Since 1944

With the ski factory in Mukachevo in Ukraine, Fischer has an immensely important second production site in Eastern Europe for the company, where alpine and cross-country skis and hockey sticks are manufactured. The connection between Fischer and the ski factory in Transcarpathia goes back to 1985. However, its history begins as early as 1944.

The factory originally consists of a sawmill and a furniture production facility. Later the switch is made to manufacturing skis, and 80 employees are involved in this in 1950. In 1956 the factory is given the official name "Mukachevo Ski Factory". In 1966 the government of the then Soviet Union decides to turn the factory in Mukachevo into a model plant; it is placed under the control of Goskomsport, and the production of ice-hockey sticks starts. In 1974 a hockey-stick shop is built, and in 1980 a veneer shop. Work on an new production building begins in 1984.

In 1985 contact is made for the first time between Fischer and the Soviet agency Glavsporprom, responsible for all plants producing sports articles. Glavsporprom is looking for a western partner to set up a modern ski factory, mainly to ensure the production of cross-country skis for the Soviet Union. The site selected is Mukachevo, where a ski factory, by now obsolete, already exists. Fischer has an excellent chance of landing the order; with their involvement in racing, they have good contacts to top Soviet cross-country skiers.

The cooperation agreement takes effect in 1986, when a contract is signed to manufacture cross-country and Alpine skis under licence. The annual production targets are 250,000 pairs of cross-country skis and 10,000 pairs of Alpine skis.

A new factory building goes up on the edge of Mukachevo within two years. Fischer provides and installs the production equipment, and provides the technologies involved and the entire know-how. On 17 November 1988 the new ski factory in Mukachevo is officially opened by Josef Fischer and the Soviet Minister of Sport.

Demand for Alpine skis grows fast, so as many as 100,000 pairs are produced in 1990. Fischer prevails against tough competition as regards manufacturing Alpine skis, too; that is the end of earlier plans to build a factory in Gorki, in Russia. In 1992 a long-term cooperation agreement is signed between Fischer and the Mukachevo Ski Factory. The agreement assigns to Fischer exclusive distribution rights worldwide for the output from Mukachevo. In 1994 the factory is privatised and transformed into a joint stock company, TISA. Fischer invests in the factory, and sets up the joint venture "OOO Fischer Mukachevo" together with TISA in 1995. The new firm upgrades production with the aim of manufacturing skis that satisfy western quality requirements; this target is achieved within three years.

In 2002 and 2003 the Alpine ski shop is enlarged by 6,000 square metres, the hockey-stick shop by 1,000 square metres. At the same time Fischer Mukachevo acquires the bulk of the shares held by TISA AG. After two seasons with little snow, 2006/07 and 2007/08, and the resulting shortfall in turnover Fischer restructures the company. The production facility in Mukachevo is upgraded further. By now the workforce in Mukachevo consists of well-trained, skilled workers, who turn out high-grade products. Wage levels are lower than in western Europe, though. With the strategic decision to relocate more production to Mukachevo Fischer reinforces its position within the ski industry and thus secures the future of the entire group.

Further stories 1979 - 1999