American Manufacturer Prospers – Building the Catrike Made in USA

For 20 years, Catrike has been building American-made performance trikes. While some of its growth can be contributed to its dedicated customer base, Catrike has focused on designing innovative products and honing its manufacturing process in the United States.

Paulo Camasmie, a Brazilian mechanical engineer, founded Catrike in 2000. It started as a one-man operation and he soon realized that his creation would be ideally suited to properties of aluminum a material that has become a trademark of Catrikes. In the 20 years since its founding, Catrike has continued to build and refine its line and now manufactures nine models. Every Catrike starts as raw aluminum tubing before it is cut, bent, welded, painted and assembled in its Orlando, Florida factory. Catrike builds just over 3,000 trikes a year and employs a production team of 12 with three new additions due to Covid-related demands.

When the pandemic first became apparent, the company stopped production for two weeks in order to take the necessary precautions to keep their employees and customers safe. The adjustments they made in March and April made it possible for them to not layoff or furlough any employees and actually add to their team.

Catrike’s dedication to production workflow and efficiency is a model that should be held up as an example for other companies looking to manufacture in the United States.

“It is really working on constant improvement of your systems, processes and workforce,” said Egeland of Catrike’s focus on efficiency. “You need to work hard on innovation; balancing work flows, optimizing your production line, incorporating new technologies and training staff. These challenges can turn into opportunities if done correctly and will make labor cost and supply chain less significant.”

To aid in the Lean Manufacturing all but one of the trikes feature the same components and across the line there are only two wheel sizes. At first, this might seem odd as the components are often used to differentiate models within a company’s line. Catrike instead focuses on the trike’s intended purpose, whether it’s for performance or comfort, to differentiate the models. This makes for a cleaner definition of models and allows Catrike to streamline its ordering and easily manage its inventory. All the trikes come equipped with a mix of SRAM and FSA components. All of these systems allow Catrike to not only remain competitive manufacturing in the United States, but also actually turns it into an advantage.

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