MIFA presents new GRACE and Steppenwolf Group brand models at EUROBIKE
With the appearance of the two premium brands MIFA emphasizes its acknowledged development and construction expertise. "I am very pleased with the feedback from specialist visitors," describes Michael Hecken, head of strategy and marketing at MIFA, his impressions of EUROBIKE. "Feedback on our brands' new models from various discussions with specialist dealers, journalists and suppliers is extremely positive. This proves to me that the course we are charting with our two specialist dealer brands is entirely right."
Steppenwolf, which has been a MIFA Group brand since August 2012, is presenting its entirely overhauled model range and positioning itself as a sustainable and durable brand offering the highest "Made in Germany" quality. Models from the mountain bike, trekking bikes, cross bikes and Pedelecs come together to form the Steppenwolf portfolio. One of the highlights of this model range is the Steppenwolf Tundra Carbon mountain bike from its Hardtail series, an agile race bike with a light carbon frame weighing in at just 1,200 g. The GRACE e-bike brand has expanded its model range to include the entirely new MX II Urban and MX II Trail models, which combine the new Bosch second-generation Performance Line motor system with a highly integrated design. "People's requirements of e-bikes are not only rising - they are also becoming increasingly varied", explains Hecken. "We are taking this trend into account with our new models."
Hecken also notes the entirely different preconditions for marketing when acquiring both brands: "While we have managed in the case of Steppenwolf to bring a fresh shine to a well-known brand, with GRACE we have established a newcomer as a trend brand in a niche of the e-bike segment - increasingly also internationally." For example, VIPs such as Prince Albert of Monaco already rank among the proud owners of a GRACE e-bike. Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio has also already been spotted with a GRACE e-bike. Pope Francis recently received a "smart e-bike" produced in Sangerhausen as his new "working bicycle".
GRACE and Steppenwolf are both present with their own trade fair stands at EUROBIKE. Hecken emphasises both premium brands' independence: "MIFA offers both brands a home, and coordinates central functions from which synergies can be derived. As far as our market profile is concerned, however, it is important to separately convey the brands' own identities since GRACE and Steppenwolf address different target milieus with their models. We regard ourselves as a 'House of Brands'."
The development of "model twins" also features as one of the synergies between GRACE and Steppenwolf. The new GRACE MX II Trial model receives a counterpart from Steppenwolf's e-bike series, the Steppenwolf GALVIN. Both models were developed and produced on a joint platform. MIFA's head of development, Karlheinz Nicolai, nevertheless qualifies this approach: "The opportunity arose with these models to develop 'model twins' as it was compatible with the character of both brands. But this will remain more of an exception than the rule in the future, since our objective is to tailor our brands precisely to our customers' characteristics."
Not least, the successful integration of GRACE and Steppenwolf into the MIFA Group has resulted in MIFA reporting further year-on-year growth in its consolidated revenue to EUR 82.6 million as stated in the recently published results for the first half of 2013. This is the highest level of half-yearly revenue since the company's IPO in 2004. The revenue growth results from a marked increase in average sales prices and a rise in e-bikes' share of consolidated revenue to 30 %.
MIFA-Bike Gesellschaft mbH
MIFA Mitteldeutsche Fahrradwerke AG, which is based at Sangerhausen in Germany's Saxony- Anhalt region, is Germany's largest manufacturer of bicycles in terms of sales. The company produces an extensive range of bicycle models ranging from entry-price through to premium. The components utilised in bicycle production are purchased from renowned suppliers and assembled at the company's single production location in Sangerhausen. Business here focuses on projectrelated manufacturing to order for large retail chains and OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) customers. E-bikes have also been produced since the 2011 financial year. MIFA produces the ebike for automotive manufacturer smart, Deutsche Post's bicycle fleet, and supplies municipal lending systems with multi-user vehicles. MIFA acquired Berlin-based e-bike manufacturer Grace and Bavaria-based cult bicycle forging company Steppenwolf in 2012, thereby intensifying its sales activities with specialist dealers. MIFA sells its bicycles primarily in its domestic market in Germany. Further sales markets are located mainly in Western Europe. Both the operating business and administration and logistics are managed from the single production site in Sangerhausen.
MIFA sold 546,000 bicycles in the 2012 financial year (previous year: 644,000), generating EUR 111.3 million of revenue, representing a 10.7 % increase compared with 2011 (EUR 100.5 million). E-bikes comprised 30.0 % of total revenue (previous year: 12.5 %). After adjusting for acquisition effects, the company generated adjusted operating earnings (EBIT) of EUR 2.9 million (previous year: EUR 4.6 million), and adjusted net income of EUR 1.1 million (previous year: EUR 2.0 million). MIFA has been listed on the stock market since May 2004. Its shares are traded in the Prime Standard of the Regulated Market of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.