Low Forecast Orders at Eurobike Pains Parts Makers
FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany – Faced with the difficult economic situation in the euro zone as well as high stock levels, many bike makers were very careful to present forecast orders for the 2013 season at last week’s Eurobike. Even minimum forecasts were hardly discussed. It puts parts makers under pressure while Shimano’s lead times are on the rise again.
Last week’s Eurobike didn’t reflect the happenings behind the scenes. The show took place in an upbeat atmosphere attracting 1,250 exhibitors; a record number of 43,700 industry visitors from 97 countries, 20,500 bike fans on public day, and 1,889 media representatives from 42 countries. Is it the e-bike trend that, despite the poor business climate, drives Eurobike? One thing is clear after the 2012 edition and that is that electric bikes are currently the main driving force behind all innovations in bicycles.
Shimano lead times
Before the start of this year’s biggest bike show on earth it was already very clear that business was very unpredictable. In such unsure times the general trend is to turn to reliable partners that offer secure business. Shimano is regarded as such a partner. The result is that the lead times for the biggest parts maker in the world are on the rise again.
Rapid growth in order intake
Shimano Benelux MD Erik Naberman said at Eurobike, “Currently we see a rapid growth in our order intake. But as the market becomes more erratic, customers sometimes wait until the last minute to order. In order to compensate that trend and the high order intake, we are busy making further efficiency improvements in our factories in Asia. Our factories in Japan are re-rigged, and more production lines are opened.”
Apart from Shimano, other parts makers are – generally speaking – struggling with a low level of forecast orders. One component manufacturer warned at Eurobike that this adds to the erratic situation as it puts pressure of the whole ordering cycle of the industry.