25 years of FLYER: evolution of a unique Swiss brand
Andreas Kessler, CEO of FLYER AG, speaks of the eventful past and promising future of the FLYER brand.
The FLYER brand is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary. Where do you see FLYER today?
We are proud that our company has played its part in writing the history of the e-bike in Europe. Outstanding Swiss quality, innovation, a love of detail, and customer focus are the foundation of our success. However, we do not want to rest on the laurels of our pioneering achievements and, for this reason, we are constantly developing and testing new products and services relating to the e-bike. Differentiating ourselves through our own FIT technology platform and innovations, such as the first e-bikes with an anti-lock braking system or the recently launched sporty crossover e-bikes, we remain a trailblazer in the sector.
We are a popular premium brand and offer e-bikes for almost everybody, from people who want to return to cycling, to touring cyclists, commuters and families, all the way to sporty bikers. Today, the most popular e-bikes are the FLYER Upstreet5, which can used in a versatile manner, the sporty e-mountainbikes of the FLYER Uproc series, and the new FLYER Goroc models, which combine sporty mountain bike genes with suitability for everyday use.
When you look back at the history of the FLYER brand and the e-bike, what has changed in the world of bicycles?
When the FLYER pioneers equipped the first bicycles with an electronic drive in the early 1990s, they were often ridiculed and not taken seriously in the bicycle sector. Today, the e-bike has become more than respectable: it is attractive for young and old, and is widely used for everyday and leisure-time mobility. E-bikes have, in the meantime, also been recognised in the field of sport.
Manufacturers and trade can no longer avoid the e-bike, which is a good thing, given that e-bikes are not only fun, but are also an important part of sustainable mobility that respects the environment. They help to improve the traffic situation in towns, emit twelve times less CO2 per kilometre than a car, and e-bike riders stay fit and healthy without trying. Unfortunately, cycling infrastructure development often still lags behind the growing levels of bicycle traffic.
What are the particular strengths of FLYER?
At FLYER, people have always believed that the e-bike would be successful. The great enthusiasm and unique know-how of our employees remain our most important capital today. We have an extremely motivated team that identifies with the company and the product.
Our close partnership with the specialist trade is a significant foundation for our ability to sustain our position as a premium manufacturer in an increasing mass market. Together with our loyal and competent FLYER dealers who have an in-depth insight into what is happening on the market, we ensure that satisfied customers use our FLYER e-bikes.
What needs to be done to make certain that FLYER can sell e-bikes successfully in future, too?
One of the central tasks here is to continue to strengthen our markets. The brand policy is very important for the future as the market for e-bikes is becoming increasingly competitive. Growing internationalisation means that the brand will also further gain in significance. As a pioneer brand, FLYER has become synonymous with e-bikes in Switzerland. We cannot achieve that in all markets, but we are actively working on ensuring that our brand becomes better known, more attractive, and more accessible.
High quality remains our top priority. This not only applies to our FLYER e-bikes, but also to all the services that we offer dealers and end consumers. We are currently investing heavily in digitalisation and are, for example, expanding our on-line dealer portal. In our anniversary year, we will be launching a completely new website for our end consumers.
We will continue to differentiate ourselves with FLYER Intelligent Technology (FIT), which we developed ourselves. The FIT platform enables us to always integrate the best components for various functions and applications in a single system. This means that end consumers receive a premium e-bike from us that contains the ideal technology for their specific needs. FIT allows us to work together with the best component manufacturers.
What has been your best personal FLYER e-bike experience so far?
I am always delighted when my friends and acquaintances fall in love with FLYER e-bikes. A particularly heartening moment was when an extremely good friend, who also happens to be the head of a well-known clinic, said: “The three best things I have bought myself in my life are a Porsche 911, a box spring bed, and a FLYER e-bike.”