Located in Karvina, in the triangle of the Czech, Polish and Slovakian border, the new Shimano factory building currently employs 150 people, 51 percent female, 49 percent male.
The factory is assembling Tourney components (MFHG37 & 40, FDTY22, RDTY22 and Outer Casings) from semi-finished products imported from the Far East.
The factory will soon be expanded to twice its current size, including an extended production line with injection molding, machining and heat-treatment facilities.
More localised suppliers will be integrated into the process, and Far Eastern imports decreased. This should be by the end of 2003, when the workforce will nearly double to 280 people. By 2004 an estimated 410 people will work there.
By 2004 the factory will be making a great range of Shimano kit, including Nexus 7-speed hubs, hub-dynamos and roller brakes.
The Czech Republic could be brought into the EC as early as 2004 although the resurgance of Slovak nationalism could prevent entry until much later.