Pantherwerke Stops Production in Germany
LÖHNE, Germany – Pantherwerke AG, one of Germany’s biggest bike companies, stops its production at the company’s facility in Löhne. The production is moved to the company’s largest manufacturing base in Siauliai, Lithuania. The reason for the shift lies in the current overcapacity of the group of companies that belong to Panther International GmbH.
Based on optimistic plans for the years 2010 to 2015 Pantherwerke has built capacity in Löhne and Siauliai which currently can not be fully utilized. With this step, Pantherwerke AG shifts its production to Lithuania and closes its smallest production facility which is located in Löhne. With this move about 75 jobs will be lost. Last week Pantherwerke’s staff was informed on this decision by CEO Michael Schminke (photo).
No complete closure
The ceasing of the bike production in Löhne does not mean that this Pantherwerke base will be closed completely. Management, product development and sales as well as after sales service departments will continue to operate from here.
Better capacity utilization
“We have done everything possible to keep the production in Löhne, and tried everything to evenly allocate it to our facilities,” said CEO Schminke. “Ultimately, however the development of the bicycle market is not as positive as we would have liked it. To work efficiently, we need to utilize the production capacity in the group better. And this is best achieved with the shift to Siauliai.”
Pantherwerke HQ for electric mobility
Michael Schminke further noted that the Pantherwerke base in Löhne will not come to a standstill. In fact, the facilty will be expanded into the company’s HQ for electric mobility. “In the near future a Pedelec Test-Center will be located here and with that electric mobility will have its base here,” said Schminke. This means that Pantherwerke’s Löhne location will be the R&D base for Pedelec and e-Bike system components which are marketed under the Panterra brand name.
Panther International GmbH CEO Michael Schminke further noted that the production shift will result in a sustainable strengthening of the company. He is in the company’s management supported by his daughter, Josepha Schminke since 2009 while in September 2011 Dirk Zwick stepped in as CEO of Pantherwerke AG.
The in 1896 founded Pantherwerke AG is one of the largest suppliers of the bicycle retailers in Germany. The company belongs to the Panther International GmbH group which includes also UAB Baltic Vairas in Siauliai (Lithuania) and Master Bike Ltd. in Zabreh (Czech Republic) and sales companies in Germany, Sweden and Lithuania. The Panther International companies yearly produce about 450,000 bicycles under its own brands Panther and Göricke as well as under private labels. Pantherwerke AG is specialized in the development and production of pedelecs and e-Bikes.