, Mergers, Acquisitions & Investments

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