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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2004


Scott to reenter U.S. bicycle market

Company expanding Ketchum operations

Express Staff Writer

Scott USA, the renowned Ketchum-based sporting goods company, is planning to expand its operations by offering a full line of bicycles throughout the United States.

The announcement came earlier this month, just as Scott USA employees were moving into a new 15,000-square-foot company headquarters on Lewis Street, in Ketchum’s light-industrial business district.

Scott Montgomery, the new general manager and vice-president of Scott USA’s US Bike Division, displays a jersey worn by current World Marathon champion Thomas Frischknecht, who rides a Scott bicycle. Express photo by Willy Cook

The company, which in recent years has maintained a successful bicycle sales division in Europe, has not sold bicycles in the United States for seven years.

"We have always wanted to return to North America," said Beat Zaugg, president of Scott Sports Group. "We felt this was the perfect time, as our bicycle line has been extremely well received for years and is sold in some 37 countries around the world."

Zaugg made the move to reopen the company’s bicycle division in the United States after being approached by Scott Montgomery, a longtime senior employee for Connecticut-based bicycle manufacturer Cannondale.

Montgomery started work for Scott USA in Ketchum on April 5 as the general manager and vice-president of the company’s new USA Bike Division.

Montgomery on Monday said he believes Scott USA can be competitive in the North American bicycle market.

"They have an expertise in bicycles that I think will allow us to go head to head with any bike company in the U.S.," Montgomery said.

Montgomery formally kicked off Scott’s reentry into the United States bicycle market on April 14, when he displayed some of the company’s high-end bicycles at the Sea Otter Classic, an annual cycling event in central California.

Scott USA was started in Sun Valley in 1958 by ski-industry pioneer Ed Scott. The company is a leading producer of ski goggles, ski poles and other equipment for winter sports and motor sports.

Scott USA started designing and distributing bicycle parts in the 1980s. After the company acquired the Schwinn bicycle company in 1993, it started selling bicycles under the Scott name.

Scott USA sold Schwinn in September 1997 and discontinued bicycle sales in the United States. However, it maintained a bicycle division based from its European headquarters in Switzerland.

Montgomery said Monday that Scott USA is today one of the premier bicycle brands in Europe, where competitive cycling ranks as one of the most popular sports.

Scott currently has 82 models in its bicycle line. Montgomery said the new Ketchum office will eventually sell approximately 60 of the models.

Montgomery, who started new bicycle divisions for Cannondale in Europe and Japan, said he views the Scott USA bicycle expansion as a 15-year project.

While a limited number of Scott bicycles will be available for sale in the United States this summer, Scott will not market a full line of bicycles until later in the year, Montgomery said.

"We’ll focus on the larger metropolitan areas first," he said. "Ground zero in the bicycle business is Los Angeles."

The Ketchum headquarters will manage the division’s sales, marketing, customer service and administrative functions. Scott bicycles will be distributed from Salt Lake City.

The planned Scott line includes mountain bikes, road bikes, women’s bikes and children’s bikes. Scott is perhaps best known for its carbon-fiber, high-performance bicycles, which can sell for up to $8,000.

"In the first year, we will focus primarily on the performance or high end of the Scott bicycle range," Montgomery said. "They have such innovation on tap for 2005 that it just makes sense to go with the sexy products first."

Scott USA in early April moved its headquarters from an inconspicuous building on Lewis Street to a new, modern facility just yards away. The new building is expected to allow for continued expansion of the bicycle division, as well as the winter-sports and motor-sports divisions.


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