Prophet remains always in motion with e-bikes

Interview with Thomas Mouhlen, a member of the management team of Prophete In Moving GmbH

Thomas Mouhlen, a member of the management team of Prophete In Moving GmbH
Thomas Mouhlen, a member of the management team of Prophete In Moving GmbH

During the coronavirus pandemic, the e-bike market in Germany experienced a boom, before the tide turned due to the declining consumer sentiment. Nevertheless, Thomas Mouhlen, a member of the management of the e-bike manufacturer Prophete in Moving, anticipates significant growth opportunities going forward. He discussed the current market developments with Wirtschaftsforum.

Economic Forum: Mr. Mouhlen, your company likes to summarize its claim with the phrase "Keep moving" - how exactly should people stay in motion with Prophete?

Thomas Mouhlen: Best, of course, with the e-bike – because its production and distribution represent our main business. In addition, we also offer corresponding accessories such as helmets and bicycle tubes. While our sister company, New Cycle GmbH, wants to act as a leader in innovation and accordingly serve the high-priced market segment, we focus structurally on the entry-level and mid-price range and want to offer our customers the best value for money - thus you will find our products mainly in large consumer markets like Edeka, Aldi, Lidl, Obi, and in Hagebaumarkt.

Prophete In Moving Discoverer 4.0
With over 80 million inhabitants ...
Prophete In Moving Graveler 1.0
... there are currently about 17 million e-bikes in Germany

Economic Forum: What is the current market situation like?

Thomas Mouhlen: During the coronavirus pandemic, the e-bike segment in Germany experienced a significant growth phase. However, with the war in Ukraine and the resulting inflationary development, consumer sentiment has significantly darkened, which is especially noticeable in our market with sharply declining numbers. Prophete, like many other e-bike manufacturers, had to file for insolvency last year, after which our company was acquired by the Tri Star Group. This provides a variety of new impulses for our future that we want to consistently utilize.

Prophete In Moving Graveler 1.0

Economic Forum: What topics come to mind for you?

Thomas Mouhlen: One issue that many e-bike users face, for example, is where they can store their bike at their destination or in the vicinity of their apartment – after all, even in the entry-level segment, it is still a relatively high-priced product that most people do not want to simply leave on the side of the road. However, not everyone has the option to take their e-bike into their apartment or a secure basement, nor does every employer offer appropriate storage facilities on their company premises. One of our sister companies within the Tri Star Group addresses exactly this problem by manufacturing and distributing suitable bike houses. This allows us now to contribute in-house to the design of a better infrastructure, which in turn is an important prerequisite for further growth in the e-bike business. Of course, especially in the context of urban mobility, various rental models will also play an important role in the future – this will also require an appropriate digital infrastructure, such as user-friendly apps and billing systems. We are also working on this together with our sister companies.

Prophet In Moving Stack 5.0
Thus, Prophet anticipates further growth ...
Prophete In Moving Dice 5.0
... because the e-bike is also a part of the mobility transition

Economic Forum: Which customer segment are you particularly focusing on for your future growth ambitions?

Thomas Mouhlen: Indeed, the e-bike promises real utility gains in their everyday lives for a variety of consumer groups. Especially older people can enjoy improved mobility because they might be able to cover longer distances with an e-bike than with a traditional bicycle. Many younger users, meanwhile, appreciate the excellent environmental record that our product has compared to the combustion engines they reject, and the high degree of flexibility offered by needs-based e-bike sharing models. My personal experience has shown that any prejudices quickly disappear once you have personally experienced our product: When my 23-year-old daughter first saw my e-bike standing in my garage, she dismissed it with a casual 'grandpa bike'. But after she had taken a ride on it herself, she wanted one too. Of course, we need to address older and younger customers differently and also offer them different models. Nonetheless, the e-bike is a very attractive solution for both consumer groups – in the city as well as in the countryside. However, the investments required for further expansion of infrastructure must also be made and thoughtfully planned by political decision-makers so that the transport transition can be successful – and that includes bike paths!