Case Study: Schwinn Bicycles
MBAA 514 – Advanced Marketing
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
November 22, 2012
Research shows the earliest bicycle is the one that was invented by Baron Karl von Drais, in 1916, which he rode while collecting taxes from his many serf-like tenants. This bicycle was designed as a pushbike, which is powered by the rider who pushes his feet against the ground in order to propel the bike forward. In a way it was merely a platform in which to sit and let the wheels help the rider move quickly like a carriage without a horse. This idea evolved into a series of different models, each with increased improvements, to what we know today as the self-propelled peddle bicycle (Encyclopedia World - Global Oneness, 2012). Leading manufacturers of the early bicycle included Frank Bowden and Ignaz Schwinn, each who had a major influence on the world of bicycling today. Arnold-Schwinn & Company was founded in 1895 by partners Ignaz Schwinn and Adolph Arnold just as the industry for bicycles was in a very competitive state. Within the first twenty years of its formation, Arnold-Schwinn & Co. had become known as a leader of bicycle quality within the industry. Sometime in the 1970’s, Arnold-Schwinn & Co became known as just Schwinn Bicycles (to be hereby referred to as Schwinn) (Wilson, Porter, & Rieff, 2012). This change came after the company had achieved sales of over $20 million in the early 1960’s. Over the life of the company Schwinn has a developed number of bicycles, including but not limited to the Phantom, Sting Ray, and Varsity. These bicycles have allowed the company to be the leader in revolutionizing cycling around the world (Schwinn Co., 2012). In 1896, one year after Schwinn entered the bicycle market; there were already 300 bicycle companies in the US, 101 of which were based in the city of Chicago, making the bicycle industry a difficult environment to get started in. Bicycles...
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