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.
THE END OF
The decline of a longstanding line of business
PRODUCTION FOR BICYCLE HUBS
PATRONAGE BECOMES OPPRESSION
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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