SRAM Stops Hub Gear Production in Schweinfurt by June 2013
SRAM is currently in the first phase of the transformation process of its Schweinfurt facility. It includes a redundancy program for 150 workers of which at this time about half are laid off. By June 2013 internal gear hub production (IGH) will be stopped completely and
SCHWEINFURT, Germany – SRAM is currently in the first phase of the transformation process of its Schweinfurt facility. It includes a redundancy program for 150 workers of which at this time about half are laid off. By June 2013 internal gear hub production (IGH) will be stopped completely and transferred to the company’s Dali factory in Taiwan.
The Chicago based component maker is making an all out effort to get back on top of the internal gear hub market. To establish that goal SRAM is combining its launch of a new IGH generation with a move to be closer to its OEM customers and more cost effective manufacturing in Taiwan.
Details on that new IGH series are considered confidential by SRAM as the component maker wants to launch it with a ‘big bang’ at Taipei Cycle next March.
With half of the 150 workers now laid off, part of the gear hub production has already left Schweinfurt. And that shows when touring the Schweinfurt facility. Machinery is being dismantled; there are open spaces while at other places in the huge hall new offices and warehouse locations are constructed. Besides all that, there’s still production taking place.
The T3, P5, S7 + Dual Drive hubs are still being produced in Schweinfurt. The classic T3 will stop production this summer as demand is shifted to the i-Motion 3-speed hub which has been produced in Taiwan since December 2009. The P5, S7 will eventually be replaced with the new generation of hubs and the IGH production in Schweinfurt will stop approximately mid 2013.
SRAM’s Dali factory in Taiwan will be the company’s new IGH production base. CEO Stan Day is very clear about switching to Taiwan as he says: “With production there we can better serve our global OEM customers and offer the prices the market needs.”
On other benefits that spurred SRAM to make this significant change in its operations, he says: “As more of our OE customers shift production to Asia, we are closer to them. It allows us to be faster and more flexible. Our design expertise remains in the US and the EU while our manufacturing expertise is concentrated in Taiwan. This enables us to bring new, innovative products faster to the market at reasonable costs compared to any other production location.”
The Chicago based component maker is turning ‘Schweinfurt’ its ‘European Centre of Cycling Excellence’. It means that it will be the company’s largest product design facility. Next to that Schweinfurt will also play a major role as being a prime facility for the company’s Dealer Service Direct program as well as for technical seminars for Dealers.
Stan Day further notes: “Another possible role for Schweinfurt is to turn it into our European central location for spare parts to better support our Distributors and Dealers. Next to that there are lots of other ideas as to what we want to have here. Like the support centre for race teams or a test centre. One thing is sure though, Schweinfurt will turn into SRAM’s European technical headquarter.”