What are these iconic brands?
In 2017, Solex is once again manufactured in Saint-Lô, France; it is a new electric version of the legendary motorized bicycle that has allowed the creation of 30 jobs in France.
A legendary brand rooted in French tradition
A bit of history
The brand SOLEX was created in 1910. Initially, it was a trademark for “spare parts and accessories for cars and motorcycles.” In 1916, the first patent application was filed for a bicycle with an auxiliary motor, then a second in 1918 for a two-wheeled motor. Due to the violent circumstances of the period, it was not until 1940 that a prototype of a motor-driven bicycle was born. Its commercialization began in 1946. Then, in 1988, for lack of interest, production stopped. The brand collapsed and was passed from one company to the next. Since 2013, the brand belongs to the Easybike e-bike company.
Between 1946 and 1988, there were between 7 and 8 million Solex bicycles sold. In the 60s, more than 100,000 units were produced in France each year to meet 1,500 daily sales.
A jewel of French heritage
The motorized bicycle brand Solex is on all the roads in France. It is present in many films and can even be found in the garages of our grandparents…
The brand is well known, is famous for its look, evokes memories and carries values: accessibility, practicality, simplicity and robustness.
Adapting the product to today’s needs
At the end of the 80s, the motorized bicycle had to compete with mopeds and personal cars.
It goes without saying that Solex was being largely overtaken by progress in the transportation sector. It was therefore necessary to imagine a product capable of reconnecting with the expectations of the public. This was done thanks to innovations, especially its brand new battery, which allowed the Solex to reach a younger generation.
In 2009, the brand was sold to Group Cible, which launched an e-Solex: an electric Solex designed by Sergio Pininfarina and produced in China. In 2011, the Easybike company became the French and European distributor of the e-Solex. Then, in 2013, the Easybike company, convinced of the positive values conveyed by the Solex brand and its commercial potential, bought it and decided to relocate its production back to France.
A brand that cared about its look
How? With a strong design that takes on a retro aesthetic.
The “Made in France”
This brand, rooted in French heritage, evokes values that only needed to be updated. Its executives extended its protection abroad, and the current ones have brought it back to national soil, making “Made in France” a sales argument and a pledge of quality and authenticity.
Conclusion: Brand power
In order to continue to exist, the brand had to equip itself with a unique palette of attributes. What are they?
Knowing how to travel through time
Along with Easybike, which generates €13 million in sales and 350 points of sale, the brand persists over time by adapting to the new needs and desires of customers, trends and requests. The Solex brand is now synonymous with an e-bike!!
Conquering a foreign clientele
The Solex brand has established itself abroad in order to conquer a new clientele.
Grégory Trebaol, Associate Founder and Managing Director of the Easybike group said that, “Solex, once you’ve fallen into the pot, you can’t get back out of it anymore.”
File patents, create and set up partnerships. An agreement was signed with the Roland-Garros Tournament last June for a period of three years, and a first series of Solex e-bikes is expected for 2018. Another partnership was signed with the ski resort Avoriaz and the Pierre & Vacances group. The latter wants to equip their Center Parcs sites with Solex e-bikes, a nice manner for them to expand their customer base.
Anne DESMOUSSEAUX, Founding Partner, Lawyer, European Trademark & Design Representative