Innovation & Manufacturing possible in France: Rossignol case study


The Rossignol company continues their relocation to France. Its policy of relocation is heralding the return on French soil a part of its production carried out in Asia, a policy justified by the improved competitiveness of France.

In 2013, the ultra-modern factory in Sallanches (Haute-Savoie) who will take over the production of 20,000 pairs of skis Junior hitherto made in Taiwan.  This repatriation is the second phase of relocation of production of the group that started this new strategy in 2010 with the return of 75,000 pairs of skis then manufactured in Taiwan to Sallanches.

For the group, this choice is justified by industrial economic arguments profitability, music to the ears of a French government that plays the card of “Made in France” to curb offshoring. “The cost of products, agility production, proximity to markets, in terms of these three criteria, it became necessary to relocate our production,” explains Bruno Cercley, the President of the Rossignol Group. “We are more competitive in France and Taiwan,” he adds. “The raw material is more than 70% of the cost of our products, and as it comes to Europe, it is very expensive to transport and the Asia back to Europe.”


Another argument in favor of relocation: the “agility” of production, that is to say, the bringing together on a single site the whole industrial chain, from research to production, through the establishment development, prototype manufacturing and logistics.

“The chain of command is more agile if we control everything in place and we have the opportunity and respond in a few days to a last-minute order, which is unthinkable if we manufacture in Asia,” says the director.  This is precisely what happened last winter, when the market has ordered U.S. in the early season of 5000 additional pairs of skis. Finally, the group emphasized the need to produce closer to its markets. “The day we have a large Asian market, we rethink the issue of on-site generation, but for now, the market is Europe and North America and we need to stay close to our customers.”

This strategy of relocation of manufacturing, which since 2010 has lower production costs, but also a strong innovation policy have enabled the group to return to profit after a critical period. The French brand has experienced significant difficulties in the mid-2000s that led to its owner, the U.S. Quicksilver, to part in 2008.


Acquired by the company Chartreuse & Mont Blanc, headed by Bruno Cercley, Rossignol has chosen to focus on skiing which is its core business, reduce its workforce by 35% worldwide, including 270 people in France, and imagine new products.

He presented a turnover in 2012 of € 207 million, a slight increase with a net profit of 5 million euros, despite a sharp decline in market due to lack of snow. Rossignol currently 1,221 employees worldwide, including 694 in France, located on the sites of Saint-Jean-de-Moirans (Isère), Sallanches (Haute-Savoie), Nevers (Nièvre) and Saint-Etienne-de-Saint- Geoirs (Isère).

The relocation of part of Asian production has enabled the creation of forty new jobs in Haute-Savoie and sustainability of existing. The Rossignol Group, which includes the Rossignol, Dynastar, Lange, Look, Kerma Risport and is today one of the leading global sporting goods winter. 75% of its turnover is from exports.

Today, Rossignol China retains a portion of the production of its snowboards. Manufacture its Nordic skis is insured Eastern Europe, as part of its bindings and shoes in Poland and Romania.  The rest of the production is shared between France, Spain and Italy.  The capital of the company is now owned by the Australian bank Macquarie, the American Jarden, and up to 6% by the group’s president, French Bruno Cercley.

See the Rossignol web site

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About olivierlehe

Passion for Innovations

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