As a worldwide association, the Motorsport Industry Association‘s (MIA) community of members encompasses a wide range of international motorsport businesses and it now boasts nearly 400 global members, whose companies transact more than £9 billion of motorsport business worldwide.
The organisation’s Chief Executive Chris Aylett is famous for coining the term “Motorsport Valley” – a description of the innovative, globally successful business cluster based in the south of UK, with a turnover of around £6bn – and despite being a veteran in the motorsport industry, Mr Aylett is acutely aware of the need for it to move with the times.
Speaking to The Engineer magazine a few years ago, Mr Aylett said he believes the future of motorsport is firmly dependent on how it links itself to low-carbon technologies. However he openly admits he had some reservations when he first heard of electric motorbike racing till he attended the TTxGP and TTZero event on the Isle of Man and saw electric bikes in action… “but when I saw it, the hairs stood on the back of my neck….. all of a sudden, the lack of noise seemed completely irrelevant. I saw the future.”
At the end of 2015, Italian electric superbike manufacturer EnergicaMotors (who launched their first electric bike at a MIA event in 2009) announced plans to launch an IPO. Mr Aylett says of this announcement: “It was a privilege to sit around a table with Livia and Franco (Cevolini) at the very beginning of the project, and to hear and enjoy watching the progress internationally since then. It is always hard to predict the reaction to investment but there is no question that the growing movement towards electric-powered motorcycles is fast growing and international. A quick look at the other products in this field in the USA will show not only the rapid growth in turnover, but also the substantial investments that have been made by well-informed technology investors. There will be resistance to the explosion in the market place from traditional “motorcycle engine manufacturers” who have to perfect their part of the market – most of these are Japanese and European, but there is no question that the consumer is finding real benefits from enjoying all the thrills of two-wheeled powered super bikes and on this basis alone, an investment in this field, and the Energica company, would seem to me to be full of excellent potential”.
He adds: “The company is supported by an outstanding history at CRP and with the Cevolini family, who are serious technically based engineering leaders, who have produced the very highest quality of engineering solutions for many years – the Energica project could not be in safer hands.”
On whether the market is ready for electric vehicles, he says: “In the very few years since the first electric sports bike appeared at the Isle of Man TT, the market is growing very quickly from a zero base. As in all new technologies, it is a matter of momentum and this is certainly growing in the United States, which is a very influential consumer market and once established there, the ease of other companies around the world, moving into the electric super bike market, will mean that the leaders will have created a powerful position as consumers look for leading brands. I would certainly say that in the next three years, we will see a significant increase in the number of electric bikes being bought by consumers and they will always seek out the very best engineered product which of course, linked with CRP, Formula 1 and all the other world championships for which they produce engineering solutions, their reputation will be noticed.”
Mr Aylett also acknowledges the key role CRP plays in the Energica story: “They bring long term, high technology engineering reputation and capability and were very fast to the market with beautiful designs and styles. The cocktail of outstanding traditional high performance engineering values of CRP, coupled with the beauty of Italian design marks out Energica from all their competitors.”
Energica Motor Company S.p.A. announced that the Offering period, initially expected from November 10th 2015 to December 7th 2015 and extended until December 21st 2015, is now extended until January 21st 2016.The start date of trading of the new shares will be notified by a press release. Click here for a copy of the Investor Presentation.