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Our history

From local shop to global player. Pon’s family business has a rich history of more than 100 years.

Mijndert Pon started his company in Amersfoort towards the end of the 19th century. A small family business that sold soap, sewing machines and bicycles. Pon is now a company operating on a global scale. However, whether we’re talking about an Opel sewing machine or the legendary Volkswagen T1 Transporter van, every step of the process, every moment in time is proof of Pon’s entrepreneurial spirit. Pioneering is in Pon’s blood.

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How it all started

The first Pon premises are established on the Groenmarkt in Amersfoort. This is where Gerrit Pon and his wife Gerarda Karolina Pon-Van den Burg start their first shop selling household goods, seeds...

How it all started

The first Pon premises are established on the Groenmarkt in Amersfoort. This is where Gerrit Pon and his wife Gerarda Karolina Pon-Van den Burg start their first shop selling household goods, seeds, tobacco, crockery, pots, pans and sewing machines. Gerrit is also an inland skipper.

1895

From mother to son

Gerrit and Gerarda’s son Mijndert works in his parent’s shop on the Groenmarkt and eventually takes over the store. In 1898 Mijndert wants to expand and opens a larger store on the Langestraat in Amersfoort. This will later...

From mother to son

Gerrit and Gerarda’s son Mijndert works in his parent’s shop on the Groenmarkt and eventually takes over the store. In 1898 Mijndert wants to expand and opens a larger store on the Langestraat in Amersfoort. This will later become ‘Pon’s trading company’. Around 1900 he also starts selling Opel bicycles, after having sold Opel sewing machines. The agreement is that he will need to sell a minimum of 24 bicycles each year. He sells 112 in the first year.

1928

From bicycles to cars

In 1928 Mijndert Pon becomes the sole importer of Opel cars in the Netherlands. His sons Ben and Wijnand also start working here. In 1931 their contract with Opel terminates due to the take-over by GM...

From bicycles to cars

In 1928 Mijndert Pon becomes the sole importer of Opel cars in the Netherlands. His sons Ben and Wijnand also start working here. In 1931 their contract with Opel terminates due to the take-over by GM. Ben and Wijnand set up Pon Automotive and start looking for new brands.

In 1939 they get in touch with Ferdinand Porsche to become the importer of the newly designed Volkswagen Beetle. The first Beetle does not get imported until 1947 because of the Second World War. During this time the production of the Beetle is suspended. In 1949 the first Beetle is shipped to America as Ben Pon is asked by the Volkswagen factory to investigate the car market in the United States.

In the following years brands like Continental Tires (1949), Audi (1974), MAN (1980), ŠKODA (1992), SEAT (1986) and Bugatti, Bentley and Lamborghini (2012) are added to the Pon portfolio.

1947

The Volkswagen T1 Transporter

On 8th August 1947 Ben Pon signs the Volkswagen import contract – as was agreed with Beetle designer Ferdinand...

The Volkswagen T1 Transporter

On 8th August 1947 Ben Pon signs the Volkswagen import contract – as was agreed with Beetle designer Ferdinand Porsche prior to World War II. Earlier that year Ben Pon Senior makes the famous sketch of the Volkswagen T1 Transporter in his diary. This sketch is on show in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

1996

Expansion into North America

Pon sees expansion opportunities regarding mobility and transport in the United States. This is why they buy Equipment Depot, one of the largest warehouse transportation companies in the US...

Expansion into North America

Pon sees expansion opportunities regarding mobility and transport in the United States. This is why they buy Equipment Depot, one of the largest warehouse transportation companies in the US. They also buy W&O Supply, a supplier of tailormade solutions for the American navy and passenger shipping. Many more companies have been added to the Pon portfolio since then.

2003

Pon Power and Pon Equipment

The acquisition of Geveke establishes the start of Pon Power and Pon Equipment. Pon Power is responsible for marine engines and generators. Pon Equipment, dealer of Caterpillar...

Pon Power en Pon Equipment

The acquisition of Geveke establishes the start of Pon Power and Pon Equipment. Pon Power is responsible for marine engines and generators. Pon Equipment, dealer of Caterpillar, focuses on excavators. This department of Pon has expanded massively over the last 15 years, including the acquisition of Bakker Sliedrecht in 2012 and RH Marine in 2017.

2011

Pon starts cycling again

Back to basics: bicycles. Pon acquires Dutch Royal Gazelle (Koninklijke Gazelle), Derby Cycle (DE) and Cervélo (US). This is the first time Pon will manufacture and distribute bicycles...

Pon starts cycling again

Back to basics: bicycles. Pon acquires Dutch Royal Gazelle (Koninklijke Gazelle), Derby Cycle (DE) and Cervélo (US). This is the first time Pon will manufacture and distribute bicycles. Considering global trends like health and sustainability, bicycles are an obvious choice, especially as electric bicycles have taken off.

An increasing number of people see the benefits of cycling with pedal assist. You can cover longer distances without too much extra effort. Cycling is sustainable and, in addition, reduces congestion in urban areas.

More than 100 years after Pon was selling bicycles as a start-up, Pon has now become a producer and manufacturer of bicycles. Not only in the Netherlands but globally.

Meanwhile Pon has built an impressive portfolio of more than ten premium brands, including Gazelle, Cervélo, Kalkhoff and Santa Cruz. In Germany one in five electric bicycles is a Pon-brand bicycle, and in the US, Canada, China, Taiwan and Australia Pon is going places too.

2012

Expansion into Asia

By acquiring SWTS Pon makes its first move into Asia. These companies mainly focus on engineering services for valves and circuit breakers (oil- and gas industry). Most of these companies...

Expansion into Asia

By acquiring SWTS Pon makes its first move into Asia. These companies mainly focus on engineering services for valves and circuit breakers (oil- and gas industry). Most of these companies are based in Singapore. However, you can also find Pon in Malaysia, Thailand and Australia. The most recent acquisition was in 2018: Quality Power Management (QPM) in Singapore.

2014

Sustainable steps

Pon would like to remain the market leader in mobility. Therefore, they acquire Greenwheels (carsharing company). And their quest for sustainability doesn’t stop there. They also acquire...

Sustainable steps

Pon would like to remain the market leader in mobility. Therefore, they acquire Greenwheels (carsharing company). And their quest for sustainability doesn’t stop there. They also acquire FietsNED (mobile bike repairs), and continue with their own sustainable initiatives: MiND Mobility and NEXT Urban Mobility (2016).

2017

Cars in the US

Pon takes its first steps onto the American car market, with the take-over of IndiGo Auto Group. IndiGo represents a number of luxury car brands, including Porsche, Bentley...

Cars in the US

Pon takes its first steps onto the American car market, with the take-over of IndiGo Auto Group. IndiGo represents a number of luxury car brands, including Porsche, Bentley, Lamborghini and Audi.

2019

Move

Towards the end of 2019 Pon will open Move: a mobility experience center, located near the Dutch Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam. Here visitors can see and experience how cities and businesses approach mobility.

Move

Towards the end of 2019 Pon will open Move: a mobility experience center, located near the Dutch Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam. Here visitors can see and experience how cities and businesses approach mobility.

There will be special exhibitions showing a wide range of current and future mobility solutions. Move will inspire visitors and offer them food for thought.

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