As global cities become more congested and mayors turn their attention to air quality as a key indicator of the quality of life, Brompton believes it has the solution: an electrified version of its iconic folding bike.
Designed with Formula 1 specialists, Williams Advanced Engineering, the first production models of Brompton Electric rolled off the line in summer 2018, the company’s biggest ever product launch and the result of what has been a transformative decade for the brand. First conceived by Andrew Ritchie in 1975, with early prototypes developed in his flat overlooking the Brompton Oratory, the bikes have been a familiar sight in city streets for over 30 years. Export markets have always been important to Brompton, with customers in more traditionally cycling-friendly nations such as Germany and The Netherlands being early adopters of the brand.
‘I can’t see why the likes of New York, Hong Kong, Seoul and Berlin couldn’t be full of Bromptons in ten years’ time.’
Customers in the Far East, from Japan and Korea to Singapore and more recently China have also fallen for the high-quality British engineering, with all frames still being hand brazed in its West London factory. It is the recent years of business changes that now see Brompton vying to be considered as an internationally recognised brand. In 2011, the standalone ‘Brompton Junction’ stores were introduced and there are now 16 of these around the globe. Brompton has also formed collaborations with numerous global partners, moved to a purpose-built production facility with enlarged R&D facilities and widened its core offering to incorporate services such as Brompton Bike Hire, all of which have considerably spurred brand growth and recognition. It has also garnered numerous awards including coveted Best Product Award at Cyclex and the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement.
CEO Will Butler Adams is bullish about the next ten years: ‘We are seeing a significant modal shift around the world. Individuals are waking up to the damage of being sedentary for their whole lives and governments are recognising their responsibility to make busy urban areas safe and pleasant spaces. Bikes are an incredibly efficient and fun way to get around, and the introduction of battery-powered cycling opens it up to more people the world over. Our biggest market, by city, is still London, but we export 80 per cent of our bikes and I can’t see why the likes of New York, Hong Kong, Seoul and Berlin couldn’t be full of Bromptons in ten years’ time.’
Actor Owen Wilson, architect Richard Rogers and designer Tom Dixon are among the estimated 500,000 owners around the world
And Brompton is undoubtedly making big inroads into new international markets, a movement driven initially by passionate owners’ clubs, from Dubai to Jakarta, and a roster of eye-catching events, including the Brompton World Championship Races to bike polo in the Sahara desert. Recent collaborations with British clothing brand Barbour, former professional cyclist David Millar and Japanese social media brand Line Friends are among others already under its belt, meaning that the small wheeled bike is attracting many more aficionados. Actor Owen Wilson, architect Richard Rogers and designer Tom Dixon are among the estimated 500,000 owners around the world. No doubt many more will follow.
Brompton Bicycle Unit 1, Ockham Drive, Greenford, London, UB6 0FD +44 (0)20 8232 8484