|Founded||September 24, 1945|
|Headquarters||Begunje na Gorenjskem, Slovenia|
|Rudi Finžgar (founder)|
Jeffrey Tirman (Chairman and CEO)
|Revenue||€86 million (2010)|
Number of employees
Elan is a Slovenian company, located in Begunje na Gorenjskem, specializing in the production of sporting goods. It is best known for its skis and snowboards. Other products include sailboats from 30 to 50 ft length, motor yachts, apparel (mostly sportswear), and equipment for sports facilities. The brand became better known in the 1970s, when Swedish skiing ace Ingemar Stenmark won three consecutive Alpine skiing World Cups on Elan skis. The company also manufactured license-built DG gliders from 1978 to 1991.
The company originated from a Slovene Partisan workshop that operated during the Second World War, when skis were produced for the Yugoslavian Partisan forces. Begunje fielded the only specialized Partisan ski-unit of Yugoslavia during the war. In 1949, the company started with production of small boats, like canoes and kayaks which was later expanded into the production of FRP boats and yachts. The company has also started the production of wide range of gym equipment and sports clothing. In 1978, the production of license-built DG gliders was started. In 1991 Elan company was split into several subdivisions which continue the production.
Elan SCX changed the world ski industry by inventing sidecut skis, which made carve turns possible at low speeds and with a short turn radius. They were first developed in 1988 by Jurij Franko (not to be confused with the skier Jure Franko), who calculated a suitable flex pattern for new kind of skis with his colleague Pavel Škofic. They organized a project dubbed SideCut Extreme (SCX) and set out to build prototypes. Introduced in 1993, the concept was initially ridiculed by other companies, but in secret they quickly started working on similar designs and such shaping was common by the 1995/96 model year.
The Elan Group consists of 20 interlinked companies under the joint ownership of the Skimar company. Most of the group’s companies use the Elan brand-name and logo as part of their projects, products and services. The company's headquarters are located in Begunje na Gorenjskem, while its various manufacturing companies are scattered throughout Central Europe: Elan skis and sailing yachts are made in Slovenia, Elan snowboards are manufactured in Austria, and its motor yachts are produced in Croatia. The group markets its products through independent distributors in 46 countries over the world, with marketing taken over by Elan’s own companies in North America, Japan, Germany, and Switzerland. On 13 March 2013 Elan’s Austrian subsidiary company named „Elan Sportartikelerzeugungs- und Handelsgesellschaft m.b.H.“ located in Carinthia announced bankruptcy. Elan Austria had liabilities of 8.7 million euro and assets of 6.5 million euro. 78 employees and 120 creditors were affected by this bankruptcy.
The Slovenian state organisation SDH, which is in charge of privatisation activities in Slovenia on behalf of the government, gave its approval for the sale of the "state-owned ski maker Elan to Merrill Lynch International and Wiltan Enterprises Limited" The sale for 100% of the company including the snow sports and yachting divisions with the agreed purchase price not known.
In popular culture
- Seth Massia, "The Evolution of Modern Ski Shape", Skiing Heritage Journal, September 2005, pp. 33–37
- "Once more, with Elan" – The Economist, December 9th 1999
- "Großinsolvenz ELAN Sportartikelerzeugungs- und Handelsgesellschaft m.b.H., Fürnitz mit Schulden von rd. EUR 8,7 Mio". KSV1870. 2013-03-13. Archived from the original on 2013-03-17. Retrieved 2013-04-01.
- "Kärntner Snowboard-Fabrik Elan in Konkurs". Die Presse. 2013-03-13. Retrieved 2013-04-01.
- "Slovenian SDH approves the sale of ski maker Elan". Reuters. 2015-07-29. Retrieved 2016-05-05.