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Huffy files for bankruptcy protection

Huffy Corp. said Wednesday it filed for bankruptcy protection in the wake of widening losses.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Bicycle maker Huffy Corp. said Wednesday it filed for bankruptcy protection in the wake of widening losses.

Huffy cited liquidity issues and losses associated with some Canadian operations among the reasons it needs protection from creditors as it seeks to reorganize.

Huffy recently sold its basketball-backboard unit, its customer service division and part of its Canada-based Gen-X business, which makes equipment for golf, snowboarding, inline skating, skiing and hockey. Huffy also sold the Gen-X name.

The company has said its bicycle division has been performing solidly and has increased its share of the U.S. bike market in the past two years. It currently holds about 30 percent of the market.

"We are focused on restructuring our operations around our bicycle and golf product lines, and I am confident that Huffy will emerge as a stronger and more competitive organization, well-positioned to succeed," said John Muskovich, president and chief operating officer.

Huffy, based the Dayton suburb of Miamisburg, lost $7.5 million in 2003 after losing $1.4 million in 2002.

The company's stock plummeted from $6.80 a share in December 2003 to 58 cents in August, when the New York Stock Exchange suspended trading because the company's market value had fallen too low.

Huffy said the filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Ohio will affect all of its U.S. and Canadian subsidiaries, but that day-to-day operations will continue.

Huffy employs about 140 workers.

Huffy imports its bicycles, wagons and three-wheeled vehicles for children from southeast Asia, including China and Taiwan, and sells them through high-volume retailers that account for about 85 percent of all wheeled products sold in the United States.

Huffy's roots began in 1892 when George Huffman, owner of the Davis Sewing Machine Co., oversaw production of the company's first bicycle. Horace Huffman sold the company in 1925 and formed the Huffman Manufacturing Co., which eventually became Huffy Corp.