Going Downhill: Rossignol's image takes a spill

Rossignol's image takes a spill

Rossignol, France's premier ski manufacturer, has traditionally been the undisputed king of the slopes. From Jean-Claude Killy to Erika Hess, European stars have slalomed to championships on Rossignol skis. Last season the French company sold 1.9 million pairs, giving it 25% of the $800 million world ski market.

Suddenly, though, Rossignol's reputation has taken a spill. French skiers, ! two-thirds of whom use skis supplied by Rossignol or its Dynastar subsidiary, have had a dismal season. It culminated earlier this month with their total failure at the world championships in Crans-Montana, Switzerland. While Swiss skiers claimed eight gold medals and even...