SKI TECH: Swix Sport Buys Toko

Every morning I eagerly go to several ski and bike industry websites looking for the day's news, but I'll admit that what I found this morning took me by surprise! No, there isn't a ski tunnel being built in Minneapolis, and no, Harley Davidson isn't buying Trek... Swix is buying Toko!

While a move like this isn't unprecedented, it is unusual in the ski industry for the top brand in a category to buy their closest competitor.

According to a quote from Rolf Schmid, CEO of the Swiss Mammut Sports Group (owner of Toko since 2002), "MAMMUT's rapid growth over recent years and the challenges of its future worldwide expansion require all our efforts and these are the driving factors behind this transaction." Essentially, Mammut is turning its exclusive focus to the core outdoor and mountaineering side of its business.

Once the ownership change occurs on September 1, 2010, Toko will be moving its Swiss offices from Seon to Altst├Ątten (Switzerland), which was Toko's former home and where the brands main factory is.

Toko's factory in Altst├Ątten, Switzerland will once again be Toko's Global Headquarters. Photo taken by the author in April of 2000.

Toko will retain its own unique brand identity globally, as well as much of its own staff and unique products. Ian Harvey, long time US Toko Brand Manager, will remain in his position as will Toko Sales Reps, Toko Tech Team members, and sponsored athletes/teams.

The author (and his brother Mike Lundeen) providing neutral racing service for Toko at the 2005 Mora Vasaloppet

There is speculation that this change will be a positive thing for the brand from a cash perspective, particularly considering Swix's history in Nordic, which is also Toko's strength here in the US.

Best of luck to our friends at Toko and Swix in this new partnership!


4 comments:

  1. It may be a good move for TOKO and Swix, but the real question is, is it good for us, the skiers? Just asking...

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  2. I think that's a good point Aaron. Personally, I'm a little skeptical. If competition breeds excellence...what does lack of competition breed?

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  3. Come on people, wake up. Toko has the right to do what they want but the uter bullshit from the release is ridiculous. Thank god I can rely on ski go.

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  4. Thanks everyone for your comments! As I mentioned in this original story, this is a big deal which invokes reaction from all of us XC Skiers.

    I certainly do agree with "Anonymous" in that Toko, Swix, or anyone else can do what ever they want to do as we live in a free market Capitalist world.

    Personally, based on my history with both of these brands, I think there will be both positives and negatives that come from this.

    Anonymous is also right in that there are still some independent wax brands with a focus on Nordic out there including Fast Wax, Ski Go, Holmenkol, Maplus, Solda, Rex, Start, Star, and a few other less notables.

    All in all, there is a lot of great ski wax out there, the challenge for skiers is to simply work out a system for yourself that works in the conditions you find yourself skiing. Simplicity is key...

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