Volkswagen’s involvement in Team Visma | Lease a Bike sponsorship has recently come to the forefront. Volkswagen, one of Europe’s top three companies, has taken a 49% stake in Bike Mobility Services, a subsidiary of Pon Holdings, which includes Lease a Bike. There is talk of a market potential of €10 billion for European corporate bike leasing by 2028, with the concept of bike leasing rapidly expanding in the United States as well. This positions Lease a Bike as a crucial and significant partner for Richard Plugge’s cycling team.
When it was announced that Lease a Bike would join Visma as a co-title sponsor for the team, many questioned the size and scope of Pon’s “bike branch.” To shed light on Lease a Bike’s goals and expectations, WielerFlits delved into their plans. It becomes clear that the cycling team has secured a substantial partner with ambitious growth plans that align seamlessly with the cycling strategy.
Christian Dahlheim, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Volkswagen Financial Services AG, commented, “Our partnership with Pon represents the next significant step in our journey to become a diversified provider of mobility services, aligning with the strategic objectives of the Volkswagen Group. We are committed to leveraging the strengths of our position in the automotive sector and as the world’s leading bicycle company.”
Janus Smalbraak, CEO of Pon Holdings, added, “I am convinced that we are in a unique position to accelerate the international expansion of bicycle leasing in partnership with Volkswagen FS. The corporate bike caters to a clear need for employees, employers, and governments, which is why we have been able to grow the business so rapidly over the past five years. E-bikes play an essential role in the future of commuting, and the lease option offers employees much broader accessibility facilitated by their employers. The prospects for both Europe and the U.S. are promising. It is exciting to take further steps in the bicycle market alongside Volkswagen and collaborate on mobility offerings.”
Bike Mobility Services is Europe’s leading bicycle leasing company and operates in six countries (Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Sweden, and recently the U.S.). Currently, the company provides corporate bicycles to over 600,000 employees in 65,000 businesses, ranging from large corporations to small and medium-sized enterprises. An impressive 90% of the leased bikes are electric, and they are distributed and serviced through a network of 8,000 bicycle dealers. The Bike Mobility Services brands include BusinessBike, Lease a Bike, and B2Bike.
Germany is at the forefront of corporate bicycle leasing, making bicycles, particularly e-bikes, accessible to all employees. Many companies, regardless of size, freelancers, large corporations, as well as government agencies and the public sector, now offer their employees company bikes. Following significant investments by national governments and municipalities in bicycle infrastructure and mobility solutions, bicycle leasing is thriving in many European markets, including the Netherlands, Belgium, Scandinavia, the United Kingdom, and France. The European market potential for corporate bike leasing is estimated at €10 billion by 2028.
Janus Smalbraak noted, “The growth potential in the U.S. is also significant, with cities and governments heavily investing in bicycle infrastructure. Bike Mobility Services has just opened its first American office in San Francisco and has already secured major corporations for corporate bike leasing. Our existing presence and retail relationships in the U.S. can help enhance our collaboration and offerings to American employees, companies, and retailers.”
The bicycle industry has experienced global growth in recent years. According to the German Bicycle Industry Association (ZIV), the turnover of the bicycle industry in Germany reached a record level of approximately €7.26 billion in 2022. E-bikes, which are gaining popularity, accounted for 48% of total sales in 2022. In 2023, the association expects more e-bikes to be sold than conventional bicycles without electric motors for the first time. This trend of e-bikes leading the way applies to all of Europe and is also emerging in the U.S., where the e-bike market is still in its early stages.
Dahlheim emphasized the company’s ambitions, stating, “Through the partnership with Pon, Volkswagen FS aims to become Europe’s largest player in the bicycle industry.” Clearly, sponsoring the world’s number one cycling team, Visma | Lease a Bike, aligns with this ambitious goal.