While Dutch mobility company Pon Holdings B.V. is still maintaining a low profile, the Lithuanian investment promotion agency Invest Lithuania announced on Jan. 24 that Pon.Bike – the bicycle division of Pon – will open a new production facility in the 320-acre Free Economic Zone (FEZ) of Kėdainiai, 50 kilometers north of Kaunas, in 2024. This move follows Pon’s acquisition of Dorel Sports, including Cycling Sports Group (CSG, with brands Cannondale, Fabric, GT, etc.) and Pacific Cycle Group (PCG, with brands Mongoose, Schwinn, Kid Trax, etc.) completed in early 2021, which made Pon.Bike the world’s leading premium bicycle manufacturer.
The Kėdainiai FEZ is an industrial zone ready for construction, offering foreign investors a well-developed physical and legal infrastructure and supporting services and tax incentives. According to Jacques Geijsen, spokesperson for Pon.Bike, the new investment will allow his companies to better adapt to changes in the global micromobility solutions industry, in which Europe plays an important role: “After reviewing a range of options in Central and Eastern Europe, Lithuania came out best. The country clearly stands out in terms of stability, ease of doing business, as well as a motivated and skilled workforce. Given the recent market developments, the excellent logistics Lithuania can offer also were a deciding factor. The city of Kėdainiai is centrally located in the country, has an excellent business infrastructure, and is in the vicinity of Kaunas, Lithuania’s second-biggest city.”
The planned factory will be designed for a production capacity of 600,000 units. Bicycles for several brands from Pon.Bike’s premium portfolio (including Focus, Gazelle, Kalkhoff, Urban Arrow) can be assembled there. According to Invest Lithuania, Pon.Bike expects to hire about 300 employees in the first three years of operation. The company said that that number could grow to more than 500 in the future.
With the plan to increase production capacity in Europe, Pon.Bike is thinking about production close to market, meeting growing demand faster and ensuring simple and efficient logistics.
At this stage, Pon.Bike is already focusing on two European production facilities. The Dutch see the new factory in Lithuania as “the latest addition to the company’s expansion plans,” alongside existing ones in Dieren, Netherlands, and Cloppenburg, Germany.
Invest Lithuania’s managing director Elijus Čivilis is pleased “that Lithuania will be part of fulfilling the company’s vision of promoting sustainable mobility,” given the growing environmental awareness.