Toulouse-based computer manufacturer Bleu Jour has brought its motherboards back to France

At a time when “Made in France” and economic sovereignty are popular in the public debate, this initiative could garner a positive response. Computer manufacturer Bleu Jour, based in Toulouse, has announced that, from 2022, it will be returning to France, as part of the production of its motherboards, a key component of its products.

“France accounts for only 15% of our activity, so it is not a marketing crap. We started working on this project long before the political discourse, more precisely, we have been studying the question seriously since 2018. Too often, we are seen as an aggregate and not as a company. manufacturer (computer). We want to develop our own motherboard,” explains Jean-Christophe Agobert, President and Founder of BleuJour.

Until now, with its partner Intel, production has been taking place only in Asia, where 35,000 to 40,000 motherboards are ordered each year. “We are the first Intel customer in France for this productFrom now on, 5,000 spare parts will be produced in Castres (Tarn), in a completely new Syselec plant. The latter has invested nearly five million euros there to double its production capacity and thus deal with foreigners competing in this market.

Syselec accelerates French-made electronics with new plant in Tarn

Syselec will receive all items very soon. We’ll start small to see how the market reacts to this novelty, before possibly bringing everything back home“, continues Jean-Christophe Agobert. With the current motherboard, Bleu Jour has not been able to meet certain requirements in the market, for example, on the number of USB ports or COM ports per computer, for example.”The new motherboard will be configurable, within certain limits of course‘ So informs the commander.

slow deliveries

This strategic option represents only a 5% extra cost, compared to current Asian production, according to figures provided by Bleu Jour. “It is absorbable”, according to Jean-Christophe Agobert. For the record, Toulouse—which designs original computers in the form (cube shape), with several colors available, rather muted, in a sophisticated perspective—wants to get as much hand-crafted as possible on all of its products.

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The chassis of its computers (chassis) was already produced in France, in particular in Toulouse and Rivel. However, The 10-employee company, which was completely relaunched in 2015 after being suspended, has chosen to outsource its production. Therefore, it remains exposed to market trends with its local and regional partners.

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“In terms of sheet metal, we are facing a 10% increase in production costs for the steel structure, particularly due to the increase in the prices of aluminum and stainless steel. We are also experiencing difficulties in ‘supplying certain components,’” J testifies.Jean-Christophe Agobert.

Jean-Christophe Agobert re-launched Bleu Jour in 2015, after a hibernation period.

As proof of this, Toulouse, which sells 35,000 computers worldwide, in a whole year achieved a turnover of only 11 million euros in 2021. A performance far from its expectations due to non-delivery of about five million euros. “The orders are there, they still are, but we deliver them in drops and times. We hope the situation will improve in June 2022“Explains the head of the company that was created in 2002.

BtoC . Market Development

To boost its business in 2022, Bleu Jour is betting on a new product presented at the beginning of the year at CES in Las Vegas, Ridg. “It is a 25 cm high workstation, available in several colors and is silent. It is a specific product, intended for those who do design, architecture, graphics or video editing for example.J . displaysJean-Christophe Agobert. The company hopes to sell a thousand pieces of this product intended more for professional use.

At the same time, the company, which has historically been positioned in the BtoB segment by working with distributors, wants to increase its presence in the BtoC with the Kubb scale in particular. To do this, Bleu Jour will build on the recent partnership forged with the Fnac-Darty brand.

Toulouse. With Fnac-Darty, Kubb computers are now aimed at the general public

“We were surprised by the sales made in BtoC via this channel. There, we will attack Phase Two, with incorporation in stores in June 2022. So far, we’ve only been online. With Fnac-Darty, in the long-term we expect to sell 5,000 pieces each year. We realize we have a real market for BtoC and there is a lot of work to be done at this point,” the president rejoices.

As of now, the company is planning about eight hirings in 2022, both on the business and marketing side, to develop these new clients.

A financing round by the end of 2022

These hirings should also allow us to prepare for a major change in Toulouse: the opening of a subsidiary in the United States in 2022.”We are very strong in the Japanese market, in the Emirates, or even in Europe. But we are absolutely not present in the US market, which must be a very important market.t”, assesses leader Bleu Jour. Recognizing his ambitions, he aims to sell 35,000 computers each year in the US market, which is the equivalent of selling it today in all of his markets.

After participating in CES in Las Vegas, Toulouse allows itself “Six to seven months of thinking“, to determine the shape of this subsidiary company, which should have a small number of employees on site and stock.”We also already have contacts with many potential distributor partnersJean-Christophe Agobert identifies.

Without further ado, Bleu Jour has just secured export aid support, in the form of a loan, from BPI France to make this adventure a reality. In addition, the PC manufacturer is working to finalize a fundraising of between 15 and 20 million euros by the end of 2022.”We are looking for investors and especially people with relationships in the US market to invest with us at this point.‘, concludes the commander. Case to follow.