2015, the year we celebrated our 175th anniversary, is a few days short of crossing the finish line. It's been a very special year for Orbea, and we've allowed ourselves to get a little nostalgic. We must admit it, we're proud of the road we've traveled since 1840, and we're aware of both our errors and our successes.
Over these twelve months, we have wanted to take a look back at our first 175 years, reflecting on what we are today and how we would like the Orbea of the future to be. One of the results of this reflection has been the redefinition of our business strategy, which has emerged after an in-depth study that has prioritized faster, more flexible services and customization. The focus has been on both strategic markets and end customers.
The ultimate goal is to offer more benefits for customers, shops, the countries where we are present and our employees.
For final customers, the main benefit is that they can create the bike of their dreams, thanks to the customization options offered by the MYO program. Because we are manufacturers, and because our assembly and customization plants are located entirely in Portugal and Mallabia, respectively, we can offer almost 1.5 million different combinations to enable cyclists to show off their “personal brand” on their bikes.
The proximity of our production centers has another obvious benefit for shops, which are offered greater flexibility, fast service, customization and significant profitability, based on high turnover.
In order to boost our assembly and customization capacity, Orbea has invested €6 million in our production centers inPortugal and Mallabia. This investment will generate wealth and employment where our roots are, in the Basque Country andEurope. Orbea is committed to an international model with local production, thus strengthening the Basque Country brand name in both technology and sports.
What's more, for the people of Orbea, it's a matter of making a commitment to quality employment and theprofessionalization of our work, taking active part in this new reinvention of Orbea through an internal training plan that will prepare them for the demands of a constantly changing market.
On this route towards product customization and craftsmanship, the employee-customer relationship becomes much closer, which encourages a greater commitment to “their” masterpiece. The Orbea of the future is one in which the bicycles have names and an identity: one that results from 175 years of experience and where each individual cyclist contributes through the experiences they have on their bike.
On January 21, we will top off the celebration of our 175th anniversary with an event held at our main headquarters inMallabia, which will be attended by Orbea family members (associates, dealers, founders, suppliers, past and present athletes, etc.), as well as representatives of the Basque Government. We want this to be a tribute to all those who have formed – and continue to form – part of our history, and for it to provide the momentum to meet the new challenges that lie ahead: we want this to be the first day of the Orbea of the future.