Two European bicycle manufacturers are back to producing bikes during the Covid-19 pandemic, including Gazelle and Orbea.
Royal Dutch Gazelle’s Dieren factory was closed for three weeks due to the coronavirus but the firm used the time to bring in modifications to the production process to safeguard employees.
The Dutch firm said that all workplaces in the Dieren factory have been adapted to give staff at least 1.5-2m space and other measures include plexi walls between workplaces at the assembly tracks: “These and other adjustments guarantee that all work can be carried out in a safe and normal manner.
“The resumption of production is important now that spring has really started and the demand for new bicycles is increasing. People want and have to move for health…Cycling is a good interpretation of the exercise standard, provided that this is not done in groups and the social distance (at least 1.5 meters from each other) is respected.
Gazelle has a new service to bring bicycles to consumer doors, using specialist dealers to prepare the bikes for roadworthiness.
In Spain, all non-essential activities were shut down on 30 March, forcing Orbea to suspend activities at its production plants (as well as demos and other activities).
Orbea continued to offer minimum services, including customer service and after-sales support. Now, (14 April) Orbea is resuming production while complying with the maximum health and hygiene measures from the authorities.
Now Orbea has new internal guidelines based on instruction from health authorities, including special measures during transport, with expanded services to prevent gatherings of people; promoting bicycles to commute to and from work; and adjusting the number of staff working at the plant to maintain the two metre distances.
“We are also conducting controls using laser thermometers, engaging in continuous cleaning and hygiene of work stations and refraining from using common areas to prevent gatherings of people. We have provided face masks and personal protective equipment and installed screens in order to protect ourselves, among other measures. All employees who can do so, continue to telecommute.
“This way, we can resume operations at our facilities in a way that is safe for all personnel.
“Orbea would also like to salute all those who are working intensively to end this virus, including all health care, transportation and food service workers. Thank you to all those who are being responsible and staying home.”
Bicycle factories are gradually returning to work the world over. Bafang revealed its Suzhou, China facility was back in operation in March, following an extended shutdown.
CIN visited Gazelle’s Dieren production facilities last year.