Monday, February 22, 2010

French Banks Not Willing to Help Moto GIMA!

Remember the great little retro motorcycle I showed you some months ago (click here). France based GIMA makes a beautiful 125 cc motorcycle, modeled after a motorbike of the same name from many years ago. They have had a reasonable success in marketing the vintage-looking motorcycle in France and have already received over 150 orders. However receiving orders is one thing, but offering complete after sales service is another. You need dealers to repair and maintain the motorcycle, spare parts, training, etc...

To accomplish this, GIMA needs money. They've applied to banks for a €400,000 loan to put their distribution network in place, but got turned down! Banks just aren't interested in providing money at this moment. They want to keep the money for themselves so they can distribute bonuses to themselves.

Since the motorcycle manufacturer is small, the national French media aren't interested in picking up the story, and neither are the politicians.

So Hilario Gonzalvez, the CEO of the company, has gone on a hunger strike. The only thing being proposed by (local) politicians is that they relocate the factory to Tunisia, which is exactly what the CEO does not want. He wants to make a French product, in France, with French workers. Kudos to him!

It's pathetic when you realize that they have firm orders for their bikes, and lots of promise to develop their company for the future. French politicians should start looking at helping smaller companies survive instead of hammering down on bikers.