Accell cuts flexible production staff, reports local media

The Accell Group has taken the decision to temporarily cut its flexible production workforce, which represents 150 workers across two locations.

NieuwsFiets.nu reported late last week that the Coronavirus pandemic had forced the hand of the European parent to Raleigh, Lapierre and Haibike, with the firms share price dipping as low as 12.34, from 27.65 this time last month. Stock markets across the globe have declined at record rates since the Covid-19 Virus began to sweep the globe.

“This is not an easy decision because our flexible employees are part of our family. However, we have to adjust our business operations to the current situation, ” Sten van der Ham, Regional Director Accell Benelux, told the Dutch site.

Following the Government RIVM guidelines, Accell is continuing production for the time being. Raleigh UK boss Pippa Wibberly recently told CI.N that stocks were strong enough to cope with such a market shock and keep good supply for around “three to six months,” depending on demand.

“Production will continue with additional tightened measures in accordance with the latest RIVM measures. Colleagues work at a sufficient distance from each other and separated as much as possible so that there is no mutual contact between the different production locations. The canteens are closed. Most Accell office workers work online from home. Dealer and customer conversations take place by telephone. Events, fairs and trips have been canceled,” added Van de Ham.

At the present time demand appears to be on the higher side, with many shops reporting full workshops and a spike in actual bike sales.

With lockdowns in place across much of Europe and speculated to be imminent elsewhere it is hard to see the trend continuing, unless exemptions campaigned for are granted for bike shops.

The knock on effect on Accell’s production is likely to lead to the delay of some introductions of new products.

In reassuring customers of the UK arm, Wibberly assured earlier this month: “There is, as the present time, no need for our customers to behave any differently from normal, we’re well equipped to manage this.”