New Appointment Puts UBCO on the Road to US Growth
New Zealand-born startup UBCO, creators of the original 2×2 Electric Utility Bike, have appointed ex-Honda sales executive Robin Fiore to help lead their push into the US market.
With a career spanning 23 years within the transportation and technology industry, eight years of that spent at the dealership level as a Senior District Sales Manager with American Honda Motorcycle Division, Robin Fiore is a key appointment for a company looking to make inroads into the US electric vehicle marketplace.
A 40-something adventure enthusiast, Fiore saw the role at UBCO as an opportunity to meld his love of motorbikes and the outdoors and be at the sharp end of a paradigm shift in environmentally-considerate transportation.
“I have come from an ultra-competitive retail background and have worked for a manufacturer that strives to be the best on earth. Personally, however, I have always strived to be a rebel dreamer, and am inspired to bring mobility to the masses,” said Fiore.
”“When I saw the UBCO 2x2 I immediately recognized what it represented and the multiple advantages its design offers – all-electric 2X2, a low center of gravity, great battery capacity, step-through design and near silence, just to name a few."
“My mother has always inspired me to be the change I want to see in the world, and at UBCO I believe I can make a difference by expanding people’s accessibility to connect with nature,” Fiore said.
Originally designed to be an all-electric replacement for the two-stroke farm bike, the UBCO 2×2 is winning accolades not only on the farm but on the trails and on the roads throughout the world.
UBCO has three key markets globally: agriculture and farming; recreation and adventure; urban and metropolitan, with proven sales and adoption in agriculture and recreation. From its birthplace of New Zealand, the company has successfully expanded into Australian and North American markets and will enter Europe in 2019.
Recreational usage includes hunting, camping, RV touring and recreational riding. Recreation is a key sector for UBCO especially in the United States, where 40% of the market is off road recreational. Commercial usage includes UBCO’s initial market of agriculture but has quickly grown to include commercial fleets for postal services, tourism, conservation, civic service operations, and delivery operations.
In 2017, UBCO came to the attention of US technology investors Bob and Ethan Ralston and their US expansion and acquisition company, Spring Capital. Distribution company UBCO US LLC, based in Eugene, Oregon was formed, with Bob Ralston joining the UBCO board and Ethan Ralston becoming UBCO US President.
With their investment, UBCO’s growth in the US has been impressive, with 200+ bikes sold since June of 2017, 26 new dealers on board (on track for 50 dealers in the US by the end of 2019), and 166 new consumer enquiries in Q1, 2019, a 75% increase from Q4 2018.
Ethan Ralston says that he’s excited to have Fiore joining the UBCO team and “the wealth of knowledge he brings from both the dealership and OEM level of Powersports”.
“What I like most is he knows the ins and outs of a dealership. Our goal is to take that experience and transform our dealer programs into something new and attractive – making it easy for Powersports dealers to work with our team and systems, with things like easy financing options, and straight forward purchasing programs.
“Robin’s creativity and drive to increase awareness of electric vehicles will help us transform the US market and the way people ride,” Ralston said.
Top image: Robin Fiore, our newly appointed US Director of Sales with an UBCO 2×2 at the Tehachapi Pass Wind Farm.