Hot Wheels, the south coast company responsible for the very successful distribution and promotion of Mongoose BMX, is the new UK GT distributor. Russell Merry of Hot Wheels said the plan was to bring “new life” to GT, and he told bikebiz.co.uk that “GT bicycles have benefited from excellent design since the birth of the brand and Hot Wheels and Pacific can now build on this history to take GT forward”.
One of the key problems facing the new distributor will undoubtedly be re-establishing value into the GT brand following the collapse of Schwinn/GT Europe. The last six months has seen the market flooded with cut-price 2001 GT product. Everything from inner tubes to full XTR I-Drives have been slashed in price as the receivers have attempted to turn a warehouse full of product into cash.
Hot Wheels will begin re-establishing the flow of GT bicycles from Asia for the 2003 model year in June 2002, but only to independant bike shops – confusingly Halfords stores will be supplied by another company, Merida UK. Russell Merry remarked “While it’s extremely unfortunate that the bankruptcy process [of Schwinn/GT Europe] resulted in the disruption of the supply chain, it is the intention to quickly restore the network of independent GT dealers.”
Schwinn are rumoured to have a new distribution contract for the UK but as yet there’s no official announcement.