Detroit Bike Case.docx - Detroit Bikes Case Study u2013...

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Detroit Bikes Case Study – Dan Elston Detroit, an industrial city in Michigan, is associated with a blue collar mentality and was once an industrial/manufacturing mecca. However, the city today is a struggling metropolis attempting to re-emerge on a national/international level. Attempting to rekindle Detroit’s reputation is Detroit Bikes, the first large bicycle producer in North America in the 21 st century, a well adopted franchise in the struggling city. History tends to repeat itself, and to be successful, Detroit Bikes needed to understand the city’s history and what they had to do as an organization to prosper. As noted in the text, in 2013 Detroit became the largest U.S city to declare bankruptcy, something needed to change, the city needed revitalising. The school system was failing, crime was rising, and residents described the city as a ‘war-zone’. In 2016, an estimated 100,000 people were working in downtown Detroit, a minuscule number compared to other major U.S cities. Although home to 4 major sport teams, the city center lacked character until the international riverfront became more vibrant with pedestrians and weekly events. Since 2016, Detroit has experienced an upsurge in entrepreneurial activity, including start-up accelerators, social enterprises, and innovative businesses. Stated in the text, Detroit is seen by many entrepreneurs as the ‘perfect manufacturing hub, given its long-standing history with the auto industry ‘. This attracted Detroit Bikes and their founder. Due to its troubled past, real estate was cheap, new businesses could afford to take a risk and help the city get back to its pre 1980s self. Detroit Bikes had a plan, to sell a variety of bikes made in the USA. In the United States, the bicycle manufacturing industry was over 100 years old, it originally prospered in the 1890s when the industry had 300 established firms producing bicycles. Production grew from ‘30,000 bikes in 1890 to 1,200,000 in 1899’. As a European, Bikes are used regularly as a method of transport, a method I personally do not see too often in the USA besides the major mega cities such as New York, L.A and San Francisco. In the 1900s ‘bicycles enabled people from rural areas to travel longer distances’. America had a minor stake in the market, China and Taiwan produced 99% of U.S bikes (17.8 million) in 2014. More recent, bike sales have increased as a response to the societal issue concerning 1

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