“Tesla on two wheels”, that is, the Czech electric motorcycle manufacturer Kuberg, is changing owners. The controlling share of 89 percent is regained by the founder of the company, Michal Kubánek.
On the other hand, Josef Jeleček, who joined the company in 2015 as a strategic investor and helped with financing and expansion abroad, is leaving Kuberg’s property structures. Neither party is commenting on the financial terms of the transaction.
Michal Kubánek started making Kuberg electric motorcycles eleven years ago in a former piggery, and he assembled the very first one for his three-year-old daughter. At first, it focused mainly on children’s sports electric motorcycles, but soon added light off-road electric motorcycles for adults.
However, rapid development and international success necessitated a financial injection and the entry of an investor, and Kubánk’s share decreased to 44.5 percent. “In 2015, the company was going through a major business divide, and in order to increase our market share in the developed markets of the US and Europe, we had to find a strong investor. In the end, we succeeded, and out of several possible partners, we had the best understanding with Mr. Josef Jeleček, then co-owner of the Tedom company in Třebíč,” says Michal Kubánek.
Today, Kuberg is one of the five largest manufacturers in the world, and its machines are used by Hollywood stars and business aces. Rapper Kanye West, for example, has one of the motorcycles, for whom his then-wife Kim Kardashian bought it before Christmas.
An attractive company for an investor
“At a time when Michal Kubánek was looking for a suitable investor for further growth and expansion, we agreed on cooperation. I saw great potential in Kuberg, it had an attractive final product, foreign markets, which generally interests me. The company has made enormous progress in recent years, both in the technological area and in business,” says Jeleček.
“Now, however, I want to devote myself fully to other investment projects, which is why Michal Kubánek and I have agreed on my exit from the company. Kuberg is now fully in his hands and I believe he can continue to develop. It will not be easy, because the current situation on the global market is difficult to predict. Kuberg’s advantage, however, is its strong focus on foreign markets, which make up over 90 percent of its sales,” adds Jeleček.
There are no parts, there are no bikes
Times are really difficult for businesses right now. Interest in electric motors from Mankovice is still great nowadays, but the company is struggling with a lack of parts and disruption of supply-customer chains. Like other companies, Kuberg’s production is in a slump. He has orders for three thousand machines this year, and he can produce roughly half of them.
For some key parts, suppliers guarantee delivery times longer than one year, some parts are not available at all and, according to Kubánek, there is literally a fight for semiconductors on the entire global market.
In 2020, the company sold 868 electric motors for roughly fifty million with a turnover of over 60 million crowns, last year 80 million. Kuberg’s most important export market is the USA, but its motorcycles are also popular in New Zealand or Ecuador.