Gazelle factory assembles 15 millionth bike; 35 percent of the new ones are electric

Gazelle has produced its 15 millionth bike: a CityZen. The company – owned by Pon Holdings since 2011 – assembles about 250,000 bikes annually from its Dieren factory, close to Arnhem.

"We will soon be producing even more e-bikes than regular bicycles," said Ferdi Ertekin of Gazelle in a statement

"Everything and everyone will soon be connected to the internet in real-time, including our bicycles," continued Ertekin. "Riders will soon be better protected against bicycle theft and the e-bike will report itself if maintenance is necessary. In addition, trends such as bike sharing and bike rental will get a boost, because that will be easier with smart bicycles and online applications."

Royal Dutch Gazelle is housed in a factory that’s a fusion between a building erected in 1902 and a 7000-square-metre assembly-and-paint-line housed in a state-of-the-art extension built in 2014, and opened the following year by King Willem-Alexander. 

The “Royal Dutch” prefix was added in 1992 on the company’s 100th anniversary. To get the prefix companies have to reach their cententary and only one company per industry sector can be bestowed with the title (unlucky, Batavus).

The Dieren factory employs 350 people – don’t think dark, satanic mills, this is a gleaming white production-facility with upscale worker canteens, a light and airy testing lab and a 1.6km-long paint production line. 

Opened in 1902, the current factory was built over an earlier one from 1902. And this factory was built after the expansion of the business founded in 1892 by Dieren domiciled postal manager Willem Kölling who imported bicycles from England. He soon teamed up with blacksmith Rudolf Arentsen and the two-man business made a handful of bikes in Arentsen’s forge, a building which still stands, close to the current factory.

Gazelle’s frames are constructed in Asia, but painted and assembled in Dieren.

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