Gorenje president and CEO Franjo Bobinac and BTC Management Board president Jože Mermal signed today a letter of intent by which both companies announce their cooperation in reviving the bicycle brand Rog. Thus, the legendary Pony will hit the Slovenian streets again next spring with a fresh, improved look.
Like Gorenje, the tradition of the Rog brand goes back for more than 60 years. It was the most popular bicycle brand in former Yugoslavia and its products were also exported. Brand recognition remains exceptional to this day: 92 percent of Slovenian consumers are still familiar with the Rog bikes. Therefore, Gorenje and BTC decided to pool their resources and bring Pony and other legendary bikes back, with a fresh and improved design, by next spring.
"Gorenje has the know-how and experience we can put to use to restore the pride of a legendary Slovenian brand," said Gorenje President and CEO Franjo Bobinac. "We have identified the growing trend and mass popularity of cycling as well as e-bikes, and decided to acquire a brand with major growth potential in this field."
BTC Management Board president Jože Mermal sees the plans to revive the Rog brand as an upgrade to their support to cycling: "Consistently with our mission to create conditions in which new business opportunities flourish, we are happy to enter the bicycle manufacturing partnership with the company Gorenje. This is our further contribution to the revival of the Rog brand. We also support the cycling society KD Rog in which top-class competitors are trained, spreading the word about our country; and we innovatively upgrade our previous efforts for the development of cycling in Slovenia."
Rog brand will be managed by the newly founded company GOR Kolesa, d.o.o. Like any new activity within the Gorenje Group, it will first function as a start-up, with returns expected
within three or four years. As stressed by the managing director of the company Rok Lesjak, the offer of bicycles will be focused on the mid-segment, with stress on quality and design, based on in-house research and development and own assembly. Initially, GOR Kolesa will have around ten employees. In time, as the production output increases, this number is expected to grow.
The first bicycle of the new generation of Rog bikes, expected at the start of the 2017 cycling season, will be the legendary Pony in a fresh and improved version, made of modern materials and with improved ergonomics. This will be followed by mountain, road, and electric bicycles under the Rog brand.