American Honda surprised almost everybody when it announced it would offer a trials bike
Spanish Trials Manufacturers Gas Gas and Ossa Merge
Spanish motorcycle manufacturers Gas Gas and Ossa have decided to join forces, with the hope that merging the two companies will help them survive the country’s current financial crisis. The two brand will continue to operate as separate brands, but will work side-by-side sharing resources. Most importantly, the two companies will retain existing jobs, good news considering the country’s 26.03% unemployment rate.
The two companies are best known for their trials motorcycles and a common Spanish heritage, so the merger makes sense for several reasons. Gas Gas, which also produces off-road motorcycles, is the larger of the two brands, producing about 9,000 motorcycles a year and exporting products to 53 different markets worldwide. The modern Ossa company is a relatively new start-up, forming in 2009 to revive the historic Ossa brand which operated from 1924 to 1982. Ossa currently produces about 800 trials bikes a year, exporting them mainly within Europe.
With the merger, Ossa and Gas Gas will share financial and technological resources. Both name brand will continue to operate, with both Gas Gas and Ossa motorcycles rolling out of the same production facility in Salt, a municipality in Spain’s autonomous Catalonia region.
“In a globalized world with multinational companies, we decided to combine our companies from Catalonia to meet the demands of a highly competitive market,” says Ramon Puente, chief executive officer of Gas Gas. “We have the people, knowledge and infrastructure in order to have a posisiton in the motorcycling world. I think we cannot abandon this historical legacy and we have to take responsibility to reposition this industry in its rightful place.”
Gas Gas says it hopes the union will help with the ongoing effort to revive the Ossa brand, with plans to expand with a new street bike within the next three years. Ossa CEO Joan Gurt says the company recognized if it wanted to reach its goals, it could not do it alone.
“We have put our egos aside to create a project from Catalonia that allows us to compete at all levels, both in production and marketing,” says Gurt. “We need to further enhance the root talent and that’s why it was better to be together than apart. With this union, we keep advancing and protecting this home industry.”
[Source: Gas Gas]