By Emea Riga
Sport Mechanical Workshop (SMW), one of Decathlon’s suppliers, will open the largest bicycle factory in Europe this year. The investment in the new unit is 30 million euros, and the construction works are in the final phase of execution.
The company, owned by two Italian businessmen and a Romanian, is investing 30 million euros in a factory with an area of 23,000 square meters, where 750 employees will work. 1.5 million bicycles for the Decathlon will be produced here annually.
Construction work has advanced, and the Bike.eu portal says that production will start in September this year.
Sport Mechanical Workshop opened its first factory at the end of 2016, when 300 bicycles were assembled daily. In the summer of 2019, the company was assembling the 1 millionth bicycle. In a rented space of 5,000 square meters, near Timisoara, SMW assembles 3,500 bicycles per day. The salary for an employee at the assembly line is between 2,900 and 3,200 lei, to which are added bonuses between 300 and 1,200 lei, according to the data available on the company’s website.
“The factory must be operational by the end of 2021. The products are distributed exclusively through the Decathlon network. When the pandemic allows, there will be meetings with representatives of some factories in Asia, which make equipment for Decathlon, to see if production can be moved here. At the moment, the frames will be made here and the components brought from Asia will be mounted. We want to make a Bicycle Valley in Timişoara, where to assemble bicycles, but where to produce certain parts such as pedals, brakes, metal structure. There is room for development around the factory. Practically, all components could be made in Timisoara. Through horizontal development, the platform will create 3,000 jobs. Moreover, from 2023 we want to start the production of electric bicycles “, said Vincenzo Moderno, vice president of the Italian Chamber of Commerce for Romania.
By Emea Riga