Shimano’s Malaysian factory shuttered in Covid mandate

In a blow to the industry’s bid to catch up on supply, Shimano has been forced by local Covid rules to temporarily shut its Malaysian factory, at least until June 14th.

BR&IN reports that Shimano customers were informed of the stall in production on Thursday, with a statement to partners outlining that there is no certainty the plant can reopen on the 15th. Since the start of June the factory had been permitted to operate at just 60% of its full production capability.

“So far, the Malaysian government has not informed the decisions to be taken after June 15,” wrote Yutaka Taniyama, part of Shimano’s American business, adding “Our customer understanding is of utmost importance to us and we hope this better informs you our measurements to the situation, always considering the safety of customers and employees in mind.”

Shimano’s Malaysian factory is primarily a source for entry-tier components such as brakes, derailleurs, pedals, hubs and wheels.

As illustrated by a recent Cycling Industries Europe study, the vast majority of businesses in the cycling world are hampered by the supply chain troubles, with the lion’s share relying on either Shimano or SRAM for componentry. Others have a small, but now seemingly growing market share as bike firms scramble for parts to complete builds and workshops seek an alternate supply of service parts. Many retailers have reported to CI.N taking sourcing of components into their own hands, often turning to brands not previously used.

In response to Covid, Shimano outlined last year that it would “revisit” its supply chain functionality.

As is the case in many countries, Covid in Malaysia remains on a knife edge where cases have come down, but not enough to satisfy Government officials that a full scale re-opening is wise.

Data shows that just over 1 million are fully vaccinated in the region, which has a population of nearly 32 million. Channel News Asia reports that cases have risen back above 6,000 ne infections, which was deemed a red line for business reopening. Nationally there are 633,891 cases.

Related: How far is the bicycle industry from seeing a broader supply of drivetrain finishing kit?