An Italian mobility supplier is looking for a handful of select, high quality dealerships to lead its entry into the UK market and help it replicate the success its wheelchair power add-on has had in Europe.
London-based Mobilitise Ltd, which is the exclusive UK importer for the Triride, has already secured around 10 retailers in the country and is now looking for an additional set of businesses to join its network, which could be capped at just 20.
Mobilitise’s director, Gabriele Grixoni claims the Triride, which is designed to be wholly unique to its competitors, can have a real impact on small mobility retailers, accounting for a significant portion of their income – between 10% and 20% in some instances.
Grixoni hopes to be selling around 300 to 400 units a year in the UK within two years but says Triride needs some time to establish itself in the home market.
“So far I have cherry picked from the companies in the UK, for example Da Vinci Mobility. The product is beginning to be known but it’s not a product for everyone to sell.”
Grixoni is looking for dealers that are well-established and experienced in the mobility sector. But he is open to newly-founded companies, as long as they are headed by experienced industry members. Another key requirement is a strong sales record but Grixoni said this does not mean having a large sales force.
“It matters how much you deal with your customers. It’s not a matter of company size. So far, small dealers seem to work better for us because large companies have a large stream of products and a lot of business and the risk is that the Triride is ‘just one more’. But they do not seem to push it.
“For a small company, Triride can be a meaningful contribution to their gross income – it can account for 10% or even 20%, which is quite significant, and it means they are keen to promote the product further. I’m looking for quality distribution and I want to keep in touch with them personally.”
In return Grixoni promises “good, efficient communication” with the manufacturer. Triride also offers strong promotional support and is investing a lot in new marketing, Grixoni said, adding: “If the dealer organises an event for the customers or participates in an exhibition with a stand we will participate and contribute in the way of discounts for them and we will be present at the event.”
Grixoni is confident in the potential of the Triride for the UK market and said a very conservative estimation of the number of prospective users in Italy is 80,000, and is growing. Based on their similar population demographics, he believes the UK has similar potential.
Triride has already sold some 5,000 units in Italy and puts much of its success down to its compact size. Its wheel claims to be smaller than competitor models and has a steeper fork angle, meaning it can be taken on public transport and elevators without being removed from the chair.
A steeper angle on the forks also puts more weight on the wheel meaning more traction and better grip.
Triride’s battery is also made bespoke, rather than for bicycles like some of its competitors. The battery is optimised to reach a range of 50km and regarding its electronics, the product now features a regen system which activates when braking and travelling downhill. This allows for energy recovery and battery recharging on the move.
One other feature is its electronic braking system which allows a user to brake effectively by pressing a button and without even engaging the brake pads when not required.