The best suspension is now (technically) American.
You’ve probably read the name on the site a few times already: Öhlins specializes in motorcycle suspension and the brand has a reputation for producing premium products some of the biggest brands in the world have come to rely on. Öhlins will be receiving its American passport shortly: the company is joining the ranks of giant Tenneco.
You can beat the competition, or you can buy it and that’s exactly what Tenneco has done. Tenneco is an Illinois-based automotive and motorcycle aftermarket parts manufacturer with a global reach. The giant has now added a new, Swedish component to its portfolio. In fact, Tenneco has bought famed manufacturer Öhlins, buying the majority share from founder Kenth Öhlin.
The $160-million deal will allow Tenneco to grow its premium product offering and develop its mobility market. In fact, Öhlins has a well-established reputation not only for its world-renowned suspension systems, but also as a technology company. For the Swedish company, the Tenneco leadership will further its exposure and global growth.
Öhlins was founded in 1976 in Sweden. Kenth Öhlin was then building motorcycle and automotive components out of his father’s engineering workshop. It has since built a desirable reputation for its high-end, high-performance suspension, supplying the likes of Formula 1, MotoGP, and SBK with high-performing parts.
In 1984, Öhlins patented the Continuously controlled Electronic Suspension (CES) valve. For 20 years, from 1987 to 2007, the Yamaha Group owned 95 percent of the company which allowed it to grow and gain momentum, until Öhlins bought its shares back and became independent again.
Öhlins and Tenneco are no strangers; the two companies have been working together for 20 years now. The deal is meant as a mutually beneficial agreement that will push forward the development of new technologies in car and motorcycle components. If the American experience doesn’t work out, Öhlins will always have the possibility of buying itself back!
Kenth Öhlins Sells Öhlins Racing
Kenth Öhlin today announced an agreement to sell a majority share in Öhlins Racing AB to Tenneco Inc. Öhlins will become a subsidiary of Tenneco, joining one of the largest global multi-line, multi-brand OEM and aftermarket companies in the world.
Öhlins Racing has been an integral part of the motorsport, motorcycle and automotive industry since 1976, when Kenth Öhlin founded the company and created his first legendary motocross shock. Since then, Öhlins have been setting global industry standards by offering state-of-the-art suspension technology to racing teams, OEM partners and aftermarket. With distribution in 50 countries and manufacturing facilities in Europe and Asia, Öhlins has managed to combine global reach with world class industry knowledge.
With the acquisition of Öhlins, Tenneco will enhance their position as leading global designers, manufacturers and distributors of ride performance products and technologies. Öhlins will be a subsidiary of Tenneco and keep both its strong brand and team. Kenth Öhlin will continue to be part of Öhlins and provide continuity in strategic and technological development. He will retain a minority interest in the company and serve on the board of Öhlins.
Kenth Öhlin comments “Together, Öhlins and Tenneco will be a very strong constellation. After considering the strengths of both companies, I made the hardest decision of my life — to sell my life’s work. I am absolutely convinced that we are going to develop very positively in the future, and that Öhlins will benefit from the opportunities that will now arise due to Tenneco’s entrance.”
Öhlins’ strong position as a technology company with high-end suspension for motorcycle, automotive and mountain bike will complement and further strengthen Tenneco’s advanced ride performance portfolio.
Brian Kesseler, co-CEO of Tenneco, comments “Öhlins’ technology team will allow us to rapidly grow our premium product offerings for current and future customers, as well as help us win a larger share of business in developing mobility markets.”
Henrik Johansson, CEO of Öhlins, comments “Tenneco will help grow our business on a global scale. Tenneco and Öhlins have been working together for 20 years, delivering outstanding products for the intelligent suspension market. This is the beginning of something even bigger.”
The acquisition is expected to close in early 2019, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.