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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Plovdiv is planning to become the e-bike manufacturing capital of Europe

On 21 July, the Minister of Economy of the interim government in Bulgaria, Kiril Petkov, attended the signing ceremony between Maxcom Ltd. and PIERER Mobility AG. The two companies have started a joint venture intended to make Plovdiv the leading e-bike manufacturing capital of Europe.

A factory fueling the green transition

The new factory for e-bikes and other electric two-wheel vehicles will be located in Trakia Economic Zone, the biggest economic project in the country, attracting over 1.2 billion euros of fixed capital investment while clustering public and private partnerships.

The two companies are forming a 50/50 joint venture with plans for the construction of a new factory occupying 131 acres of land. The total investment sits at around 40 million euros with the facility scheduled to be completed by 2023. Its annual production capacity of 350,000 units will provide at least 1,000 jobs for Plovdiv and the region.

A chance to take the lead in Europe

The Bulgarian company Maxcom is the largest bike manufacturer in Eastern Europe, with 95% of its production being exported to the rest of Europe. The company already produces mainly R RAYMON bikes for Pierer E-Bikes GmbH, but increasingly also Husqvarna E-Bicycles.

At the same time, the Austrian PIERER Mobility Group is Europe’s leading “Powered Two-Wheeler” manufacturer (PTW). It specialises in premium motorcycles with brands like KTM, HUSQVARNA Motorcycles and GASGAS. Since the takeover of PEXCO’s e-bike business, the company is looking for ways to branch out into the attractive market of sustainable, low voltage (48 volts) two-wheel vehicles.

Minister Petkov was quoted in a press release, saying that this is a unique opportunity for the country, giving it the chance to become a leader in Europe. He added that if 15% of Bulgarian companies could reach similar agreements, the country’s GDP would double.

He continued: “The Bulgarian economy counts on exactly these types of highly competitive businesses”.

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