Öhlins has announced that company founder Kenth Öhlin has retaken majority control of the prestiguous suspension specialist from Yamaha. Yamaha has had majority ownership in Öhlins for quite some time, but has permitted the company to cooperate with many manufacturers on motorcycle suspension applications. Recently, Öhlins has developed a two-wheel drive system for motorcycles that Yamaha has put into production on a dirt bike. This system may find its way into production on street bikes soon. Here is the Öhlins’ press release.
This morning the Company founder Kenth Öhlin has reclaimed a 95% share of the world
famous suspension manufacturer Öhlins Racing AB after a 25 year long, prosperous
cooperation with the Yamaha Group. The company has grown to an annual turnover of
Euro 52 million with 235 employees with distributors in more than 50 countries on all continents. Öhlins Racing AB is also represented with subsidiary offices in Germany and USA.
It all started back in 1975 when Kenth Öhlin, 26 years old, founded the company that became one of the most prestigious suspension brands in the world – Öhlins Racing AB.
With a core business focus on high performance racing and technological excellence the young Swede soon got a high reputation in the racing community and the company prospered.
During the years that followed Öhlins Racing AB entered new business areas such as ATV,
snowmobiles, automotive and the vast street racing motorcycle sector. The urge to find new, brilliant solutions to the challenges within the suspension industry, resulted in new patents that needed substantial investments.
In 1987 Yamaha Motor Europe N.V. became the majority owner of Öhlins Racing AB though the
suspension manufacturer continued to be an independent, dynamic company. The support from
Yamaha was necessary to realize all the ideas that Kenth had in mind.
One of the most well known products that were born thanks to the new cooperation was the CES
valve. The CES valve was patented in 1984 and now, more than 20 years later the automotive industry has fully understood the power of the Continuously Controlled Suspension System. Today Volvo, Ford, Audi and Mercedes use the system in their cars and in the end of 2008 the total number of delivered CES valves exceeds 1 000 000 units.
Kenth Öhlin has never left the day-to-day management despite the fact that he travels the globe to represent the brand as the president of the company. His motivation and endless energy has inspired the staff throughout the years and the focus has been clear.
After several months of negotiations Yamaha Group and Kenth Öhlin have found a strong ground for further cooperation. The bond between Yamaha and Öhlins Racing AB is as strong as ever but now with a change of the majority stake. Kenth Öhlin owns from today, the 21 December 2007, 95% of the shares in the company, bringing the company back home to Swedish soil once again.
Öhlins Racing AB is looking forward to the coming years with great expectations. New technological innovations are about to be realized the coming years and it is with great pride and satisfaction that the products from Öhlins Racing AB continues to be a Swedish quality product, made in Sweden owned by the founder of the company.
For further company information, please visit: www.ohlins.com”.