IRVINE, CA (BRAIN) — Felt Bicycles, which is preparing for its 2014 sales meeting and product launch this weekend, recently laid off six employees within its three U.S. facilities. Company president Bill Duehring blamed the layoffs on an industrywide downturn.
"This year the entire bike industry was hit with a significant downturn that lasted longer than anyone would like," Duehring said. "We have seen the ups and downs like this before. We know what it takes to make it to the other side at times like this and have made the decisions necessary to ensure our continued growth and the health of our business ... .
"The impact to our employees should not be minimized, but by laying off six employees we did our best to make sure they were all treated fairly and that it leaves the company with the right amount of staff to get our jobs done and not impact our dealers or the end consumers."
Felt has 72 employees worldwide. Besides the layoffs, Bryan Melton, Felt's West Coast sales manager, recently resigned. Company officials said Melton's departure was unrelated to the layoffs.
Felt is holding its sales meeting this weekend and will show its 2014 line to the media early next week. Duerhring said the revamped line will include two new bikes that will "solidify our leadership role in aerodynamics and bicycle design."
The company is also flying high after last month's Tour de France, where the Argos-Shimano team won four stages on Felt bikes.