Detroit Bikes Shuts its Doors Temporarily

DETROIT—The shuttering of the west side Detroit Bikes production facility last week does not mean the company has gone the way of the Packard.

No, says owner Zak Pashak. It’s a temporary closure while the company lets sales catch up with supply.

“We’ve shut down production for now because our production was higher than our demand. Now that we’ve got bikes we can go out and sell them,” Pashak says. “We just need to take a little time to catch up and get the word out about the bikes.”

Detroit Bikes debuted its $550, three-speed commuter cruiser with much local fanfare last summer.

The company built its first 500 bikes and has placed them in dozens of retail sites around metro Detroit. Bike shops in Colorado, Oregon, British Columbia and Toronto have them on the retail floor too. Find a retailer here.

“They’re affordable and they’re made in the United States,” Pashak says. “Those two things haven’t gone together in a long time.” But sales into the fall season haven’t kept up with what the company managers had hoped. “We just need to take a little time to catch up and get the word out about the bikes,” Pashak says.

Speaking with Mode Shift from Arizona today, Pashak says marketing continues in the southern United States, and a European effort is beginning, based in Germany. Plans include exploring markets in China.

The Detroit factory could reopen in a month, which would be good news for the 30 employees who work there. A Spring 2014 relaunch would be a “worst-case-scenario.”

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