MACHECOUL, France – Once the project to maintain bicycle production in the former Cycleurope facility proved to be successful, the company ‘Manufacture Française du Cycle’ entered a new phase. The company has gradually transformed itself to meet the requirements of the business, especially in terms of components sourcing, by calling on major players such as BMZ, Shimano and Brose. Together with anti-dumping laws, Manufacture Française du Cycle again believes in the future as a significant bicycle manufacturer in Europe.
What is known today as ‘Manufacture Française du Cycle’ (MFC) was acquired by Intersport France five years ago. “Today we are at a turning point,” explained MFC brand manager Baptiste Colrat at the Pro Days Show which took place from 22 – 24 July in Paris. “Initially MFC’s management, with Yves Salaün at the helm, adopted a strategy to demonstrate the sustainability of the project.” In addition to the production of Nakamura bikes for its majority shareholder Intersport, MFC also developed its own brand portfolio, including Sunn and EXS bikes as well as its own wholesale business with parts and accessories. The project proved to be successful. Some 360,000 bicycles were assembled in 2017 and the production is expected to reach 420,000 units this year with a growing share of e-bikes. MFC projects to assemble no less than 80,000 e-bikes this year.
The e-bike is in the centre of MFC’s transformation. “In the last six months, we have recruited new staff in our design office which is fully dedicated to e-bikes. Our workforce has been trained to assemble e-bikes,” said Baptiste Colrat. “Today we have three e-bike assembly lines operational while both the production and sourcing have been restructured. We carefully selected our suppliers and qualified new ones.” Initially, MFC worked with BMZ Germany only but due to increasing demand, the company is now also supplied by BMZ Poland and BMZ China. The customized motors are sourced in Asia, while Brose and Shimano both supply the standard systems. “In future we will have more Shimano systems while we already collaborate with Brose on new specifications for sports and urban models,” confirms Baptiste Colrat. To ensure the high level of quality, MFC appointed three dedicated people for the company’s contact with the Chinese and Taiwanese subcontractors.
Recently, the company doubled warehouse in Machecoul to 12,000 square meters to store its assembled Nakamura, Sunn and EXS bikes. Thanks to this new warehouse, the company was able to refurbish and reorganize its main building. The MFC has thus expanded the number working stations dedicated to sampling, small productions series and complex e-bikes. “For our 2019 program the e-bike range has been extended, especially for Sunn and EXS. Sunn had only seven e-bikes in its range this year against fourteen in 2019, while more EXS e-bikes will be specified with Shimano,” says Baptiste Colrat.
Will this be enough in this competitive market? “We are pretty confident because we are covering all price levels, Nakamura is growing at double digits and Sunn is going strong.”. He is also hopeful for the future because of the anti-dumping duties. “It gives us the opportunity to play a significant role as bicycle manufacturer in Europe and a positive outlook,” says Baptiste Colrat.
We're Here to Help