Founded in 1989, Kona is a dedicated group of cyclists making bicycles for people who love bikes. Most Kona bikes are imported from Cambodia, though it also sells a high-end line made in Tennessee. By eliminating the 11 percent tariff on bicycles, GSP allows Kona to increase its product variety while passing along the savings to riders.
GSP expiration in 2013 led to an estimated $1.5 million in sales for Kona, which also paid nearly $600,000 in tariffs. As Kona’s Chairman Jacob Heilbron said in 2014:
“We’re unable to raise prices during our model year so the loss of profit is absorbed into our bottom line. We would like to hire new U.S. based personnel for our R&D/Product Development team but are waiting until GSP is renewed.”
While it took nearly a year to receive all of its tariff refunds, Kona took immediate steps to invest and hire new workers following GSP renewal in 2015. In the 30 days after GSP was renewed (but before benefits kicked back in), Kona hired a senior engineer and an industrial designer and had plans to hire a new product manager the next month. It has hired two more workers since and now has 32 employees, a nearly 20 percent increase over early 2015 before Congress renewed GSP.
Our Kona profile page has more details about the importance of continued GSP benefits to the company (also available as a one-page PDF here or below).
Kona is just one of the GSP importers sharing how GSP allows its businesses and workers to thrive on our Company Profiles page.