Currency Problem? What Currency Problem?



"We enjoyed very good international growth this year," says Kevin Kraft, partner in All Balls Racing. "The weak dollar presents a good opportunity for any U.S. company to export their products — that is, if their costs are under control. If raw materials are coming from overseas, the rising cost due to the weaker dollar may impact even a U.S. producer.

"The issue we've had with international business," Kraft continues, "is understanding the business potential in each market and identifying the correct distributor to work through. With the prospects for the U.S. market to be flat in 2008, any U.S. manufacturer should be looking to the international marketplace for growth."


"Currency fluctuations have worked in our favor," says Michael Prelec, president. "Our European business is growing leaps and bounds. It's all a bunch of smoke and mirrors to me, but my simplified version goes like this: If Europeans buy at a favorable exchange rate [i.e., cheap dollars], and they sell to their customers in Europe at the same figure in euros, they're making a killing."

Battery Tender/Deltran manufactures in China. "Since our product is based on the dollar and the Chinese currency is strapped to ours, it has no effect on us," Prelec says. "If the Chinese decide to base their currency on the euro, we will eventually get screwed, or just tuck tail and stay home."


"Our sales are generally up in Europe due to the downward spiral of the dollar against both the euro and the British pound," says Elayna Caldwell, manager of corporate marketing at Fox Racing Shox. "As far as I know we don't have any suppliers in the Euro zone, which also helps with our pricing."


"Global sales are strong for us, and we've increased sales steadily throughout the year," says Karl Christensen, vice president of Warn's Powersports Division. "The current exchange rates are favorable to us as an exporter, and growing overseas markets have helped fuel this growth. We anticipate it to continue into 2008."


"We are working hard in continuing our sales increases into Europe along with other foreign countries where the dollar has weakened," says Ralph Johnston, director of marketing at Wiseco. "We've been able to make gains as our products produced in the U.S. have become more attractive for consumers in these markets.

"Another positive is that it has been more difficult for our competition from Europe to make inroads into the North American market, again based on the weak U.S. dollar."


"Our product demand has steadily increased," says Melissa Mefford, brand development coordinator for Balboa Manufacturing, producer of Bobster eyewear and Zanheadgear.

"However, while there is an increasing drive for products made in the U.S., we have noticed our foreign suppliers becoming slightly more stringent with pricing than they have been in the past."