Something got lost in translation.
That’s the good word from Echelon CEO Lou Lentine in the wake of a dust-up with tech beast Amazon (AMZN) over a new $500 connected bike. Social media feeds went ablaze Tuesday — and so did digital bike champion Peloton’s (PTON) stock price — on news Echelon had teamed up with Amazon for a connected “Prime Bike.” Suddenly Echelon was going to dethrone Peloton and everyone else in the industry inside of a month with an affordable bike backed by mighty Amazon.
Imagine ordering a post workout green drink from Amazon-owned Whole Foods from your Alexa-enabled Echelon bike. Heaven, right?
Well the problem is, however, no one apparently told this heavenly plan to the higher up suits at Amazon.
“This bike is not an Amazon product or related to Amazon Prime. Echelon does not have a formal partnership with Amazon. We are working with Echelon to clarify this in its communications, stop the sale of the product, and change the product branding,” Amazon said in a mid-week statement to Yahoo Finance’s Melody Hahm.
Amazon demanded that Echelon stop selling the Prime Bike. Peloton’s stock rallied back on Wednesday.
“We have a great relationship with Amazon. So when this happened in January, we met with Amazon at the Consumer Electronics Show. Amazon was excited to get our entire line of Echelon connected products up on Amazon. We actually created a great program where they were actually making it and bringing it in. One of the things they asked for is a $500 price point. So we worked on a $500 bike. We agreed on calling it Prime. The buying department agreed on calling it Prime. We have emails and correspondence. Everybody was on board in the buying department,” said Lentine — a long-time consumer products inventor — on Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade.
Lentine continued, “Even the purchase orders came in, it was Amazon Prime packaging. Everything said Prime on it. It was the Echelon Prime Bike. Well, the product has been sold on their website for almost a month and press came out about it this week and we got a call from the buying department that said great news, we sold out of the bike within hours. But, however, the internal team with Amazon does not want us to use the Prime name on the bike which was a complete shock to us. I guess now the bike is sold out and we are working on a new brand for the bike.”
Just don’t call it the Prime Bike, Lou.
Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-anchor of The First Trade at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.
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