WATERLOO, WI (BRAIN)—Fisher is pulling its line from Germany, Austria and Switzerland for 2010. The move is not permanent, the company plans to return when the 29er market grows in those countries.
“The big sellers in these markets are high-end 26-inch hardtails. We only offer one 26-inch hardtail over $1,000, so we really are not a good match for that market,” said Travis Ott, Trek’s Fisher brand manager. “There are growing 29er markets in other European countries like Norway and the U.K., and in those countries our sales are growing strongly."
Fisher has championed 29er bikes for a decade but Ott notes that there were a few times that the company was close to throwing in the towel. “Looking at the current popularity of 29ers you forget it was very hard to build the market, there were a few seasons of weak sales when we wondered if we should keep pushing the line,” he added.
Ott also noted that 2010 maybe the season Fisher’s full-suspension 29ers outsell its hardtails as the market shifts to full-suspension designs. When the company introduced its carbon Superfly hardtail in 2008 demand out stripped supply and the bikes were hard to get the next season as well.
Now there is more demand for its full-suspension 29er models, the carbon Superfly, and alloy HiFi and Rumble. So Fisher is working to expand its full-suspension offerings, a move that puts the company even further out of line with the German market.