Shimano components to produce 10,000 bikes have been stolen from Czech bicycle producer Bike Fun International (BFI).
While transporting the components, unknown criminals put a truck driver to sleep by gas in a parking lot and stole the Shimano components, BFI said in a statement.
The heist took place on the night of 21st January at a motorway rest area in Germany during a truck driver’s break. The incident was carried out by a well-organised group who must have planned the whole thing, the company said.
“In all likelihood, the truck had been followed from the time it was loaded, the thieves waited for the driver to take a rest break, and then the perpetrators put him to sleep with gas they let into the cab. Finally, they disguised the evidence in the cargo area with a fire extinguisher to prevent the seizure of the trace.”
BFI said that although it can replace some components from stock or from the next production, the impact on future production is significant.
“The situation for bicycle producers worldwide is really difficult,” said BFI supply chain director Petr Krkoska. “On the one side, we are dealing with huge demand, but on the other side, there is an even bigger shortage of components caused by many factors. From the consignment loaded mostly with expensive e-bike and bike parts, only nine boxes of low-end components were left in the truck.
“This will delay the production of some models by almost a year, as there is no alternative in the market for many of the parts from this shipment. We are a strong and stable company, so this is just another obstacle out of many we were facing last years but had this happen to smaller manufacturers, it would be liquidating for them.
“We really haven’t seen this situation before,” he added. “Even Shimano has not been faced with a targeted robbery of a shipment on a similar scale. We hope that due to the shortage of parts, these cases will not be repeated, because despite all the measures we have set up, no insurance cover can compensate us for the loss and especially the reputation for late delivery.
“We decided to communicate this matter to warn other producers because it could happen to them also.”