Joint ventures between prominent Japanese and European motorcycles and up and coming Chinese brands are nothing new. We’ve seen partnerships like this sealed on multiple occasions in recent years, with the likes of KTM and CFMoto teaming up several years ago, and with great success. Other brands such as MV Agusta and Harley-Davidson have teamed up with QJ Motor for the development of specific models for key markets.

In September 2023, Yamaha was one of the latest to form a new partnership with Chinese brand CFMoto. Back then when it was announced, very little information about the companies’ plans about the partnership were revealed. Naturally, given Yamaha’s solid reputation in terms of quality and innovation, as well as CFMoto’s aggressive approach to tackling the global market, it’s easy to understand why the announcement of the partnership gave birth to a lot of speculation. In Europe, in particular, enthusiasts wondered if CFMoto would develop and later on produce certain models for Yamaha in the European market.

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Yamaha Motor Europe was quick to respond to all the speculations, with company president Eric de Seynes clarifying that the collaborative efforts between CFMoto and Yamaha will be exclusive to the Chinese domestic market. “This deal with CFMoto is really a joint venture to support the Chinese market – which is huge – with specific Yamaha [models],” de Seynes told Motorcycle News. Indeed, the Chinese motorcycle market is among the biggest in Asia, and has been building quite a lot of steam, particularly in the premium segment.

There’s been a lot of attention in the Asian market in recent months, particularly in China, where lots of new manufacturers are emerging with technology-driven, value-for-money models. Yamaha’s move to partner up with CFMoto to tackle this key market is clearly strategic, and will more than likely pave the way for the brand to establish an even stronger foothold in the Chinese market.

The joint venture gave birth to a new company called Zhuzhou CF Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd, or ZCYM. According to Yamaha’s announcement back in September, the CFMoto is the majority stakeholder with 50 percent ownership of the new company, while Yamaha is the minority stakeholder at 44.23 percent. Tair Yea Limited, a holdings company from Hong Kong, holds the remaining 5.77 percent.

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