The best yet. That’s the general consensus on UBCON19, UBCO’s annual conference now in its second year. The ever-growing event is the perfect opportunity for dealers, distributors and partners from around the world to get together. A chance to learn about our latest products as well as gain business tips and insights from the team at UBCO, and from each other. And we can’t think of a better place to learn about (and ride) the latest electric vehicles than the adventure capital of the world! Queenstown is perfect for adrenaline junkies and scenic lovers alike.
One of our key drivers as a company is to build a consistent presence in the industry and UBCON plays a critical part in that. UBCON19 was the biggest single release of product in the company’s history. It represents 2 years of work from the team. By sharing our future plans and working collaboratively with our network, it’s clear that we’re here for the long-run (and the good-run).
For those who weren’t in Queenstown to witness the show, here’s a recap of what happened.
DAY ONE : Welcome Gen 5 to the Family
Day 1 kicked off with a company update highlighting our ever-expanding global team. With new appointments in engineering, sales and marketing, and supply chain in both New Zealand and Asia. Dylan Hughes, Sales and Marketing Director Australasia, literally started with UBCO on the first day of UBCON – nothing like jumping in the deep end!
UBCO CEO, Timothy Allan took the audience through UBCO’s 6-year journey from 2014 when it all started. From when entrepreneurs Anthony Clyde and Daryl Neal presented the idea of the 2×2 at the Waikato Fieldays to today when we’re providing an integrated product set that leverages the benefit of modern electric drive and battery technology without compromise.
The UBCO | 3 Wise Men Collaboration
Timothy was quickly trumped by Richard Miles; owner of 3 Wise Men who rolled in on the beautiful UBCO | 3 Wise Men 2×2. Dressed like a real Good Bugger (that’s 3 Wise Men terminology for a really nice guy) in the limited edition UBCO 3 Wise Men urban capsule range and on the bike, he was a picture of urban cool. Richard talked about how the collaboration between the two companies started and what it means to both brands. Guests had the chance to view the clothing range and be the first people to place orders.
Hello Gen 5
Tom Hayward, Chief Product Officer, and Rob Beck, Chief Technology Officer, were next up. Having worked at UBCO since inception, these guys are integral parts of the UBCO story. They explained what they do at UBCO and in so doing, the design journey of our products, including the integrated telematic control unit (TCU). The TCU, designed by Rob and Graeme Fuller, our Senior Electronics Engineer, provides advanced fleet management and control.
5th Generation 2×2
Timothy and Stu Munro, Product Manager, had the exciting task of unveiling the new 5th generation 2x2s. With new features like the new drive train and power systems and technical improvements such telematics, control clusters and enhanced application utility; these new bikes are the culmination of 18 months of iterative development and attention to detail.
The Adventure Bike (2x2ADV) is targeted at recreational customers with its high specs and ability to go both on and off road. Whereas the more simplified black Work Bike (2x2WK) harks back to UBCO’s roots as a pure off-road workhorse, making it perfect for the cow cockies, hunters and outdoorsy people. For these customers, black is the new white!
Three variants of the new KXH Portable Power Units were also unveiled. Portable power has been at the core of the 2×2 modular design since the outset. 2020 sees this become a completely stand-alone product capable of working both inside and outside the vehicle.
This new product comes in a rugged exo-frame with multiple directions to carry and use. With 12v and 5v ports, it can power a wide range of your devices with the largest total capacity of 60Ah. The Exo frame enables it to be carried easily and attach to the bike, the garage or your vehicle.
Justinas Pagirys, our new Commercial Director EMEA Europe travelled over 17,000km to become the coolest kid on the block when he released the most anticipated bike of them all, the FRX1. With its powerful 15Kw electric motor, this beast sits somewhere between a dirt bike and a mountain bike. This was the first time the FRX1 has touched NZ soil – and it liked it!
Phil Harrison, UBCO Journeys and Timothy finished the day covering UBCO Journeys. This is the rideshare platform developed in conjunction with Auckland electric moped company Kwikli. Phil’s plan is to target the destination tourism market with the first pilot expected to be operational by January 2020.
For more info on our 2020 range, check out our blog: 2020 Product Range – Welcome to the Family
To find out about our collaboration with 3 Wise Men see: New Urban Style: UBCO | 3 Wise Men Collaboration
DAY TWO: Info & Pizza
The 2nd Day of UBCON19 was focused on providing information to our Dealers. We covered the improvements we are making to support them better and opportunities they can implement to improve their business processes, and in so doing, increase their sales. Rachel Alderwick, Customer Services Manager, was first up talking about Sales Force, our new CRM tool which will help us deliver top-class customer service.
Ethan Ralston, President/CEO US UBCO, gave a superb presentation on new selling and finance approaches. He had Dealers glued to their seats and firing questions at him. There was high interest in the new revenue approaches, including battery subscription.
Tummy’s were starting to rumble, so it was just as well a certain delivery was booked for 12noon.
Ask anyone who attended “what was your favourite moment of UBCON19?” They’ll most likely say “the Domino’s pizza delivery!”. Nothing like having a few pizzas delivered inside the door of your conference by an UBCO 2×2 to gazump the release of 3 new bikes, portable power and ideas on how to improve your sales.
Cameron Toomy, NZ GM Domino’s, was everyone’s best mate as he served pizza. Cameron talked about one of the best decisions the company has made – buying a fleet of 2x2s for deliveries from their corporate stores. To learn about the Domino’s story read our Slice of Heaven blog.
Robin Fiore, Director of Sales US, took a few minutes to talk about his experience in the motorbike industry. From his days working for Honda and racing through to today at UBCO and why he 100% believes he’s backed the right horse in UBCO and crossing over to the dark (bright) side of EV.
Presenting after lunch on the 2nd day of any conference is always a hard ask – the audience has full bellies and their brains are bursting with newfound knowledge. But Tom’s presentation on the Gen5 2x2s new technology kept our Dealers awake, and Tom fielded plenty of questions as everyone got excited about the new tech.
Timothy brought the day, and so the conference, to a close with a quick overview of our sustainability road map. Our goal is to reach 100% recyclability of our product.
Tuesday night rocked round and those still staying at the Sherwood enjoyed dinner and chatting about the conference till the late hours of the evening..
All in All, an awesome couple of days sharing the UBCO story and spending quality time with our friends in the industry. Thanks everyone for coming.
We had 40 guests attend including Dealers, Distributors and VIPs (Investors, Government representatives, Defence Force representatives and UBCO Board members). Some travelled many miles to attend and we appreciate the time and effort involved. Thank you.
A special thank you also to the UBCO crew who delivered exceptional presentations, and those who worked tirelessly to get our new products ready and to Queenstown for the event. There isn’t a single team member globally who wasn’t involved somehow in making UBCON19 happen. Be it the event itself or keeping the fires stoked back at base, continuing the great work required to get our Gen 5 products to market and the phones answered.
Bring on UBCON20!