Despite climate change and a delayed winter: The world’s largest ski manufacturer Atomic is still finding customers. Artificial snow and new markets in Asia are helping with the winter sports business. However, the hobby is becoming more and more expensive – as Atomic boss Wolfgang Mayrhofer explains.

There were disturbing images at the beginning of winter: green slopes in the Alps and in between a narrow band of artificially produced snow – on which skiers cavorted. Climate change is making winter increasingly unpredictable. What does that mean for a company like Atomic – which claims to be the world’s largest manufacturer of ski equipment?

“Winter always starts a little later – and there are relatively large fluctuations,” says Atomic boss Wolfgang Mayrhofer in the podcast “The hour zero”. However, the “technical snow” available everywhere in the Alps gives the company planning security. “The conditions for a good ski season are better than before,” says Mayrhofer, who is also a spokesman for the Austrian ski industry.

According to the Atomic boss, however, problems arise from the fact that the sport is becoming more and more expensive due to the additional effort and rising material costs. “We try to keep this sport affordable,” says Mayrhofer. “We want the breadth to remain.” This also means that his company does not pass on the higher costs in full to customers. “We take a lot on our cap, as do the sports retailers,” he says. “You have to say openly that we forego income in order to remain competitive.”

Atomic still mainly manufactures in Austria, but now belongs to the Chinese multi-brand group Anta Sports. The Asian market is still small compared to Europe or North America, but could gain in importance – also with the help of the group. “We work very well together with our owners,” says Mayrhofer.

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