On March 13, 2023, Swedish electric motorcycle company Cake announced a new partnership with the companies Italika and Citio. Their combined purpose: Accelerating electrification of the two-wheeled sector in Mexico.
For those unfamiliar, Italika both designs and manufactures a wide range of primarily small-displacement motorcycles for the Mexican market. It also sells its bikes in Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, and Peru. Meanwhile, Citio is Mexico’s first battery-swapping network, so it’s interesting to see its partnership. Although Cake’s existing bike batteries can be charged off the bike, and thus are inherently swappable with a fully-charged one that you may already have waiting, commercial swapping may be a new frontier for the brand.
In any case, under the terms of this deal, Italika will become Cake’s official distributor throughout Mexico, to start. In the not-too-distant future, Italika will also go on to both manufacture and sell Cake products throughout Mexico down the line. The initial distribution deal starts with 50,000 units, though specific models have not yet been listed publicly.
It’s also worth noting that, further down the line, Cake states that “the intention is to include Italika’s and Citio’s manufacturing and assembly capacity, serving the complete North American demand.”
In the past, Cake CEO Stefan Ytterborn has discussed ways to lower the company’s carbon footprint throughout all facets of production and distribution, and one thing that’s been mentioned is the need to significantly reduce the amount of transportation involved to get bikes to customers in different markets. This appears to be one step in that direction for the whole of North America. Mexico is a big country, but geographically, it’s still a lot closer to the U.S. and Canada than Sweden is.
"Italika and Citio having built and grown the Mexico motorcycle market towards one million units annually in 20 years is simply magic. Their level of efficiency and quality in production is stunning and that together with a society developing at speed, makes this one of the most vivid initiatives for Cake so far," Cake founder and CEO Stefan Ytterborn said in a statement.
"What Cake has accomplished in terms of product design is simply groundbreaking, we are eager to jump onboard and add value through our vast motorcycle assembly experience. This is an important step in the right direction, providing our customers with the most efficient mobility solutions,” added Italika CEO Alberto Tanus Schwarz.
“Democratizing a high-quality electric mobility solution has always been priority number one, this partnership embodies everything we aim to offer through our products and services, innovation, sustainability and efficiency. Cake’s genius product design supported with our business model will only translate in added value for many customers in Mexico and The United States,” concluded Citio founder and CEO Servando Canales.
At the time of writing in late March, 2023, this new partnership is already in effect. According to Cake, this is just one of a number of distribution announcements to come, with partnerships in the works across multiple markets. Specifically, the OEM mentions Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, and South America. In other words, if all goes according to plan, there should be Cake distribution on just about all continents except Antarctica in the coming months. Stay tuned.