Demonstrating the best of business ethics and their deep commitment to cycling, at Interbike 2009, HP Velotechnik announced a slight price DECREASE for 2010.
2009 StreetMachine Gte, base price: $2,590 (USD)
2010 StreetMachine Gte, base price: $2,390 (USD) (With the same specs on both bikes. _NO_ component downgrade.)
This is extraordinary.
Generally, in all areas of business, whether it's bikes or sofas or soilant green or milk, every year, manufacturers increase prices to reflect inflation on raw materials, labor, real estate, shipping, etc. To gain marketshare, factories sometimes choose to NOT raise prices one year, just to slightly undercut their competitors.
With foreign companies, who may benefit from fluctuating currencies, they can get "secret" double benefits from better exchange rates along with the typical annual increase. No one would have thought twice if HPV raised prices 4% due to inflation. Or left prices static to encourage customers to buy their products. However, what THEY did, was LOWER prices on some key models.
Why? Their explanation: the better exchange rate between Euros and dollars meant they were making a bit more money on each bike sold. And they're willing to pass back that benefit to the people who buy and ride their bikes. In other words, quite simply, they lowered prices BECAUSE THEY COULD without impacting product quality.
What other business in the modern world would extend themselves in a similar way?
Does that mean they may raise prices again if the dollar strengthens? Possibly. Either way, 2010 is a good year for buying HPV products.
The economy is tough in The States right now. Not many of us have $3000 or so to spend on an HP Velotechnik. However, the overall cost/benefit of buying a high quality bike remains in favor of the bike: overall, the bike will save you substantial amounts of money.
There is no better time than now to get rid of the costly burden of a car -- or the extra car -- along with your gym membership -- and replace them both with a Street Machine or Grasshopper*.
You'll save time that you'd otherwise spend on your commute plus the time spent at the gym. You'll save money on car costs. You'll be more fit. Your heart will be healthier. And you'll be a lot happier. I can almost guarantee it.
* I do continue to think Volae's are darn good too, and an incredible value.
copyright 2009 Robert Matson