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Bontaz creates its own start-up dedicated to the e-bike market

Innovation
04/11/2021

#INDUSTRIE #MOBILITY #BIKE #ELECTRIC

As part of its industrial diversification strategy and its commitment to the challenges of electromobility, the Bontaz group has decided to enter the electrically assisted bicycle market with the creation, by the end of 2021, of a start-up dedicated to this activity.

As the world leader in hydraulic functions in the automotive industry, the Bontaz group is preparing for the future by moving into complementary activities in which it will be able to apply the knowledge and know-how of its R&D teams. With its expertise as a designer and manufacturer of electromechanical sub-assemblies, Bontaz is now positioning itself on the electrically assisted bicycle market. This project clearly illustrates the group's desire to relocate industrial activity in France and to position itself on the market for sustainable and soft mobility.

As Christophe Bontaz, President of the Bontaz Group, points out:

"Today, it is imperative for a group like ours to diversify in order to prepare for the future. The challenges linked to electric mobility are leading us to develop our activities, particularly in the electrically assisted bicycle market. This market is growing rapidly, and there are some fine brands on our territory that suffer in particular from a shortage of systems and spare parts. It is therefore a magnificent strategic opportunity for us, whose DNA is technological innovation. It was therefore natural for us to take an interest in it and to involve our various local partners in order to make it a real industrial project for the region."

 
 

BY THE END OF 2021, A START-UP 100% DEDICATED TO THE WORLD OF ELECTRICALLY ASSISTED BICYCLES

This new industrial and technological project will be led by a start-up based in the Arve Valley, in the heart of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. This start-up will aim to develop an engine system (engine, gearbox, software) and braking solutions.

For Daniel Anghelone, Managing Director of the Bontaz Group: 

"Our ambition is strong. Within 5 years, we want to be one of the top 5 European players in these new generation systems for electric bicycles, based on our culture of excellence and innovation. We also want to offer a range of premium services to the user throughout the product's life cycle (applications, technical assistance, customer service, etc.)."

A FIRST PRODUCTION LINE IN 2024

In order to meet these major challenges, the Bontaz group has scheduled a significant investment plan of €40 million over 5 years, with the creation of a Tech Center of 50 people dedicated to Innovation and R&D by 2022, focusing on connected technologies with high added value: mechatronics, software, IoT, batteries, etc. The objective is to set up a first production line by 2024.

The first actions that will be undertaken at the end of the year will enable an audit of the market to be carried out and the product positioning to be defined, the structure to be created, the teams to be set up and the programme schedule to be established. Of course, the R&D teams and the new innovation department will be in permanent contact with this new group entity.

Located outside the group's sites, it will be at the heart of the industrial and innovation ecosystem of the region in order to maintain the agility inherent in this new market. Indeed, the challenges linked to electronics and software are different from those of the automotive sector. They require adapted processes and a more flexible and agile organisation.

BEYOND INDUSTRIAL ISSUES, A TERRITORIAL ISSUE

The Bontaz Group has been involved in the economic and social development of the Arve Valley since its creation and wants to use this project as a lever for the development and attractiveness of the entire region. The start-up will also make it possible to unite around a common industrial ambition the whole of the group's partnership ecosystem, including universities, the Mont-Blanc Industries and CARA competitiveness clusters and the French Fab collective.

It is also a project that fits in perfectly with the CSR strategy of the group, which is a member of the Global Compact and received a Gold medal by EcoVadis. Indeed, the circular economy is a major focus for Bontaz and this project aims to achieve carbon neutrality for all its products.

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