RHEDA WIEDENBRÜCK, Germany – While the last preparations are currently made for shutting down the Rottendorf, Germany factory at the end of this month, Prophete GmbH & Co. KG announced the closure of another facility. “The main reason for our decision to close another factory in Germany is the lack of orders from DIY and discount stores”, comments managing director Severine Loenne in a regional newspaper in Germany.
By mid 2011 Prophete’s main facility in Rheda-Wiedenbrück (Gütersloh) will be closed affecting 50 employees. The production will be moved to Romania and India. Still Loenne claims that Prophete remains “the largest German company in the bicycle market.” Higher-priced bikes are still made on location in Oldenburg.
For over 25 years Prophete has been importing bicycles for the lower price segments. From mid 2011 these bikes will be produced completely in low labour cost countries. Prophete’s overall annual production is estimated between 250,000 – 300,000 units.
The reasons for closing down both factories ‘are simple’, says Loenne. She blames the overall structural weakness and the economic crisis in combination with a strong centralization of the DIY and discount stores. “Due to that we can’t continue logistically and commercially like we were used to.”
Prophete GmbH & Co. KG, headquartered in Rheda-Wiedenbrück, produces and sells under its own name mainly bicycles and bicycle accessories in the lower and middle price segment of hypermarkets and DIY stores. For the IBD channel Prophete produces brands like Kreidler, Rabeneick, vsf Fahrradmanufaktur and Epple. The IBD business is handled through subsidiary Cycle Union GmbH.
The scooter segment is conducted under the name SI two-wheeler sales GmbH which markets the brand names Rex and RexMoto, Kreidler and Offlimit made by the Chinese Standard Motor Corporation and Shenker Jonway Shanghai.