Thursday, April 25, 2024


The Kawasaki Heavy Industries motorcycle and engine division is to be spun off into a separate entity by October 2021. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

According to the parent, this decision recognises that its mainstay powersports elements led by motorcycles and ORVs are unique, as Kawasaki’s only consumer-facing operation addressing a mass market. It therefore plays an overall flagship role building brand strength.

In a sweeping vision statement riddled with gobbledegook, KHI explained that spinning off the division would speed up decision-making, by driving even greater autonomy in management and leveraging business-to-consumer characteristics.

These will, it said: “Strengthen the brand by providing products and services in sync with customers, including new lifestyle offerings focusing on the post Covid-19 environment, strengthen collaboration within the industry and revitalise the market through focus on compliance with environmental regulations, as well as progress in electric drive and advanced safety technologies.”

Grand strategy aside, the statement also alluded to tactics aimed at improving the division’s financial position in the face of an ageing customer base. To this end, it is to construct a US plant manufacturing dirt bikes and ORVs.

Presumably Kawasaki planners have noted that the huge rural American off-road market’s broadly unregulated appetite for petrol-engined machines will last much longer than in snowflake jurisdictions inflicting zero-emission ideology.

Returning to KHI’s visionary stance, the forthcoming stand-alone status will be qualified by pursuit of intra-industry cooperation — such as through joint development of electrification as well as greater commonality of functional parts, in order to “catalyse growth in the powersports business”.

The motorcycle and engine division will also be obliged to instigate “innovative projects to capture new business opportunities”. These initiatives include extending corporate resources to mass-production activities in cooperation with KHI’s precision machinery and robot division.

That tie-up will involve collaborating in the agricultural machinery and turf care markets, in hydraulic systems and general-purpose engines, and promoting the development of near-future mobility by incorporating robotics and remote technologies.


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