I don’t know if you recently visited Coasting.com, the website dedicated to the innovation program initiated by Shimano with several bicycle brands like Giant, Trek, Fuji, K2 and even Schwinn (2008). Developped with the innovation firm IDEO, this project intended to bring new consumers to cycling, those who didn’t identify themselves with the technology-driven world of copmetitive cycling. Well, the website now directly brings you to Shimano’s corporate website, Shimano.com.
After contacting Shimano, I found out the whole program had been abandoned – or at least temporarilly stopped. According the Shimano France‘s Mathieu Arrambourg, who was the first to answer my questions, the marketing efforts didn’t generate the expected sales, revealing that customers (and distributors?) were not interested enough in the products. The program, which was exclusively directed to the Northern American market, started in 2007 with Giant, Trek and Raleigh, seven other manufacturers joined the movement in 2008. Heather Abraham from Trek told me that the Lime, Trek’s Coasting model, “is no longer being produced” and that, at this time “nothing new is happening with the Coasting program“.
The Californian headquarters of Giant and Shimano USA haven’t made any statement yet. I understood that the announcement was made to Coasting’s member companies during Taiwan’s Taipei Cycle trade show, and that product managers and other marketing executives couldn not yet communicate on the issue. What ever the statements will look like, I hope that this promising approach of cycling’s marketing won’t be definitively abandonned, because it had (has!) market potential. Imagine what potential there would be in emerging markets like india and China… Or do they really just want cheap cars ?
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