Are FreeGo the first casualty of Anti Dumping?

Wisper Bikes

Trade Member
Apr 11, 2007
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#1
Sadly today FreeGo Electric Bikes have announced that they have ceased trading and will liquidate.

Southampton based FreeGo have been selling good, no nonsense, value ebikes for nearly ten years. It’s such a shame that this entry level brand who have been many people’s introduction to ebikes has been forced out by the EBMA. The ebike industry is now that much poorer as cheaper bikes with good back up and service become less accessible.

A good loyal staff of 8 people have, thanks to Anti Dumping, now been put out of work.

Shame!

Regards, David
 
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tommie

Esteemed Pedelecer
Mar 13, 2013
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Co. Down, N. Ireland, U.K.
#2
Sadly today FreeGo Electric Bikes have announced that they have ceased trading and will liquidate.

Southampton based FreeGo have been selling good, no nonsense, value ebikes for nearly ten years. It’s such a shame that this entry level brand who have been many people’s introduction to ebikes has been forced out by the EBMA. The ebike industry is now that much poorer as cheaper bikes with good back up and service become less accessible.

A good loyal staff of 8 people have, thanks to Anti Dumping, now been put out of work.

Shame!

Regards, David
Sorry to hear of job losses at this time of year.

What input did your local MP have?
 
Oct 25, 2006
41,395
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#3
Sorry to learn this David, I remember how you partnered with them at one time, another good firm that kept to the same high customer service standards you have with Wisper.
.
 

Wisper Bikes

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#4
Sorry to hear of job losses at this time of year.

What input did your local MP have?
I haven’t been involved with FreeGo for several years. I’m not sure if they involved their MP.

All the best, David
 

Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
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#5
David eluded to this some time ago (though no company named) when the anti dumping complaint was ongoing and that there would be casualties in the ebike industry.
 
D

Deleted member 128

Guest
#6
Anti-dumping measures are good for local manufactures but restrict the choice for consumers. Who knows, perhaps we'd have some main stream UK car manufactures if the various governments had been able to take some anti-dumping measures in the 70s and 80s.
I've nothing against cheap imports but dislike big companies, be they local or foreign, dominating markets by forcing competitors out of business through short term overly aggressive pricing.
 

Woosh

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May 19, 2012
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#7
I am sure anti-dumping has played its part but it is the success of e-bikes in general that has attracted the big boys into a relatively niche industry. In the last 2-3 years, we have seen a lot of online retailers adding e-bikes to their range then G-Tech started advertising on TV and last but not least, Halfords are pretty ruthless in pushing down prices.
 
D

Deleted member 128

Guest
#8
I am sure anti-dumping has played its part but it is the success of e-bikes in general that has attracted the big boys into a relatively niche industry. In the last 2-3 years, we have seen a lot of online retailers adding e-bikes to their range then G-Tech started advertising on TV and last but not least, Halfords are pretty ruthless in pushing down prices.
Too true Woosh, I'm told that Bosch's ebike division is their most profitable. There are now many companies in Germany manufacturing ebikes and parts and, as we know from their car industry, German manufactures do a great job at competing through quality of design and manufacturing despite having very high costs. This is shaking out the ebike business worldwide.
 

Wisper Bikes

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#9
It would be very interesting to discover what % of Bosch motors are made in China, I’m told more than 60%. This is pure protectionism nothing more. FreeGo, I’m sure, were trail blazing the ebike market years before Bosch even started to think about their first motor. Now they along with the rest of the EBMA want it all for themselves. Shame on them.
 

Wisper Bikes

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Apr 11, 2007
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#10
Anti-dumping measures are good for local manufactures but restrict the choice for consumers. Who knows, perhaps we'd have some main stream UK car manufactures if the various governments had been able to take some anti-dumping measures in the 70s and 80s.
I've nothing against cheap imports but dislike big companies, be they local or foreign, dominating markets by forcing competitors out of business through short term overly aggressive pricing.
If you took all the Chinese components out of all ebikes I doubt there would be any on the road. 60% of our bike parts still are made in China although we now produce in Taiwan with 40% of the parts being Taiwanese (of the People’s Republic of China!) It’s a complete waste of time, money and effort. There are now at least 4000 FreeGo end users in the UK without warranties to fall back on. It’s absolutely disgraceful that big business can manipulate the markets thus.
 
D

Deleted member 128

Guest
#11
It’s absolutely disgraceful that big business can manipulate the markets thus.
Who are these "big businesses", companies supplying ebikes that use components made in China or companies supplying ebikes made in China?
 
Oct 25, 2006
41,395
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#12
Who are these "big businesses", companies supplying ebikes that use components made in China or companies supplying ebikes made in China?
Companies making ebikes in Germany and The Netherlands that use components made in China, and those making e-bike motors only.

The German and Dutch e-bike makers are almost all owned by two large groups, Accell being by far the largest with many famous brands, and Pon Holdings who among others own Derby Cycles gmbh incorporating such as Kalkhoff, Technium and Gazelle.

Both Accell and Pon have been attempting to take each other over to form a near monopoly.
.
 
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Wisper Bikes

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#13
Who are these "big businesses", companies supplying ebikes that use components made in China or companies supplying ebikes made in China?
Thanks Flecc, absolutely!
 
D

Deleted member 128

Guest
#14
It would be very interesting to discover what % of Bosch motors are made in China, I’m told more than 60%. This is pure protectionism nothing more.
Why is that "protectionism", what is Bosch protecting other than its business? I'm struggling to understand your position on using parts made in Far East, aren't 60% of your ebikes manufactured there and would you say that was "protectionism"?
 

Wisper Bikes

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#15
Currently it’s only the building and depending on where we build the bikes, up to 40% of the parts that been been effected by the current round of protectionism. It’s likely that the follow through (as it was on standard bike)is that the all parts of I’ll be effected.
 

Woosh

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#16
Why is that "protectionism", what is Bosch protecting other than its business?
it's not Bosch who instigated the anti-dumping process. It's the EBMA, European Bicycle Manufacturers Association. They want to reduce Chinese competition by claiming that Chinese bikes are sold at below costs which is a bit absurd if you ask me.
The EU Commission reacted by using the cost of making e-bikes in Switzerland as a yardstick (so called analogue country). To restore level playing field, imported e-bikes are charged additionally 86% anti-dumping duty.
Most of us either have to buy from Taiwan or import bike parts for assembly in the UK. Wisper chooses the first, I choose the second. Both solutions incur considerable addtional costs.
I had to put up my prices by 10% to compensate, making my bikes less attractive than before.
 
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Wisper Bikes

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#17
Bosch are suspected of being behind the EBMA and the action. Firm confirmation is currently being sought.

We are still building bikes in the UK. The move to Taiwan has more to do with Brexit. If there is no deal we have to be able to continue sales to Europe, if there is a deal that enables us to continue building in the UK we will reconsider.
 

Woosh

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#18
We are still building bikes in the UK. The move to Taiwan has more to do with Brexit. If there is no deal we have to be able to continue sales to Europe, if there is a deal that enables us to continue building in the UK we will reconsider.
I would have thought that Taiwan is a more attractive solution.
Building small quantities is OK in the short term to continue with our existing range but not a viable long term solution. New models will have to be sourced from Taiwan.
 

RoadieRoger

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 8, 2010
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#19
Ironic that the EU is moaning about Trump`s threat of Tariffs on their Cars and then doing the same to the Chinese Bikes . Nothing but a bunch of hypocrites . I well remember the butter and cheese` mountains` , wine` lakes` and milk` lakes `accumulated 40 years ago, which resulted from protecting their Farming and Agriculture , although mainly to appease the French it must be said . In the end they had to give these surpluses away to poor African Countries . Perhaps the same will happen to their Ebikes when they have priced themselves out .
 

Woosh

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May 19, 2012
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#20
Ironic that the EU is moaning about Trump`s threat of Tariffs on their Cars and then doing the same to the Chinese Bikes . Nothing but a bunch of hypocrites . I well remember the butter and cheese` mountains` , wine` lakes` and milk` lakes `accumulated 40 years ago, which resulted from protecting their Farming and Agriculture , although mainly to appease the French it must be said . In the end they had to give these surpluses away to poor African Countries . Perhaps the same will happen to their Ebikes when they have priced themselves out .
I can't say that I condone the anti-dumping levy on Chinese e-bikes and the huge subsidies to French farmers but on the long term, the anti-dumping levy will help local e-bike producers and farm subsidies did get rid of the mountains of butter and the wine lakes.
 

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