Translated by
Nicola Mira
Sep 23, 2020
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Rossignol restructures ski production

Translated by
Nicola Mira
Sep 23, 2020

The Rossignol group, based in Saint-Jean-de-Moirans, in France’s Alpine region, and operating five production sites in the country, has announced it is streamlining industrial operations and deploying a cost-cutting programme.

This kind of announcement is always awkward, especially now that the French government is trumpeting its plans for boosting economic recovery and safeguarding employment.

Rossignol is expecting a troubled 2020-21 winter season - Rossignol

The mountain sport equipment specialist led by Bruno Cercley has indicated it needs to restructure its winter sport operations, and its ski production organisation in particular. “Year after year, [ski] equipment specialists have been faced with significant reductions in output volumes, owing to the growing popularity of ski renting, to the detriment of sales, combined with increasingly irregular snowfall rates in mountain resorts,” said Rossignol in a press release. “Business has slumped due to the worldwide health crisis, amplifying the market's structural contraction and leading to a drop in volumes of approximately 25% in 2020, and to significant uncertainty about the positive outcome of the next winter season,” added Rossignol.

Against this background, the group has announced a restructuring drive affecting 92 of its 1,310 employees. Two thirds of the jobs in question are based in Sallanches, where Rossignol operates a ski production facility that underwent a first streamlining 10 years ago. More specifically, the group announced it will cut 24 jobs at its Saint-Jean-de-Moirans headquarters, 7 in Saint Etienne de Saint Geoirs and 61 at the Sallanches factory, adding however that the evolution and transformation of its business will lead to the creation of 15 new jobs.

Archives AFP

Rossignol’s Sallanches factory

Archives AFP

In recent weeks, local media mentioned the possibility that some of the output from the Sallanches factory might be shifted to another Rossignol facility, located in Artés, in Spain’s Barcelona region.

The group gave further indications about its manufacturing organisation goals: “This project makes it possible to clarify the two sites’ respective roles, to ensure that our production facilities are complementary and to give a clear mandate to the Sallanches site,” said Cercley, who also confirmed the Rossignol group's firm intention of maintaining industrial operations in France and western Europe.

High volumes in Artès

Rossignol's message is crystal clear: each site will have a very specific mission. The reorganisation would enable the group to “concentrate some high-volume ski production for the Rossignol and Dynastar brands at the Artés factory, which is already equipped to handle large output quantities, in order to improve the group’s productivity and optimise manufacturing costs.” What will stay in Sallanches? Rossignol said it wants the factory to retain key ski-production facilities, including the production of junior ski models and of limited-edition, top quality skis. The factory could also develop new operations whose details haven't been defined yet.

This summer, Rossignol parted ways with two of its sport equipment brands, Vertical and Raidlight, and, besides restructuring production, it is also keen on cutting costs. “The management has presented to employee representatives a major programme to reduce expenditure and fixed costs, relating among others to business travel, samples and trade shows,” said Rossignol in the press release.

The Rossignol group’s brand portfolio also includes Dynastar, Lange, Look, Risport and Dale of Norway. In 2019, the group generated a revenue of approximately €370 million.


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