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> I am copying below a letter from Klaus Huenecke of Wilbers USA:
> ----------------------------------------------------
> Wilbers USA
> April 16, 2007
> Ref.: Wilbers line of products, manufactured in Germany
> Dear Customer:
> I am sorry to say that as of 4-16-07 we will not be offering the Wilbers
> products out of Germany. Orders for Wilbers shocks or springs out of
> Germany, that have been placed with us after March 1 - 07 up to April 13
> - 07, can not be delivered, because the manufacturer decided not to ship
> our orders, despite acknowledging them in writing.
> What has happened???
> I decided some time ago to expand my business by adding a line of high
> quality, but more economically priced twin-shocks for the vintage
> market, the YSS product. Please understand that I started marketing the
> Wilbers products back in 2001 without an exclusive contract from the
> manufacturer, and still do not have one today.
> Mr. Wilbers came to know about my interest in the YSS products a few
> weeks ago, and as a reprimand, told me that I am not part of their
> "preferred" vendor group any longer. As such, the delivery commitment of
> 14 working days would not apply to Wilbers USA any longer. I would have
> to wait for the product to be delivered when they are ready to ship it.
> I swallowed, waited, and told my customers that there is a delivery
> crunch due to high order volume in Germany, hoping that Germany would
> ship the pending orders a bit later. Asking for the delivery time again
> after about 10 days, I was told that as long as I would invest money
> with a competitor, I would not be supplied outstanding orders. I asked
> him to discuss the issue so we could arrive at a solution that would be
> satisfactory to both of us. He declined, demanding that I would state
> and commit in writing to be an exclusive Wilbers supplier, not carrying
> any competitive product, without offering me an exclusive contract. I
> declined respectfully and again expressed my interest in continuing with
> Wilbers, but the need to discuss the issue. I suggested to continue the
> supply of product to the US market and not to "penalize" the customer
> base because of our differences. I offered to turn the business over to
> a successor if we would not arrive at an agreeable solution, but to
> continue serving the market until that point of time. Mr. Wilbers
> strongly declined, telling me that I would not understand the
> seriousness of the situation and told me that my orders - all of which
> had been confirmed - would not be shipped to us.
> I am sorry that it came to this, but my business ethics do not allow me
> to continue dealing with a person or business under those threats.
> Disagreements happen every day, and can be resolved by discussing them,
> but they should not be carried out on the back of the people we both
> need most - our customers.
> I have contacted another supplier of High Quality shocks in the
> Netherlands - HYPERPRO, explained the situation and asked if they would
> work with me. I am glad to say that they agreed, and as of today April
> 17, I am proud to offer the HYPERPRO line of shock absorbers. All
> current orders will be contacted over the next few days, informed of the
> situation, and asked whether they want to accept the Hyperpro product,
> or cancel the order and receive a refund of their down-payment.
> We continue doing business under the registered name of Wilbers USA. We
> continue serving the Wilbers products we sold in the past with warranty
> claims, regular service, modifications etc. We will honor the 5 year
> warranty extended to you at time of purchase to the fullest.
> I know it will be difficult in the next few months promoting a new
> product, and basically starting from scratch, but I am committed to do
> so. Please contact us with your suspension questions and needs, and say
> hello when you see us at the next rally, show or meeting. It is a long
> explanation, but I felt you needed to get the full story to understand
> the situation. Thank you for your time in reading this letter. I am
> looking forward doing business with you in the future.
> Sincerely
> Klaus Huene

Premium Member
8,025 Posts
Ho boy...I almost placed my Wilbers order 10 days ago. Sorry that Klaus has to deal with this. He's exactly right about wanting an exclusive contract in exchange for his non-compete agreement. That's the honorable way to conduct that kind of business arrangement. I was involved in a similar situation 20 years ago and wish I didn't know as much about it as I do.

So screw Wilbers, I'll buy the Hyperpro from Klaus instead.

316 Posts
I sent a e-mail to Dirk at Wilbers - this is the reply he sent...

Dear customer,

with this email we explicitly object to the statement of Mr. Klaus Huenecke in which he
claims that we won't supply him anymore!

In February 2006 we visited Mr. Huenecke in his commercial unit with the desire to do the
"next-step" in terms of business relationships with the USA. This next-step asked for a
bigger investment which we wanted to share with him, but Mr. Huenecke was not ready to
invest his share for a conjoint future!

Unfortunately we came to know that Mr. Huenecke, instead of funding our products "Made in
Germany" decided to spend his money on suspension products made in Thailand, thus investing
in the products of our own rival without any consistent reason. So, instead of thinking
about a future with Wilbers Products GmbH and exclusively offering our suspension-elements
to the American customers, he decided to become our competitor.

We asked Mr. Huenecke to explain to us why he has chosen to walk this road and as long as we
do not have a satisfying answer and as long as this matter is not settled to our
satisfaction, we cannot continue supplying Mr. Huenecke with our commodities. Should Mr.
Huenecke make the decision to accept Wilbers Products GmbH as his exclusive suspension
partner, the shipments and business relation with him will be revived immediately!

We started exploring the American market some years ago and our determination to offer our
suspension-elements to the American customers has not at all changed!

Still we are searching for reliable business partners in your huge country and with some we
have already entered into negotiations.

You, as our customer, can rest assured that the service and maintenance work will soon be
resumed in the usual way.

In the meantime, should you be interested in suspension-elements "Made in Germany" from our
company, of course we are ready to gladly supply you with our high-quality
suspension-products and until the matter is arranged to our satisfaction we even will
deliver any of your orders from Germany postage-free!

Should you have any further questions, we are looking forward for your inquiries,

Best regards,
Benny Wilbers
Wilbers Products GmbH

Germans can be a stubborn bunch (my last name is Schmidt, so I know :D ) so I don't know how this will work out - time will tell.

Take care,
Bob S.
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