Dorel's Recreational/Leisure Segment Launches Worldwide Centers of Excellence Strategy



    
    - Bethel, CT to be expanded into world-class Innovation Center
    - New focus for Bedford, PA facility

    EXCHANGES
    TSX: DII.B, DII.A
    

    MONTREAL and BETHEL, CT, April 2 /CNW Telbec/ - In a continuation of its
on-going strategy to become the global innovation leader in the recreation and
leisure markets, Dorel Industries (TSX: DII.B, DII.A) today announced that its
Recreational/Leisure segment has launched a multi-faceted Worldwide Centers of
Excellence program. Five Centers of Excellence are being established around
the world, with each location focused on market leadership in a specific
market segment or expertise. These centers will be based in:

    
    - Bethel, CT (global headquarters and innovation center for high-end and
      enthusiast bicycles);
    - Basel, Switzerland (for high-end and enthusiast bicycles sold/marketed
      in Europe);
    - Madison, WI (for global mass market products);
    - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (for active lifestyle and urban
      apparel and footwear); and
    - Taichung, Taiwan (for coordination of sourcing, testing and quality of
      Asian suppliers/partners)
    

    New Innovation Center

    Key to the Centers of Excellence strategy in North America are plans to
consolidate all North American product development, marketing and business
management functions for all four cycling brands (Cannondale, Schwinn, GT and
Mongoose) to Bethel, CT within the newly named Cycling Sports Group (formerly
the Cannondale Sports Group).
    The Bethel location will be expanded into a world-class Innovation Center
for all of Dorel's Recreational/Leisure brands and products. This will help
integrate brand teams to power innovation and to more fully capitalize on the
unique potential of each of the CSG brands.
    "Our vision is to create the most innovative and admired company in the
recreation and leisure marketplace, and to become a global leader, which is
why the Dorel segment was established in the first place," said Robert Baird,
President of Dorel's Recreational/Leisure segment. "The strategy for
transforming that vision into reality requires a unified, collaborative, and
highly engaged workforce, relentlessly committed to innovation and supported
by management in rapidly advancing the quality of the products and services we
deliver. Dorel has acquired several top companies with superior product lines
and some of the strongest brand equities in the recreation and leisure sector,
including the acquisition of both Cannondale Bicycles and SUGOI Performance
Apparel in early 2008.
    "The Cannondale purchase led us to segment our bicycle business to
provide best-in-class service to the distinct retailer categories. Mass market
bikes are sold to consumers through Pacific Cycle, while high-end specialty
retailers have been our channel of choice for premium and enthusiast bikes
through CSG. Naturally, Cannondale and CSG are key components of our
commitment to our Independent Bicycle Dealers (IBD) as we realize how critical
IBDs are to the cycling community and to us. In addition to the plans outlined
above, and to ensure we delight our customers with our distinctive brands,
innovative products and impactful in-store programs, we are also consolidating
our North American CSG operations to two locations from five."

    A new mission for Bedford

    In addition to its global headquarters in Bethel, CT, CSG will create one
of the best bicycle testing laboratories in the world at its facilities in
Bedford, PA. CSG will also begin to focus its existing operations in Bedford
on:

    
    - final bicycle and Headshok assembly,
    - CNC machining,
    - testing and quality control,
    - bicycle warranty repair,
    - inside sales/service, distribution and
    - customer support/administration (including a new call center on-site).
    

    In shifting Bedford's operations away from bicycle frame manufacturing by
2010, CSG will be able to take full advantage of the strengths and
capabilities of the new Taichung, Taiwan-based Center of Excellence in
manufacturing oversight, sourcing, testing and quality control. Therefore
headcount at Bedford will be reduced from the current 300 employees to
approximately 100 by the end of 2010.
    The total cost of the overall re-organization plan is expected to be no
more than US$4.5 million, the majority of which will be related to employee
re-location and severance. These costs will be incurred over the course of
2009 and 2010. Once completed, the Company expects to realize annualized cost
savings of up to US$4 million.
    "Today is the beginning of a very exciting period for Dorel's
Recreational/Leisure business," said Jeff McGuane, President CSG North
America. Mr. McGuane, who has been with Cannondale since 1994 and most
recently was President of CSG International, was named to his new post last
month.
    "We have realized significant benefits from identifying and acquiring
strong brand leaders in the recreation and leisure industries, as well as
driving organic growth from our existing businesses. However, for us to
continue on our quest to remain competitive and to become the world's premier
provider in delivering the top recreation and leisure brands and products that
consumers trust and want, we must continue to simplify and streamline our
operations to help us drive forward. Creating the Center of Excellence in
Bethel, consolidating our CSG resources within North America to two main
locations, and leveraging the manufacturing resources at our Taiwan-based
Center of Excellence are critical steps along the path of achieving our
objective - becoming the global innovation leader in the recreation and
leisure segment," concluded Jeff.

    Profile

    Dorel Industries Inc. (TSX: DII.B, DII.A) is a world class juvenile
products and bicycle company. Established in 1962, Dorel creates style and
excitement in equal measure to safety, quality and value. The Company's
lifestyle leadership position is pronounced in both its Juvenile and Bicycle
categories with an array of trend-setting products. Dorel's powerfully branded
products include Safety 1st, Quinny, Cosco, Maxi-Cosi and Bébé Confort in
Juvenile, as well as Cannondale, Schwinn, GT, Mongoose and SUGOI in
Recreational/Leisure. Dorel's Home Furnishings segment markets a wide
assortment of furniture products, both domestically produced and imported.
Dorel is a US$2 billion company with 4700 employees, facilities in eighteen
countries, and sales worldwide.

    Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

    Except for historical information provided herein, this press release may
contain information and statements of a forward-looking nature concerning the
future performance of Dorel Industries Inc. These statements are based on
suppositions and uncertainties as well as on management's best possible
evaluation of future events. The business of the Company and these
forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties
that could cause actual results to differ from expected results. Important
factors which could cause such differences may include, without excluding
other considerations, increases in raw material costs, particularly for key
input factors such as particle board and resins; increases in ocean freight
container costs; failure of new products to meet demand expectations; changes
to the Company's effective income tax rate as a result of changes in the
anticipated geographic mix of revenues; the impact of price pressures exerted
by competitors, and settlements for product liability cases which exceed the
Company's insurance coverage limits. A description of the above mentioned
items and certain additional risk factors are discussed in the Company's
Annual MD&A and Annual Information Form, filed with the securities regulatory
authorities. The risk factors outlined in the previously mentioned documents
are specifically incorporated herein by reference. The Company's business,
financial condition, or operating results could be materially adversely
affected if any of these risks and uncertainties were to materialize. Given
these risks and uncertainties, investors should not place undue reliance on
forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual results.




For further information:

For further information: Rick Leckner, MaisonBrison, (514) 731-0000;
Jeffrey Schwartz, Dorel Industries Inc., (514) 934-3034

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Dorel Industries Inc.

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