Dorel Industries, parent company of Cannondale, Schwinn, GT, Mongoose and Sugoi, announced it was consolidating locations in the United States, while phasing out production in its Bedford, Pennsylvania factory.
The number of Bedford employees will shrink from 300 to 100 by late 2010, as Cannondale moves 100 percent of its production to its new facility in Taichung, Taiwan. The Bedford facility will be used for final bicycle and Headshok assembly, some CNC machining, testing and quality control, bicycle warranty repair, inside sales/service, distribution and customer support/administration (including a new call centre on-site).
The Lake Forest, California and Longmont, Colorado facilities, home to GT and its testing facilities for years, will close as part of the consolidation. All high-end jobs will be based out of Cannondale’s original Bethel, Connecticut facility, with some current employees being offered jobs in Connecticut.
Pacific Cycles, based in Madison, Wisconsin, will focus strictly on mass market bikes, where its roots lie since Chris Hornung began selling bikes from the Orient in the mid 1970s. Dorel bought Pacific for US$375 million in 2004.
According to Dorel, all North American product development, marketing and business management functions for all four cycling brands (Cannondale, Schwinn, GT and Mongoose) will move to Bethel, within the newly named Cycling Sports Group (formerly the Cannondale Sports Group).
“Our vision is to create the most innovative and admired company in the recreation and leisure marketplace, and to become a global leader, which is why the Dorel segment was established in the first place,” said Robert Baird, president of Dorel’s Recreational/Leisure segment. “The strategy for transforming that vision into reality requires a unified, collaborative, and highly engaged workforce, relentlessly committed to innovation and supported by management in rapidly advancing the quality of the products and services we deliver.
“The Cannondale purchase led us to segment our bicycle business to provide best-in-class service to the distinct retailer categories,” he added. “Naturally, Cannondale and CSG are key components of our commitment to our independent bicycle dealers (IBD) as we realize how critical IBDs are to the cycling community and to us.
“In addition to the plans outlined above, and to ensure we delight our customers with our distinctive brands, innovative products and impactful in-store programs, we are also consolidating our North American CSG operations to two locations from five.”
Dorel has created ‘five centres of excellence’ around the world, with each location focused on a specific market segment or expertise. These centres will be based in:
- Bethel, Connecticut (global headquarters and innovation centre for high-end and enthusiast bicycles)
- Basel, Switzerland (for high-end and enthusiast bicycles sold/marketed in Europe)
- Madison, Wisconsin (for global mass market products)
- Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (for active lifestyle and urban apparel and footwear)
- Taichung, Taiwan (for coordination of sourcing, testing and quality of Asian suppliers/partners)
Bedford has been Cannondale’s domestic bicycle manufacturing hub since the first model, the ST500, rolled off the line in 1983. Company founder Joe Montgomery sold panniers and child trailers in 1971, taking the company public in 1995. A misguided effort into motorcycle production brought the company to bankruptcy in 2003.
Italian road star and 2006 Giro d’Italia winner Ivan Basso currently races a Cannondale SuperSix HiMod carbon road bike with the Liquigas team. Stars who’ve raced Cannondales include Mario Cipollini, Damiano Cunego and Gilberto Simoni (Saeco), Tinker Juarez, Brian Lopes, Missy Giove, and Myles Rockwell.
Dorel, founded in 1962, is a Montreal-based publicly traded company with annual sales of US$2 billion. Dorel purchased Cannondale and Sugoi from Pegasus Partners for nearly US$200 million in early February 2008.