Merida Invests 18 Million Euro in European E-Bike Production
CHANGHUA, Taiwan – Shortly before publishing its 2019 half-year results Merida Industry Co. ltd also announced that it is investing heavily in a substantial expansion of the production of e-bikes in Europe. Bike Europe followed up on this news and contacted industry veteran and Merida & Centurion Germany GmbH (MCG) MD Wolfgang Renner.
According to Renner, this investment does not amount to 12 million euro, as communicated by Merida in Taiwan. He said that a total of 18 million euro will go into the big increase of the production of electric bicycles at the Merida & Centurion Germany facility in Hildburghausen, Thuringia. That sum will be financed by both Merida Industry and MCG in the next three years.
Tripled production numbers
With the multi-million investment the e-bike production at the Hildburghausen facility is to increase to an annual output of up to 90,000 units by 2022. “Currently we produce about 2,000 e-bikes per month in Hildburghausen. This year’s annual capacity will be around 18,000 units. By 2020, we want to increase this to 30,000 units,” confirms Renner pointing to the company’s response to growing demand exclusively for Merida and Centurion branded e-bikes fitted with Bosch mid-motors. Only these are assembled at the German production facility and these are primarily for the German-speaking markets but also for other neighboring European countries.
To reach the new production targets a third assembly line is now being set up in Hildburghausen. “Four to five people work on each assembly line,” explains Renner.
According to the MCG boss, Merida holds 51 percent of the shares of Merida & Centurion Germany GmbH, which is headquartered in Magstadt, Baden-Württemberg in Germany. Production including a warehouse is located in Hildburghausen. The remaining 49 percent of the MCG shares is owned by Wolfgang Renner.
According to Merida in Taiwan, in the first half of 2019 the company produced 14,800 e-bikes per month. This figure is to increase to monthly 20,000 units in the second half of the year. According to Renner, these figures refer to the entire e-bike production – both those of MCG under the brand names Merida and Centurion with Bosch drivetrains in Germany and those of Merida Industry Co. ltd under the brand names Merida, Centurion and its exclusive OEM customer Specialized with other drivetrains (Shimano, Brose) at the company’s HQ in Changhua/Taiwan.
Merida also announced in Taiwan it intends to increase its shareholding in the Japan based bike supplier Miyata Cycle from the current 45 percent to 70 percent “by the end of the year.”