America's biggest bike company says automation can create much higher paying jobs

By Small BusinessFOXBusiness

How tariffs are impacting the bike business

Pedego Electric Bikes CEO Don DiCostanzo discusses the impact of the ongoing trade war between China and the U.S.

Pedego Electric Bikes, America’s biggest e-bike brand, believes automation can help speed up plans to manufacture parts in the U.S.

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“Unfortunately the bicycle industry moved to China in the 1990s it took about 10 years to move,” Pedego Electric Bikes CEO Don DiCostanzo told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Tuesday. “Schwinn went bankrupt because they tried to continue to make the bikes there and they weren't competitive. So everything evolved there and now it's going take us a few years to get it back, but because of automation we're going be able to make these parts here again in the U.S.”

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DiCostanzo said the shift will lead to higher paying jobs.

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“There'll be a higher skilled level of people in need to operate these machines,” he said, adding that he recently visited a Tesla factory where automation has helped to boost worker wages.

“Those cars come in sheet aluminum and they go out the other end at production and there's a lot of people involved in that. Yes they've got lots of equipment, but there are a lot of people involved and those are much higher paying jobs than the people just on the assembly line,” he explained.

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Pedego Electric Bikes is based in California and is a privately held company worth around $25 million. It sold about 12,000 bikes last year. And DiCostanzo believes Trump can revive American manufacturing jobs if he levels the playing field in respect to not only trade with China, but also Europe.

DiCostanzo is also looking at whether it’s practical to manufacture parts in California where taxes are high.

“It may make more sense for us to do our assembly if we get a full-scale assembly to move to Nevada or Texas or some other state that has a more friendly assembly,” he explained.

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