SCHWEINFURT, Germany (BRAIN)—SRAM’s Schweinfurt Germany location will move from being a production facility to a R&D and service center for its road, MTB, suspension and trekking components.
“We have already started to work with a strategic supplier to build i-Motion 3 hubs in Taiwan to service our customers better,” said Tobias Erhard, SRAM’s European PR coordinator. “As a second step we will open up our own in-house production line.” I-Motion hubs are already produced through a strategic supplier in Taiwan, but SRAM hasn't yet started production of internal gear hubs at its own facilities.
Currently, the overall work force in Schweinfurt is about 250 people. “In the course of ramping down production over the next three years this number will go down to approximately 100 people,” Erhard said. SRAM will first look internally to fill these positions, while also looking at any possibility to train people in new roles, Erhard said.
“The planning process for our own production in Asia has started and we are starting to make first small changes in Schweinfurt,” Erhard said. “The timeline [for this change] lies within the next three years.”
As most manufacturers have now moved bicycle production to Asia, SRAM’s intent with this change is to produce closer to its customers so as to provide better service to market.
“The future of the [Schweinfurt] location is not in question and SRAM will invest even more into the IGH product R&D and production globally,” Erhard said. “Manufacturing of IGH products will decrease over the coming years as we transit to existing IGH production in Asia. At the same time, SRAM will invest significantly into technologies and manpower to increase the output on the product development, dealer service and logistic side.”
The key areas of expertise for the new SRAM Schweinfurt location will be:
• Product, design, development and testing
• Product management
• RockShox Rear Shocks R&D Center
• SRAM Dealer Service Direct Center (SRAM DSD)
• Product and technology training for customers and dealers
• European marketing hub for sponsorship and product
• Logistics and warehouse
For more on this story, be sure to read the April 15 issue of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.