Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. has announced it will spin off its Motorcycle and Engine business in October 2021, both as a response to the challenges presented by COVID-19 as well as to improve the agility and operations of the business.
KHI currently has numerous facets to its overall business, and some have weathered the pandemic better than others. Its Rolling Stock business, for example, has taken a notable hit as railway operators in Japan review investments in light of declining passengers. Coupled with the slowing development of new railway lines overseas, Rolling Stock will also be spun off and, coupled with KHI’s Aerospace Systems business, will become the Land and Air Transportation Systems group.
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Motorcycle and Engine are paired under the new structure as well. It, with KHI’s Precision Machinery and Robot business, will be operating as the new Motion Control and Motor Vehicles group.
A third group, Energy and Marine Engineering, will also be created.
These changes will not affect any of the customer-facing operations of Kawasaki motorcycles in the States.
Companies spin off divisions like this, generally speaking, to give each individual entity more operational freedom. Each group is likely to have its own management structure, so can better pinpoint objectives for the businesses within each group. KHI will remain the parent company of all three new groups, and this current spin-off announcement accords with KHI’s longer-term plans through 2030. For the Motion Control and Motor Vehicles group, these plans include a heightened focus on personal transportation, more off-road product development, autonomous vehicle development, and clean energy solutions, among others. Kawasaki has already started the development of motorcycles with AI technology, so the pairing with Precision Machinery and Robotics is likely to yield some interesting products.
And with the Motorcycle and Engine business one of the most customer-facing operations in the entire company, we also expect to see more focus on lifestyle product development as well.