CI.N Podcast Host Sean Lally interviews Pashley’s Managing Director Adrian Williams to explore how B2B and utility bikes has been core to its success and even to its survival.
Listen to the podcast here: Cycling Industry News Podcast
Pashley has seen considerable successes in that market in recent decades, including the Mailstar cargo bike for Royal Mail for over four decades and more recently with bike share and cycle hire schemes in London and Birmingham. Williams explains how Pashley’s founder intended for the company to “not go into the volume area, by working in the niches of the industry from the start… To this day, Pashley supplies both to the consumer through bicycle retailers and distributors overseas, but also to business.”
While its bike ranges over the years have even included motorised trikes in the 1950s… “In the 2000s, we really focused on our roots, those classic style bicycles that we have become very well known for…
“Pashley was serving Royal Mail for 40 years and it contributed well over half our turnover at one point. When they decided to move away from the bicycle and go to trolleys we had to find another area to sustain the business. We’d done some work with Serco and the London bike share business and they asked us if we’d like to design and manufacture a bike for them. It was a 100%, from the ground-up design, using some of the iconic design of the existing bike. That went into service in 2017 and it led to an European award… and business with Transport for West Midlands in Birmingham. It changed our business quite considerably.”
Lalley also asks the Pashley boss about some of the challenges of the current market, discussing how even a UK manufacturer wasn’t able to avoid the supply challenges of recent years: “The last time I checked, we use 180 UK suppliers, service providers, etc. But you only need that one part coming from overseas that can mess up your production.”
Williams also touches on legislation challenges affecting the last mile market as well as the difficulties that Brexit has delivered: “It’s been a bit of a nightmare, I have to say that. Mainly with all the extra administration and the cost that brings.”