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Is the Electric Bike Market at Risk? Inside Peugeot and Gitane’s Troubling Future

The future of electric biking could be at a crossroads as iconic brands and Gitane face an uncertain destiny amid financial turmoil.

  • Peugeot and Gitane e-bikes under threat due to Cycleurope's financial woes.
  • Potential shutdown of the French factory that produces tens of thousands of e-bikes annually.
  • Swedish owner seeking a buyer amidst mounting debts and consecutive deficits.
  • The downfall could affect employees, production, and e-bike innovation in the industry.

The looming crisis for Cycleurope and French manufacturing

Cycleurope, the umbrella group celebrating its 70th year since founding in 1954, has been facing a decline in activity over recent years. The blow came with the takeover of its Machecoul bicycle and electric bike facility by Intersport in 2013. This left only the Romilly-sur-Seine site, which was acquired by the group in the early 2000s. However, even this remaining bastion is struggling to stay afloat financially. The company reportedly accumulated a debt of around $28 million by late 2022 and suffered an additional deficit of approximately $3.4 million in 2023. The Swedish industrial owner behind brands like Bianchi is now looking for a buyer for this struggling site.

Cycleurope's financial distress

It comes as a surprise because there were plans for a new factory to be established by 2025 according to local press reports. Yet, these ambitious plans are overshadowed by current financial difficulties with substantial debts piling up. This precarious situation puts not only the future of electric bikes but also the livelihoods of their makers at stake.

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The fate of Peugeot and Gitane electric bicycles

As it stands, Peugeot's electric bicycles are exclusively assembled at this factory, making it imperative for them to closely monitor developments. Notably, Peugeot Cycles recently experienced the bankruptcy of BeweelSociety, their partner tasked with marketing their latest generation connected e-bikes. Meanwhile, Twelve Cycles took over production of Peugeot's LT longtail electric bike within its Dijon facility. For Gitane, another staple brand under Cycleurope's wing known for its recent G-Life Longtail cargo e-bike launch, these developments signal trouble too – highlighting broader impacts on innovation and product availability within the market.

What lies ahead?

The challenges faced by Cycleurope raise concerns over job security for approximately 140 employees involved in producing an estimated 400 bikes daily – most being electric models according to Jérôme Valentin, president of Cycleurope. The potential closure or sale could disrupt supply chains and impact stakeholders across various levels from production to end consumers seeking sustainable transportation solutions.

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Summary

Written by Maggie

I'm Maggie, your eco-conscious guide to the electrifying world of electric vehicles (EVs). With a passion for sustainable living and a background in environmental science, I've dedicated the last few years to exploring the intersection of technology, ecology, and transportation. My journey into the world of EVs began with a simple curiosity about how we can reduce our carbon footprint, but quickly grew into a full-blown passion for all things electric on four wheels.

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