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Old 01-15-13, 06:11 PM   #1
Dan Burkhart 
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Sign of the times. Raleigh to cease Canadian production.

Not the first time they said they were going to do this, but I have the feeling this time they mean it.
http://www.thestar.com/business/arti...ikes-in-canada
Back in 2008 or so, they made the same announcement, but then changed their mind.
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Old 01-15-13, 08:13 PM   #2
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Sad, but a sign of the economic turmoil that has hit the bike industry. It's the people who's lives are disrupted that get my biggest sympathy.
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Old 01-15-13, 09:34 PM   #3
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Sad, surprised they lasted this long.

My Canadian built Grand Prix.
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Old 01-15-13, 10:27 PM   #4
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I just assumed that they outsourced everything to Taiwan years ago..... Bummer.
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Old 01-15-13, 10:30 PM   #5
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I hate to see North America lose yet another manufacturer or any kind.
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Old 01-15-13, 11:35 PM   #6
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I hate to see North America lose yet another manufacturer or any kind.
Me too, and the loss of jobs to outsourced (cheaper) labor. It seems to be a prevalent pattern in so many industries.
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Old 01-16-13, 03:46 AM   #7
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It's not really cheap labor so much as currency manipulation and artificially low fuel prices. Once our manufacturing is crushed and national resources sold off the prices of goods will come back up.

I heard career advice from a guy on the radio. I think he was from a organization called "whiter people and more money" or "Americans for selfishness" but they suggest that unemployed factory workers shift to creative practice. Trades like producing video games and movies is what the unemployed should focus on. May be learn to dance.

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Old 01-16-13, 06:23 AM   #8
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I believe they must have a good NPR station near you Frank, don't they?
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Old 01-16-13, 08:00 AM   #9
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I've seen similar annoucements several times over the past three decades. Circa, 1982, just prior to CCM's bankruptcy, Raleigh offered to sell them the Waterloo factory for $7.25 million. A lot of the time, such announcements are ploys to put pressure on the governments for more grants/loans. Let's hope it's another one of those.

Personally, I feel the announcement is a direct result of the switch to Walmart as their primary vendor. Until about 3 years ago, Raleigh had been sold through Canadian Tire and CCM via Walmart. Then, the two retailers swapped brands, followed shortly by the announcement that Procycle had sold the CCM bicycle brand to Sport Maska (ownd by Reebok) who previously had acquired the rights to the CCM hockey brand, back in 1982.

Canadian Tire, being a Canadian comapny, had always tried to push domestic product. With Raleigh, they could push the Made in Canada aspect. As late as 2006, when I did some contract QC work for Raleigh, all their bicycles were being manufactured in Canada. It was pretty amazing that they could manufacture a profitable sub-$100, adult ATB. However, when Canadian Tire got the chance to acquire the CCM bicycle brand, they jumped at it, as CCM is still a highly recognized Canadian brand and the average Canadain still assumes they are made in Canada and are not even aware the bankruptcy of the orignal CCM company.

Unfortunately, with the move from Procycle to Sport Maska, the Canadian content disappeared on CCM bicycles. Sport Maska licensed the models to Canadian Tire who extended tenders to suppliers, who dealt primarily with Chinese factories. It was all rather ironic. CCM, the Canadian brand, used foreign manufacturing, while the British brand, Raleigh, was manufactured in Canada. The benefits to the Canadian economy had been surplanted by potential sales based on erroneous consumer perception.

Having been robbed of their premier bicycle brand, Walmart quickly snatched up Raleigh. Shortly, after the change, I had conversation with one of my contacts at Raleigh and it was pretty evident from his tone that the writing was already on the wall. They sorely missed the relationship with Canadian Tire. They had lost the market of Canada's largest bicycle retailer and were now associated with a company having an aggressive roll-back policy.

However, even if the closure is realized, Canada still has two family owned companies in the entry level bicycle market, Procycle and Vittoria Precision, and several mid-range and high end companies. Canada still has a pleasantly robust bicycle industry, even if the demise of the Raleigh factory is imminent.

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Old 01-16-13, 08:12 AM   #10
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However, even if the closure is realized, Canada still has two family owned companies in the entry level bicycle market, Procycle and Vittoria Precision, and several mid-range and high end companies. Canada still has a pleasantly robust bicycle industry, even if the demise of the Raleigh factory is imminent.
I have a Canadian national working for me, he rode a Canadian built bike for a time, A Norco if I remember correctly, pushing 20 years old or more. He commented that there was quite a stiff import duty on complete bikes then which allowed the domestic makers some room to exist. I have no idea if that equation has been altered, if the duty still holds or if the cost of production offshore is so much better that the import duty is just a hurdle. He had made another comment that at one time there were some assembly plants for bikes in Canada, a loophole?
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Old 01-16-13, 08:38 AM   #11
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The funny thing is keep hearing on the radio, NPR, that lots of companies are moving manufacturing back to the US. I guess all that fracked natural gas is good for something.

As to Frank's post.... I can't see a late 40 something layed off factory worker suddenly writing code for video games. Just where do the get the money for going to school? I would love to go back to school but I just don't think I can swing it, esp with the expense of moving to the school then moving to a job in another 2 years.
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Old 01-16-13, 08:38 AM   #12
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I have a Canadian national working for me, he rode a Canadian built bike for a time, A Norco if I remember correctly, pushing 20 years old or more. He commented that there was quite a stiff import duty on complete bikes then which allowed the domestic makers some room to exist. I have no idea if that equation has been altered, if the duty still holds or if the cost of production offshore is so much better that the import duty is just a hurdle. He had made another comment that at one time there were some assembly plants for bikes in Canada, a loophole?
Back in the early 1970s, there was less of a distinction in what constituted Made in Canada. You could circumvent the duty by importing the parts and frames and doing the assembly. Many companies did this, including Norco. Then, they went to a tiered system, depending on exactly what you did in Canada. Of course, the government is caught in the middle, with importers, assemblers and manufacturers lobbying for their own personal benefit. The duty schedule and the definitions behind it have probably changed dozens of times over the years since the boom. It's really hard to say exactly what was in effect at any particular point of time and would warrant a detailed study.

Certainly, within the past decade, Canadian companies were still capable of manufacturing entry level frames and assembling them into bicycles using primarily imported parts. However, it should be noted that Canada's entry level bicycle manufacturing industry is centred almost entirely within Quebec and that there may be certain provincial government incentives which make this possible.

I forget where the current entry level Norco are coming from but I do not believe it is China. I vaguely recall it being something like Thailand or Viet Nam.
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Old 01-16-13, 08:47 AM   #13
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Well ... Cervélo is still a Canadian company... sort of.
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Old 01-16-13, 08:47 AM   #14
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I saw something yesterday on the Commuting forum about this too. I, like bibliobob, did not know there were any Raleigh bicycles being produced on the North American continent. It is a shame to see more jobs moving overseas.
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Old 01-16-13, 09:06 AM   #15
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Wow! Does this mean my fleet of Sprites/Records will creep into the three-figure range based on rarity and nostalgia? LOL
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Old 01-16-13, 09:48 AM   #16
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That's unfortunate. I've only ever rode box store raleighs but I've always wanted an M-80 (winnipeg police used this bike). I've never seen a high end raleigh in an lbs or a raleigh in an lbs in general.
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Old 01-16-13, 06:53 PM   #17
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That's unfortunate. I've only ever rode box store raleighs but I've always wanted an M-80 (winnipeg police used this bike). I've never seen a high end raleigh in an lbs or a raleigh in an lbs in general.
When I ran my bike shop, I was about 2km from Raleigh's Oakville warehouse, which put my shop in closer proximity to them than any other. I had a pretty good relationship with them. I used to stock a fair number of Raleighs and Diamondbacks as price point alternatives, and truth be told, I made far better margins on those bikes than I did on all my other brands.
Another benefit of this proximity was my ability to order in a bike for same day delivery for a customer. This happened most frequently with kids bikes, as I didn't stock too many. When folks came in and asked what I had in kids bikes, I'd show them the Raleigh and diamondback catalogues, tell them a phone call would check on availability of their choice, and if it's in the warehouse, you can pick it up later today.
I would make a sale almost every time this way.
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