WATERLOO, Quebec (BRAIN) — Raleigh Canada Ltd. will end bike manufacturing and assembly at its facility here by the end of the year, the company announced Monday.
Raleigh has made an assembled bikes there for about 30 years. About 100 workers will lose their jobs as a result of the closure, the company said. Costs associated with the closure will total about 1.5 million euros ($2 million), the company said, but ending production will ultimately save money.
“In the context of our global competitive market where offshore suppliers offer fierce competition, Raleigh has taken the difficult decision to cease bicycle manufacturing and assembly in Canada, as this activity is no longer economically viable,” said Chris Enoksen, Raleigh Canada's president. “This is a market reality which was reflected by a steady decline in Raleigh’s bicycles produced at the Waterloo facility over the last five years.”
Accell Group bought Raleigh Canada along with the rest of Raleigh Cycle Ltd. last year.
Company officials said the Waterloo facility will remain open as a warehousing, distribution and service fulfillment center.
Manufacturing and production employees will remain employed until the end of the factory's production cycle in June. The company expects to make about 135,000 bikes this year.
“Raleigh is proud to have maintained bicycle manufacturing and assembly operations in Canada longer than other major competitors, who left this field years ago,” said Enoksen. “We regret that our manufacturing activity can no longer be sustained and, above all, we are deeply grateful to all our dedicated employees in Waterloo who have contributed to Raleigh’s outstanding reputation for producing high quality affordable bicycles since 1973.”
The company said the Waterloo facility will manufacture and assemble bicycles to fulfill all Canadian orders in 2013. For 2014 and beyond, Raleigh will be working with "selected offshore suppliers" to serve its Canadian dealers.