Over the past few days, there are reports surfacing that Austrian housing manufacturer Subal is experiencing some form of financial difficulty. We have been contacted by Harald Karl, owner of Subal, who has clarified the situation.
Some facts: Subal moved the bulk of its production from Austria to Belgrade some time ago. An announcement on the Subal Facebook page confirms that and goes on to state that they are retaining a servicing facility at the original Subal base in Steyr and building a new showroom in Vienna.
In has conversation with Wetpixel, Harald confirmed that this is the case and stressed that the decision to close the manufacturing unit in Steyr was based on the complicated logistics and increased costs created by having operations in Vienna, Belgrade and Steyr.
According to KVS1870 (Austria’s largest association for the protection of creditors), Subal GmbH entered bankruptcy proceedings on 5 December 2017. The company that entered bankruptcy is the same one as that listed on Subal’s website (Company Registration #FN359300h). AKV Europa has also announced that the insolvency process has been initiated and is offering to take on any claims by Subal’s creditors.
Harald explained in detail that Austrian law allows companies to file a temporary petition for bankruptcy in order to restructure. In Subal’s case, they have done so in order to shutter the production facility in Steyr. He explicitly stated that this action gives them economic advantages and does not effect Subal’s commercial viability.
There has been some understandable concern voiced on the Wetpixel forum about the status of deposits that have already been paid for new housings and of housings that have been returned for repair. Harald is unequivocal that customers will not be affected by the restructuring and all pre-orders and repairs will be met as planned:
“Through this process, no one will lose anything! No housings which are pre-paid, or housings that are currently being serviced or repaired!”
Practically, servicing and repairs, along with viewfinder and port assembly will continue to be carried out at Steyr. Subal will be opening a new store in Vienna in March 2018, which will also serve as the company headquarters and a showroom for all their products. Production and assembly of housings will be carried out in Belgrade.
Wetpixel will endeavour to keep the community informed, but please post any new information onto the thread in the forums too.