“As the name says, FLYER represents the fact that as soon as you get on an e-bike you feel 20 years younger”, says Gianni Mazzeo with a grin. The lively Italian was one of the entrepreneurial trio that, with the C Series, started the success story of the electric bicycle from the Emmental valley in Switzerland.
It was neither enthusiasm for cycling nor fascination with new technology that caused Mr Mazzeo to join FLYER. “At first electric bicycles did nothing for me”, says Gianni Mazzeo, “but I had no job and joined the company because it was looking for a good salesperson.”
As the name says, FLYER represents the fact that as soon as you get on an e-bike you feel 20 years younger.
Mr Mazzeo’s task was to gain dealers in Switzerland and, in particular, the large market in Germany. When he joined FLYER in 2001, there were only a handful of specialist bicycle dealers selling FLYER e-bikes in Germany. E-bikes were largely unknown in Europe and it took a lot of convincing to get FLYER e-bikes into bicycle shops.
Gianni Mazzeo says that he had no idea about the technology, but that every specialist dealer recognised immediately that FLYER is a premium product and that a test ride was by far the most important sales argument.
This is why the FLYER crew attended trade fairs and events week after week to drum up enthusiasm for FLYER electric bicycles among potential customers. And the C Series with its comfortable low step-through frame and battery with a long range was a success. The impressive Swiss quality of the FLYER bike offered its users quality of life. An increasing number of specialist dealers recognised the value of the new electric bike and the sales network and turnover grew from year to year. In Switzerland, FLYER has become synonymous with e-bikes.
In 2011, Gianni Mazzeo withdrew from the operative side of the business. For more than ten years he had put his private life on the back burner, driven by the enthusiastic mood of the company and inspired by feedback from satisfied FLYER customers. “We were like a big family at FLYER”, remembers Mr Mazzeo, “our employees and the FLYER dealers were all passionately involved.”
Gianni Mazzeo still has a framed FLYER share certificate at home, which reminds him of his special and successful time at FLYER.