Thursday, May 23, 2013

Campagnolo Shifts Focus to Original Equipment Market

Campagnolo has announced a major change in the way it does business as it passes the 80-year mark as a company and looks to increase its market share.

Campagnolo marketing director Lorenzo Taxis

The change involves Campagnolo's decision to try to wrestle a larger share of the original equipment (or "OEM") market away from ShimaNO, which has long held a stranglehold on the market for parts sold on complete bikes. (To see how much of a lead ShimaNO holds, go to any bike shop anywhere in the US or the world, and compare how many of the bikes in the showroom are built with ShimaNO vs Campagnolo.)

ShimaNO went after the OEM market decades ago, building relationships with bicycle makers and designing parts to, in part, be easy to assemble onto bicycles in an assembly line environment. At the same time that ShimaNO was pursuing the OEM market--including the lucrative lower-priced lines--Campagnolo was focusing on more expensive lines intended mostly for people who buy a frame and then put parts on it themselves.

Campagnolo marketing and sales director put it this way:

"Customers used to buy frames and had it assembled with our parts into a complete bike. Now they buy ready to ride bikes which are pre-assembled. This means that our strategies have to be updated. We need to focus more on OEM business and need to provide better service to the bicycle makers and the bike brands, We are sure that our parts are suited for OEMs."

Will this mean we'll see Campagnolo parts on more bikes in your local shop in years to come? Could be. It would be nice for the company to increase its business and build a base of riders eager to upgrade to Campagnolo's higher-priced lines. However, they'll be working against a firmly entrenched rival in the form of ShimaNO ... and against the inertia of suppliers, manufacturers, dealers, and bike shop employees--and customers--accustomed to selling, working with, and buying ShimaNO.

Campy Only wishes them well. We'll report back on this shift as we hear more.


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