Trust Performance seems to be the latest victim of the economic and supply chain challenges caused by the coronavirus. As the world grapples with both the physical, mental, and economic toll of COVID-19, many businesses have already been severely impacted.
For some, like Trust Performance, it may simply be too much to bear; the company just announced that they are suspending operations effective immediately.
Why is Trust Performance shutting down?
From the sounds of it, the problem boils down to the company’s funding. Trying to reinvent the suspension fork is not an easy or inexpensive task, and just as Trust was gaining momentum, the economy has taken an abrupt turn thanks to the coronavirus and the financial fallout has left Trust without the ability to access enough capital to keep things running.
Trust states that they are pausing operations, they do not state that this is for good. If things improve globally and the funding is there, we could see Trust back up and running.
Are forks for sale? What about warranty service?
For now the only Trust forks available will be the ones that are already out there or sitting on a shelf waiting to be sold. Those that already own a Trust fork will still be able to get them serviced at Suspension Syndicate in Salt Lake City, Utah. That includes both the original Message 130mm travel fork and the recent Shout 178mm enduro fork.
Hopefully this isn’t a sign of things to come for other brands in the bicycle industry!
In Trust’s own words, here’s what happened
FROM TRUST’S FACEBOOK POST: We started Trust Performance in 2015 with a vision of building products that bring spirited outdoor athletes more fun and camaraderie. Our core focus from the outset was on reimagining and re-defining suspension technology; at first in mountain bikes with other industries thereafter. As you might imagine, our plans hinged on raising multiple rounds of capital to fuel our ambitions for incredible design, engineering, manufacturing and customer/dealer support.
2019 was a breakthrough year for Trust. We surpassed 1,000 units sold, we saw steep growth in dealer and distributor sales, and we saw four of our best-ever sales months at the end of the year. We had great momentum based on key demand metrics, brand awareness, and community enthusiasm.
But 2020 brought a number of unexpected factors, starting with the shut-down of key parts of our Asian supply chain following Chinese New Year due to coronavirus. In February, demand slowed considerably as macro fears about the economy started to rise. Then, finally, severe negativity in the investment markets shut down our ability to gain access to capital. This was at a point where we needed increased liquidity to carry us through a critical moment in our business. It all added up to a perfect storm that slammed right into us.
As a result of the overwhelming effects of the coronavirus and evaporated capital markets, it’s with incredible disappointment and a heavy heart that, effective immediately, Trust Performance is taking a pause and suspending operations until we address our capital needs. We are utterly and completely gutted. We have given every waking hour over the past few months to find a path forward, but to no avail. Trust Performance, like the rest of the world, will be a different company when life is back to normal.
For those who own a Trust fork and need service going forward, please contact Suspension Syndicate in Salt Lake City, Utah. They are trained and certified as a Trust Performance authorized service center.
We’re grateful for the community of people who encouraged and supported our unique design and innovative technology. In stepping away, we wish everyone health and safety. These trying times are a great reminder to make the most of the moment with those you enjoy most.