Dutch company Pon.Bike has officially started construction on its new bike assembly factory in Lithuania.
Pon.Bike, the parent company of established bike brands Cervelo and Santa Cruz among others, is building a 40,000 square meter building in the Kėdainiai Free Economic Zone in central Lithuania, designed for the assembly and painting of 450,000 bikes per year.
The new facility will employ 300 people by the time it is scheduled to open in 2024, with that number due to double to 600 in the near future.
Vice president for operations at Pon.Bike, Janco van der Heiden, said: “Our strategy is to produce bicycles in a site that is close to our customers, and Europe is one of our biggest and fastest-growing markets. The Kėdainiai factory is proof of this. By strengthening manufacturing capacity in Europe, we are not only creating new jobs, but also obtaining more control over our supply chain. In the end, this will also benefit our customers.”
This will be Pon.Bike’s eighth factory and will have A++ energy rating, including a 10,000 square meter rooftop solar plant supplying electricity to the production lines.
The company also has factories operating in the Netherlands, Germany, the USA and Brazil.
While the construction work is underway, Pon.Bike will recruit around 30 Lithuanian employees for the roles of managers and team leaders but the major recruitment phase will start early next year. By the end of the third quarter of 2024, the company will employ around 300 people in bicycle assembly, frame painting and warehouse logistics roles.
Van der Heiden said: “We recently opened a similar factory in Germany, completely based on our successful business set up, and we are happy and proud to bring this same set up to Lithuania, so the new factory will benefit from our knowledge and experience to be a safe and inspiring place for our new Lithuanian colleagues to work. In addition, we firmly believe in the benefits of continuous training and development, which leads to personal growth and new career opportunities.”
Bikes from brands including Gazelle, Kalkhoff, Focus and Urban Arrow will be assembled at the new facility.
Aušrinė Armonaitė, Minister of Economy and Innovation of the Republic of Lithuania said: “The Ministry of Economy and Innovation has granted the Pon.Bike factory in Kėdainiai the status of a major investment project. This makes it much easier for new investors to settle in Lithuania. We continue to work to ensure that conditions are right for new manufacturing facilities to be built and new jobs created.”