World-famous bicycle manufacturer Serotta has laid off nearly half its workforce and will cease operations this month, according to comments the head of the Saratoga Springs-based company made to a trade magazine Wednesday.
Bill Watkins, Serotta's chief executive officer, said the company closed its factory in California and laid off its workforce there, accounting for about eight of the company's 18 employees. He said the operation based at a plant on Geyser Road will finish the orders it has now, but won't be taking any new ones and will likely shut down in two weeks.
"I do not know if that will be temporary or permanent while the owners figure out what to do," he told Bicycle Retailer and Industry News. "I'm working to build out the runway and land this airplane gracefully and professionally."
Serotta was recently merged with Blue Competition Cycles and Mad Fiber Wheels to become part of the Divine Cycling Group, Watkins said. The merger, however, failed to produce more funding for the business and resulted in layoffs.
The company was founded by Ben Serotta, a Saratoga Springs native who has built his bicycles for roughly four decades. At its peak, Serotta Competition Bicycles produced nearly 3,000 units a year and had a workforce of roughly four-dozen employees.
The company was put up for sale in 2011, after an influx of inexpensive high-end bicycles from Asia flooded the market. The business was purchased by Bradway Capital, a private investment company based in Massachusetts, for approximately $1.5 million last year.