Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. (YMC) announces its basic agreement with Giant Electric Vehicle (Kunshan) Co., Ltd. (GEV), a group company for developing and manufacturing electric bicycles and electrically power assisted bicycles for Giant Manufacturing Co., Ltd., one of the world's largest bicycle makers. The agreement is for OEM supply of Yamaha electrically power assisted bicycle drive units and for joint development of electrically power assisted bicycles. Start of full-fledged OEM supply of drive units to Europe is scheduled to begin in September of this year.
The intent of the agreement is to establish a long-term cooperative relationship between the two companies based on the corresponding marketing strategies of YMC, with its specialization in centrally mounted drive units and intent to expand its market in Europe, and Giant, with its desire to expand its business in the German market where this type of drive unit is predominant.
The contract for joint development between YMC and GEV was signed in October 2011, and primarily involves GEV developing frames, batteries, switch meters, covers, etc. for electrically power assisted bicycles while YMC is in charge of drive unit development.
Since last year's signing of the joint development contract, product development work has been proceeding and Giant plans to present a Giant brand electrically power assisted bicycle mounting a Yamaha drive unit at EUROBIKE, one of the world's largest scale bicycle trade fairs scheduled to open on August 29 in Germany.
In recent years, electrically power assisted bicycles have become collectively known as "e-bikes" in Europe and demand for these bicycles reached approximately 700,000 units in 2011 (YMC estimate), making Europe one of the largest markets in the world. Germany and the Netherlands are the two main markets for e-bikes, accounting for over half of total European demand.
As part of the company's growth strategy, YMC is currently pursuing the expansion of domestic sales of CBU electrically power assisted bicycles in Japan and supplying drive units on an OEM basis. Additional efforts include strengthening and expanding tie-ups with bicycle makers and engaging in OEM supply of drive units to Europe. YMC aims to achieve a scale of 100,000 units in total OEM supply to Europe in 2015.