Detail
1931

THE END OF
PRODUCTION FOR BICYCLE HUBS

The decline of a longstanding line of business

PATRONAGE BECOMES OPPRESSION

The relocation to Schweinfurt is complete and from April 2, 1931 production of original Rotax parts in Dresden ceases. Rotax becomes a mere sales agency within the Fichtel & Sachs network. The cessation of production is accompanied by the disappearance of a tradition: demand for the bicycle hub, once the hallmark of social change, declines in its core markets and becomes less commercially important to Fichtel & Sachs management. In the era of (covert) rearmament it is significantly more profitable to produce engines and clutches, particularly since Fichtel & Sachs has political links with leading figures in the National Socialist NSDAP and secures orders from them.

Initially relegated to an advertising tagline and finally downgraded to a cheap product – the Rotax hub (Unternehmensarchiv BRP-Rotax, Gunskirchen; siehe auch Sammlungsbestand Fahrrad-Veteranen-Freunde-Dresden 1990 e.V.)

ROTAX HUB BECOMES CHEAP EXPORT

After production is ceased and in view of the faltering of domestic and export demand for quality products, Rotax takes a momentous decision. They will develop new markets, primarily those which have not yet been gripped by the motorization surge. To do this they will need a cheap and simple hub. “The immense future reservoirs of sales represented by Russia and China can only be tapped with a cheap hub,” concludes a Fichtel & Sachs meeting of January 5, 1933.

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