Pon to invest in indiGO Auto Group’s platform to develop its growth strategy in the North American market for luxury automotive retail.
Houston-based indiGO Auto Group and Pon Holdings BV of the Netherlands announced today that they have signed an agreement to form a strategic alliance in North America which will focus on luxury and performance cars. Pon Holdings chose to make a financial investment in the indiGO Auto Group to execute a strategic goal to expand into the U.S. luxury retail vehicle market.
indiGO currently represents 11 brands in the luxury segment: Porsche, Audi, Jaguar, Land Rover, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Aston Martin, Maserati, BMW, McLaren and Lamborghini. The company has 300+ employees in 10 retail franchised dealerships in Houston, TX, St. Louis, MO, and Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage, CA.
Todd Blue, Founder and CEO of indiGO Auto Group, came to terms on an agreement in The Netherlands on June 26, 2017 just prior to an event celebrating Pon’s 70th anniversary of its relationship with Volkswagen AG (as its distributor in The Netherlands).
“We have a shared vision for how customers are to experience these great brands which we are both so honored to represent. Pon has a deep understanding of this business and six decades of success with Porsche. Pon’s access to growth capital will go toe-to-toe with anyone in our sector. I admire that Pon is always looking toward the future with a unique and progressive perspective. Pon’s worldwide leadership in the future of mobility is something for which we at indiGO are incredibly energized. This is a great opportunity for current and future indiGO team members to be a part of something truly special,” said Blue who will continue to lead the company in North America as its CEO.
“indiGO Auto Group provides us with the ideal platform into the U.S. vehicle market,” said a Pon spokesman. “Our combined expertise in luxury vehicle sales, along with indiGO’s outstanding reputation and established leadership position in several key regions, offer a great starting point upon which we expect to achieve thoughtful but significant business growth in the North American market in coming years.”
While this agreement marks a return to the automotive retail market in the U.S. for Pon, the company and the Pon family have a long history in this sector around the world. Ben Pon, Sr., the company founder, became the first person to import Volkswagens to America in 1949. In fact, Pon, Sr., drafted and conceived the original Volkswagen minivan bus.
This partnership builds on Pon’s expansion of its mobility portfolio in North America, through the acquisition of the San Francisco-based Faraday e-bike label and the high-end performance bicycle brands Santa Cruz and Cervélo. The group also sells Gazelle and Kalkhoff e-bikes in North America, in response to the rapidly growing market for electric bicycles.
Pon Holdings operates in 32 countries and has over 14,000 employees. Pon already imports and sells the Volkswagen, Porsche, Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley and Bugatti brands (among others) in the Netherlands. Pon and indiGO plan to grow organically and through acquisitions in North America.
Blue said, “My mission for indiGO has always been clear; we continually strive to improve and remain unique and authentic in everything we do. The alliance we have formed with Pon will be unlike any other auto group. indiGO is a nimble, entrepreneurial culture which executes for our team members and the manufacturers we represent. Our ultimate goal has always been to activate customer ownership. This formula is a proven and successful business model. With Pon's deep automotive experience, resources and their financial commitment to grow strategically in the North American market, indiGO will be strengthened to create the most competitive and best luxury auto group in North America. All of this will be a tremendous benefit to our indiGO team members and our loyal customers."
About indiGO Auto Group
The Houston-based indiGO Auto Group represents twelve franchised dealerships in four US markets including Houston, TX; Rancho Mirage, CA; Palm Springs, CA; and St. Louis, MO. Porsche North Houston is a top 15 Porsche dealership in the nation. Lamborghini Houston is currently the best-selling Lamborghini retailer in the United States. The acquisition of BMW of Palm Springs in 2016 marked indiGO’s newest addition to its roster of luxury brands across the nation. indiGO Auto Group’s Desert European Motorcars campus in Rancho Mirage, CA is comprised of nine luxury brands including Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Bentley, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover, Porsche, Audi, Maserati, and McLaren. The company opened Porsche St. Louis in August 2015, and in 2017 it was named a Porsche Premier Dealership. IndiGO Auto Group has been awarded the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars 2015 Global Provenance Dealer of the Year award, and The Pride of Jaguar award for retailer excellence. Porsche of North Houston has been named a Porsche Premier Dealer for four years, and Audi Rancho Mirage has earned the Audi Magna Society Award for two years running. www.indiGOautogroup.com.
About Pon Holdings
Pon Holdings – one of the Netherlands’ biggest family businesses – is a leading global company with nearly 14,000 employees operating in 32 countries. It supplies high-end products and solutions, develops and manufactures bicycles, and offers engineering solutions in several market segments. Pon operates in a large number of markets, from private and commercial vehicles and bicycles, to forklift trucks, tires, road and earthmoving machinery, generators, and total solutions for the shipping industry.
The bicycle division within the Pon group consists of premium brand portfolio of more than 10 bicycle brands. The group has locations in the Netherlands, Germany, the United States, Canada, China, Taiwan, and Australia. In 2017 some 800,000 Pon bikes will make their way to customers around the world. www.pon.com.