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Scarface has several meanings:. Higher quality Schwinn bicycles, however, are still being sold at specialty bike shops. Scarface: The World is Yours is a video game based on the 1983 film. Schwinn bicycles are now being sold in discount stores like Wal-Mart, Target, and Canadian Tire. Scarface is the name of the dummy used by the Batman villain The Ventriloquist. In 2004 Pacific Cycle was, in turn, acquired by Dorel Industries. Scarface is a 1990s rapper who was originally a member of the Geto Boys; see Scarface (rapper). In 2001, Schwinn was purchased at a bankruptcy auction by Pacific Cycle, a company known for mass-market brands.
The movie was remade in 1983 starring Al Pacino; see Scarface (1983 film). Zell shortly moved operations to Boulder, Colorado, where the Schwinn name continues to be stamped on a varied line of products. Scarface is a film about the mafia first made in 1932; see Scarface (1932 film). The company and name were bought by the self-described corporate vulture firm Zell-Climark in 1993. Scarface is a nickname for Al Capone. A downhill spiral ensued, and after declining many offers from outside buyers, Schwinn went into bankruptcy in 1992. This led to further inroads by both domestic and foreign competitors.
They also established company-operated shops, which were at first successful but alienated the independent retailers whose business they threatened. Schwinn was forced to tighten its operations and closed the Mississippi plant. Sophisticated cyclists now often selected vehicles by their components rather than the bike's actual brand, causing the Schwinn name to be devalued. In addition the now struggling company had to cope with the flourishing of component manufacturers such as the Japanese firm Shimano.
Upstart domestic manufacturers like Trek also cut into Schwinn's market. Not taking kindly to being double-dealt, Giant decided to aggressively push their own product to Schwinn's own retailers. Management knew it was perilous to depend so heavily on one supplier, and behind the scenes they negotiated a better deal with a Chinese upstart firm, China Bicycle Co. Schwinn sales flirted again with the million mark, and the company turned a profit again in the late 1980s.
Initially they dealt in China with Giant Bicycles, gradually increasing total imports to over half a million bicycles a year. Even more effectively, the company began to import bikes from China as well as Japan, where costs were going up. They also ramped up production of their Aerodyne exercise bicycle, which had been a consistent moneymaker even in bad times. They renegotiated loans by putting up the entire company and the Schwinn name as collateral.
Schwinn staved off bankruptcy for a few years with some clever maneuvering. Profits turned quickly to large losses, and creditors, including those who had financed the ill-advised relocation, were impatient. Labor there was cheap, but skilled metalworkers were difficult to find, and parts took a long time to get there from Asian suppliers. This move, plus the decaying condition of the 80-year-old facility, led Schwinn to move operations to Greenville, Mississippi.
Worker dissatisfaction, seldom a problem in the company's early years, grew; the Chicago plant voted to affiliate with the United Auto Workers in 1980. He favored slick new managers with M.B.A.'s over ex-mechanics, alienating the management team he inherited. Jr., was in charge. By the early 1980s, a fourth generation Schwinn, Edward R.
Schwinn and his conservative board balked at this step in 1978, and everything went downhill from there. Frank V. Financing this heroic maneuver would have required bringing in outside investors, perhaps even foreign ones. In the midst of these income-depleting crises, management considered consolidating their outdated Chicago factories and relocating to a huge single facility to be built in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
A more longlasting development, mountain biking would similarly pass Schwinn by in the 1980s. After first claiming this new sport was too dangerous to warrant involvement, management changed their tune—too late—when they introduced their Predator BMX line, which captured a mere 8% of the market. While they had been quick to jump on the high-rider fad, Schwinn missed out on the next California craze to capture the children's bicycle market: BMX racing. In the mid-1970s, Schwinn took the radical step of allowing some of their dealers to sell imported brands, and even started to put their own label on a line of Japanese imports they marketed as their LeTour and Traveler models.
Furthermore, many older riders became disillusioned with the lack of comfort afforded by dropped handlebars and narrow seats, and these riders dropped out of the market altogether. Worse, they were visually indistinguishable from the heavy mass-produced models, and were thus overlooked by riders looking for high-performance bikes. While Schwinn offered a series of lightweight, fillet-brazed models from 1938 to 1978, they were hand-built, low-production machines. Meanwhile, younger buyers were becoming more interested in lighter frames composed of new alloys which could be lug-fastened and brazed together.
Schwinn's outdated factories, and their corporate thinking as well, was wedded to heavy, steel, welded frames. While everyone's profits soared, and Schwinn went on to record record sales of over 1.5 million bicycles in 1974, much of the growth was in lighter weight European and Asian imports. bicycle sales doubling over the next two years. The mini-boom of the 1960s accelerated in 1970, with U.S.
Initially successful, this policy made it more difficult for the main office to keep in touch with the buying public, whose desires were about to change. The company decided to stop working through independent local distributors and constructed four huge regional warehouses from which their bicycles would—legally—be sent to individual shops. However, in a decision eventually decided by the US Supreme Court in 1967, Schwinn was ruled to have violated restraint of trade principles by preventing its distributors from shipping some of their bicycles to unapproved dealers. In a ten-year legal battle, many of Schwinn's allegedly restrictive practices were upheld by the courts: judges ruled that they certainly had the right to have their bicycles sold by retailers who knew the product and were equipped to service the bikes as well as sell them.
Schwinn's distributors, though, balked at restrictions the company put on their ability to send some of their Schwinns to shops not part of the Schwinn network. Department store brands were seen as poor imitators of the real thing. On the surface, Schwinn's marketing campaigns matched its engineering and design efforts, step for step. But despite Schwinn's unparalled success and yet another bicycle boom to come, there were clouds on the horizon.
While bicycling in the 1960s was not nearly as popular as before, Schwinn sales alone were topping that magic figure by the end of the decade. During the yet-unmatched bicycle boom of the turn of the century, annual national sales of bicycles had briefly topped one million. When teen and adult riders looked for models more sleek than the Black Phantom, which was the nation's most-wanted bicycle in the 1950s, Schwinn responded with the Varsity and Continental ten-speed racing bikes which topped sales as well. Calling their such model the Sting ray, Schwinn dominated the market in this genre as well.
They were quick to pick up on the west coast phenomenon of fashioning motorcycle-like "high-rider" handlebars and long "banana seats" onto small frame bikes. Through the 1970s, Schwinn also kept up with changes in consumer demand. Service experts from headquarters made the rounds to be sure that shops knew how to properly fix the rare Schwinn which needed repairs. Company newsletters lavished praise, and more lucrative bonuses, to the 1000 Club, whose members topped that number in annual bike sales.
Messy, grimy local bike shops were replaced by Schwinn dealers with glittering storefronts, uniformed salespeople, and long, tidy rows of only Schwinn products. In the 1950s and 1960s, Schwinn cultivated a loyal cadre of bicycle retailers dedicated to selling most, or only, Schwinn bicycles. Their distributors however long retained the right to send Schwinns to whichever hardware, toy, or bicycle shops wanted to carry them. Schwinn did away with this practice in 1948 and insisted on the Schwinn brand and guarantee appearing on all their products.
Most companies sold bikes in bulk to department stores, who in turn sold them with the label of a store brand. For years, bicycle distribution had been haphazard. Head engineer Frank Brilando made sure everything worked before being marketed. Alongside general manager Bill Stoeffhaas, they added marketing whiz Ray Burch and design supervisor Al Fritz to the management team, and aimed also to be tops in marketing and distribution, and in service.
(for Valentine) Schwinn, who took over the company in the 50's. nor grandson Frank V. Neither was it enough for son F.W. Being known as the best-made American bicycle would not alone have satisfied founder Ignaz Schwinn.
The Schwinn brand became associated with quality a cut above the competition, and by the 1950s was established as the Cadillac of American bicycles. Similar models followed, some high end and some more affordable, but all turned-out with top craftsmanship and with cutting-edge styling, suggestive of the flamboyant automobile styles of the era. He added streamlined fenders, an ersatz fuel tank on the frame's top, a chrome-plated headlight, and a push-button bell, and the customers (mostly children) who could afford a $35 bicycle loved it. to throw out the mold and make two-inch diameter balloon tires to yield a more comfortable ride.
had persuaded American Rubber Co. F.W. returned to Chicago and in 1933 introduced the Schwinn Aerocycle, the biggest change in bicycles since James Starley introduced the revolutionary "diamond frame" some fifty years earlier. After travelling to Europe to get ideas, the hard-driving F.W.
Instead of trying to cut corners, he insisted on turning out a product that would distance Schwinn from its competitors. "F.W." Schwinn, now running the company, did his father proud and selected a bold course. Ignaz' son Frank W. (as it remained in name until 1936) was on the verge of bankruptcy.
Deprived of this income, Schwinn, Arnold Co. At the close of the 1920s, the stock market crash and resulting economic downturn decimated the American motorcycle industry, taking Excelsior-Henderson with it. Both businesses thrived while their independent competitors failed. Interested also in motorcycles, he purchased Excelsior Motorcycle Company in 1910, and added the Henderson Company four years later, to form Excelsior-Henderson, one of the country's foremost motorcycle builders.
He bought out failing firms on the cheap, and built a new factory on Chicago's west side. Schwinn saw opportunity where others saw only gloom. Competition for parts and for the cooperation of the department stores which sold the bulk of the bicycles became intense. By 1905 output nationwide was one-fourth of what it had been but five years earlier, and only 12 bicycle makers remained in Chicago.
This first bicycle boom was short-lived, as automobiles soon replaced bikes as the preferred means of transportation on American streets. Ignaz was not only an ingenious designer and an exacting supervisor; he was an astute businessman as well, so Arnold was able to be the ultimate "passive partner". Bicycle output in the United States grew to over a million per year at the turn of the century, and Arnold, Schwinn's were recognized as among the finest. These were the peak years of a bicycle craze throughout the western world, and Chicago was the center of the industry in America, with 30 factories turning out thousands of bikes every day.
In 1895, with the financial backing of fellow German-American Adolph Arnold (a successful meat packer), he started the Arnold, Schwinn Bicycle Company. Frustrated with the unwillingness of local manufacturers for whom he worked to accept his design suggestions, Schwinn emigrated to the United States in 1891, where he found similar difficulties with American bicycle makers. Ignaz Schwinn was born in Germany in 1860, and he gravitated early to working on the two-wheeled ancestors of the modern bicycle which appeared late 19th century Europe. .
The story of its rise illustrates many principles of sound business operations, and its fall, which occurred in the face of the burgeoning of cycling in the United States in the 1970s and 1980s, demonstrates the opposite. The Schwinn Bicycle Company was founded by Ignaz Schwinn in Chicago in 1895, and grew to become the dominant manufacturer of American bicycles through most of the 20th century.