Erhard Büchel dies: pioneering businessman and CONEBI/WBIA president - Show Daily

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Erhard Büchel dies: pioneering businessman and CONEBI/WBIA president

On May 12 the bicycle industry lost a visionary entrepreneur and a key actor in industry organisations such as Conebi and WBIA. After a short but serious illness Erhard Büchel has died at the age of 71.

Many important companies within the bicycle industry are family-owned SMEs, and the Büchel & Co. Fahrzeugteilefabrik KG is no different. Founded by brothers Hugo and Karl Büchel in 1920, this company witnessed some key events of the 20th century first-hand and took part in shaping the industry and its supply chains over the years. Following his studies in mechanical engineering and business administration, Erhard Büchel took over the management of the company at the age of 23 in 1976. 

The young manager soon started to reshape the supply chains of his company. As early as 1979 Büchel opened the company’s first factory in Asia – in Malaysia. After a couple of years this production was moved over to China as per 1985, becoming the first German SME to enter a joint venture with a Chinese company and paving the way into the Asian market. After the reunification of Germany in 1990, he immediately bought back the production site where the company was founded, showing his strong will and commitment to tradition.

Erhard Büchel PRC 1985 Contract Signing

With unwavering commitment and an impressive combination of technical expertise and business foresight, Erhard Büchel led the company to countless successes and expanded into additional fields through acquisitions. He became a respected representative of the bicycle industry as well, through his contributions as president of CONEBI and the WBIA, passionately championing the interests of the industry and making a significant contribution to the promotion of cycling worldwide.

Leaving behind his wife, four children and an impressive life’s work, Erhard Büchel will be remembered as a successful entrepreneur, loving husband, caring father and dedicated supporter of the bicycle industry. His eldest daughter, who joined the company a year ago, will undoubtedly continue his legacy and uphold the values and ideals he stood for.

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