Vialle collapses after all
Insolvency as the only possible way of pulling the company out of financial problems had been considered for a while, but until recently it was just one of the option taken into account by Vialle's management. There was still hope the brand would go from red to black and regain strength, but the steps taken proved insufficient and declaring bankruptcy remained the only solution.
The situation is little of a surprise to those who knew Vialle's situation from a closer perspective – the company never really managed to return to its former glory after a slump in sales and revenue caused by the economic downturn in 2009. When the aftermarket conversion sector in Europe slowed down considerably in the following years, a difficult position became virtually hopeless. Vialle's shareholders injected money into the company to revive it's flailing operations, but the extra capital failed to generated extra revenue.
Back in 2009 Vialle's staff was reduced from 120 to 44 people. Apart from laying off redundant employees, the company introduced a number of cost-cutting measures. And to think that right before the crisis came, Vialle was looking forward to doubling its sales and boasted cooperation deals with some of the largest car manufacturers in the world, including Ford, Volkswagen, Suzuki or Hyundai, as well as DAF – a truck manufacturer coming from Eindhoven, Vialle's hometown.
Even when reduced to minimum, Vialle failed to defend itself against bankruptcy. Revenue for 2013 was just 8,4 million euros, which means the company generated 2,5 million euros of losses. A local court has appointed a trustee to manage the company's assets. Peter Rutten, Vialle's CEO, hopes the trustee will be approached by companies interested in saving the brand and all that it stands for. After all, Vialle is a name commonly recognised in the autogas industry and it would be great shame to throw its decades of tradition and innovation away. We'll keep you informed as the story unfolds.
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