You are making excuses for mediocrity. It has been over 12 months since Covid hit. If I was on the board of a company that couldn't step up to meet demand after 12 months I would be sacking the CEO.
You are imagining a mythical bike company.
Working up through the chain (for typical made in asia brands, not boutique):
Very few own their sales channel (Canyon and other DTCs excepted obviously, Trek and other big guys have wound up owning bricks and mortar)
Very few own their distribution (DTC and the biggest brands excepted)
Almost no one owns assembly (Giant and Merida excepted)
Almost no one owns frame production (Giant and Merida excepted)
No one owns groupset production
Production allocation generally booked so far in advance that a 12mth increase in demand can't be accommodated. BOMs and POs for 2022 already locked in.
Bike brands don't have the vertical integration required to scale rapidly. If you fired your CEO the new one would go mad bashing their head against the wall trying to meet your demand for scaling. Absolutely no chance of pushing Shimano around.
That's before we talk about all the other suppliers to complete a built kit.
The factory that makes alloy bars for the majority of quality brands is at 19mth lead time.
Affordable brakes and forks at two years as mentioned previously.
You'll see in the share trackers below that prices took a dip during lockdowns as factories were closed. That created a backlog, industry came out of lockdowns to spiking demand and no chance of catching up.
And then we get on to ethos
I've talked with high end brands that are sold out and happy. No old stock, no discounting. Their results are good. Modest increase in production for next year which should all sell = another good year.
Or a brand that spans more of the market - previous year ~x bikes. Had been forecasting 1.15x for the year ahead. Demand at 2x. Have decided to make 1.6x. They're having a good year and will be maxed out increasing their capacity to move units.
The only brands I've talked to that aren't happy are Tri only. Everyone else is having a good time.
Not many brands keen on going crazy making bikes as we don't know whether this is a long term demand increase.
Everyone very cautious about tri as we don't know whether there will be a rebound in demand. I know of a couple of bikes that were ready for the start of this year and have been put back.
Not that many listed companies, here are the big three
And Canyon have been acquired
CEOs are getting bonuses, not fired...
| ST Interview