BMC applies for help from Swiss government to avoid job cuts

Government will pay wages via ‘short-time working’ to avoid job losses at Swiss bike giant

BMC bikes with a red frame
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Swiss bicycle manufacturing giant BMC has applied for government assistance in order to avoid potential job losses, according to reports from Switzerland.

According to local outlet Grenchner Tagblatt, the brand has applied for “short-time working” which allows a company to reduce full-time employees working hours if necessary, similar to the UK's Covid furlough scheme. However, it was unclear whether the measure would actually be implemented.

The brand's CEO said that it was taking "appropriate preventive measures" and making "necessary adjustments" to react to a decrease in demand. Bike brands across the world have faced issues rising from decreased demand, issues with supply, and the cost of living crisis, among others.

It has been reported that the short-time working application had been made in case it was needed, rather than something that is necessary right now.

BMC CEO Davd Zurchner told the Grenchner Tagblatt that the brand had reacted quickly in order to respond to the situation. 

“The board of directors and the company's management adapted to this situation in a timely manner and took appropriate preventive measures and made necessary adjustments,” he said.

The Swiss brand, synonymous with professional cycling, currently sponsors men's ProTeam Tudor, but left as equipment partners of Decathlon-AG2R La Mondiale at the end of last year, after three years together. The French team now uses Van Rysel bikes, produced by its title sponsor Decathlon. 

BMC's woes are not the first suffered by a major bike brand in recent months. 

Multiple cycling industry companies have experienced financial issues off the back of a turbulent economic period in the wake of the pandemic, with a fall in demand and overstocking often cited as central problems.

Just last month, Cycling Weekly reported that the owner of brands Lapierre and Raleigh, the Accell Group, was making further job cuts to its workforce in order to "ensure sustainable long-term growth".

Major retailers have not escaped trouble either, with online giant Wiggle entering administration in October last year. The company has made multiple rounds of job cuts and is currently seeking a buyer.

The UK chain Balfe’s bikes posted a loss of £1.6 million late last year and director Mike Rice described the state of the bike industry as the most turbulent it's been for 30 years

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