Kettler Reacts on Restructuring Rumours
ENSE-PARSIT, Germany – After consultants researched the current situation at the German toy, bike, sporting goods and garden furniture maker Heinz Kettler GmbH & Co. KG and came to the conclusion that a restructuring of the company was needed, rumours started. Some even indicate an
ENSE-PARSIT, Germany – After consultants researched the current situation at the German toy, bike, sporting goods and garden furniture maker Heinz Kettler GmbH & Co. KG and came to the conclusion that a restructuring of the company was needed, rumours started. Some even indicate an imminent insolvency.
There’s no indication of such an imminent insolvency or on a turning around of Kettler into a 100% trading company. This is claimed by Stefan Geiger manager of Kettler’s bike division.
Fact is that the consultancy study on Kettler comes to the conclusion that the current in-house production depth with six production facilities in Germany has to be addressed. In particular the garden furniture and toys divisions have: “Some products that you should not produce in Germany any longer. Commercially it would be wiser to shift parts of this production to the Far East. This has to be clarified,” says Stefan Geiger.
The study led also to serious concerns among Kettler workers. According to a newspaper report up to 600 jobs are at stake when production is shifted to the Far East. Geiger assures that “the sports and bicycle sectors are not affected.” He also notes that he hasn’t heard of debts guarantees for Kettler by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in order to secure jobs. “I concentrate on my bicycle business segment. And this is doing fine.”
Nevertheless, with the rumours on the debts guarantees, as reported by several German newspapers, also the talks started on an insolvency of the company. Earlier it was said that Kettler would soon be changed in a 100% trading company. Kettler GM Hans-Hermann Deters reacted on all the sayings by claiming that: “The external study is nothing more than a proposal.” And that Kettler owner Dr. Karin Kettler (daughter of company founder Heinz Kettler) is checking all scenarios: “For the owner it is all about saving the largest possible number of jobs.”
Stefan Geiger stated: “Sports and bike products will continue to be made for 100 percent in Germany. We even invest in our Hanweiler based bicycle production facility.” New machinery is about to be installed there including a new painting line.
With the new lady City Bike line-up called ‘Layana’ the aluminum frame pioneer is for two years now trying to get a younger image. According to Geiger, these new bikes are trendy without losing out on the company history. Tradition and made in Germany are part of that history. “A shift of Kettler’s bike production would make this typical German company very exchangeable and compatible. Kettler Bike is not about to give up this value. Especially not as with the trendy product range orders for Kettler Bike are on a good level.”
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