Earlier this week I headed to Auckland to catch up with Specialized founder Mike Sinyard, Women’s Product Manager Rachael Lambert and Specialized New Zealand head of operations, Tony Smith. It was a bit of a dealer thing but most of that went over my head; what I did pick up, aside from a sweet lunch, was how passionate all at Specialized are and how Specialized entering the New Zealand market as its own entity with a local operation is going to be damned exciting. Increased range, stronger relationships with local shops, better support of the brand for riders and a bunch of other exciting initiatives all spell good things for you and me. Below is the full press release.

Specialized Bicycles is establishing companies in Australia and New Zealand to provide even better support for the regions’ best independent dealers.

The investment in the Australian and New Zealand markets is guided by the mission that drives the rest of the company — to be the brand of choice for discerning riders and the best full‐service dealers. Specialized Australia and Specialized New Zealand will focus on strengthening their relationships with independent dealers, providing them with the tools to succeed, and expanding personnel and resources to meet their needs.

Specialized will begin direct distribution of 2011 Model Year product starting June, 2010. Sheppard Industries Ltd. will continue to distribute Specialized 2010 Model Year product until August 31, 2010.

“We are fortunate for this opportunity to further our commitment to dealers in Australia and New Zealand. These countries have nurtured some of cycling’s greatest talents, and we’re proud to be a part of it,” said Specialized Founder and President Mike Sinyard. “I feel very confident that by providing direct contact, service, and support we will succeed in growing our relationship with the regions’ most remarkable dealers.”

“These are exciting times and a fresh beginning. The NZ market will find Specialized more responsive and in tune to it’s needs in a way that it was unble to offer previously.

A singular commited focus, and wider product range will benefit both NZ dealers and riders.“ said Tony Smith, Market Leader for New Zealand.

Specialized have a proven track record for providing dealers with strong service and support all around the world. Specialized Australia and New Zealand dealers will have national and regional marketing and sales contacts, including dedicated office locations in each country. This means that dealers can expect increased awareness and demand from riders, and enhanced dealer sales support.

About Specialized:
Specialized Bicycles was founded in 1974 by riders for riders. Headquartered in Morgan Hill, California, with global distribution, the company focuses on making everyone’s time on a bike better by delivering functional and technically advanced equipment that provides a performance benefit.

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