Yamaha takes over Torqeedo

Cologne-based engine manufacturer Deutz has found a buyer for its subsidiary Torqeedo, which specializes in electric boat drives. The Japanese manufacturer Yamaha Motor is taking over Torqeedo for a high double-digit million euro sum.

Image: Torqeedo

There had been indications that Torqeedo could change hands. In October 2023, a Deutz spokesperson confirmed that the company was “in talks with several interested parties”. Deutz took over Torqeedo in 2017 – under the then CEO Frank Hiller. Deutz now has a different CEO and a new strategy. The Cologne-based company wants to focus on further developing its traditional business, primarily with combustion engines – Torqeedo’s electric motors no longer fit into the concept. However, there have also been reports of losses in the millions, quality problems and mismanagement.

Such topics are not mentioned in the Deutz press release. It praises the successful expansion of Deutz’s electric drive portfolio, for example. “The technology transfer, which was the initial goal we pursued when acquiring Torqeedo, has been achieved. In terms of market knowledge and scaling options, other partners are now better suited for Torqeedo on its way forward. We are pleased to have found such a strategic partner in Yamaha,” explains Deutz CEO Sebastian C. Schulte. “For Torqeedo, the resulting change is a great opportunity. For DEUTZ, it is an important step towards repositioning our green division. To do this, we must systematically align our development efforts with the market and our customers’ needs.” The last sentence in particular could be interpreted to mean that the market demand was too small for Deutz to justify further investment in this area.

According to reports from October, Suzuki was one of the interested parties. Yamaha, another Japanese company with a broad portfolio ranging from motorcycles and quads to boat drives, has now come on board. There is also an industrial division that manufactures generators, pumps and robots, among other things. Yamaha Motor was once founded as a subsidiary of the Yamaha Corporation, and the three tuning forks in the company logo date back to this time. The Yamaha Corporation now only holds a five per cent stake in Yamaha Motor.

“With Yamaha as its new owner, Torqeedo will gain access to a larger distribution network and a global service network. At the same time, Torqeedo will help Yamaha advance the transformation of marine drive technology and leverage supply chain synergies,” Deutz wrote in the press release.

The conclusion of the contract is still subject to the usual regulatory approvals. Closing is expected towards the end of the first quarter of 2024. Torqeedo generated revenue of around 35 million euros in the first nine months of the 2023 financial year with around 230 employees.

deutz.com, yamaha.com


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