FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany (BRAIN) — The 17-year-old Czech Republic brand, Apache Bicycles, made its first Eurobike appearance here this year, as the brand looks to expand outside its home market and offer its bike assembly services to companies looking to avoid potentially crippling anti-dumping duties on Chinese-assembled e-bikes.
Apache’s branding shocked some visitors from the U.S., where American Indian-themed marketing has become increasingly unacceptable in recent years.
The Czech brand’s booth featured a teepee meeting room, giant wall-mounted images of Native American leaders, and white-skinned models in Indian garb, face paint and feathered headdresses. A large sign outside the teepee welcomed potential clients to “be part of our tribe.”
Bike model names include the Hawk, the Arrow, the Teepee and the top of the line e-MTB model, the Scalp. Yes: that happened.
Apache is not looking for U.S. distribution, and whether Western European dealers will accept the branding is unclear. Questionable theme aside, the company’s marketing materials and bike designs and graphics are highly professional, and the bike quality and assembly location may be attractive to many.
Apache was launched in 2001 and gained national prominence through its early sponsorship of Jaroslav Kulhavy, who is now one of the most successful men’s …read more