KYMCO is making a major update to the way the company markets its Ionex electric scooter line, hoping to cut into Gogoro’s massive share of the e-scooter market.
Taipei-based KYMCO is a giant in the gas-powered scooter industry and has been building exhaust-spewing two-wheelers for well over 50 years.
But the company’s entrance into the electric scooter market hasn’t been nearly as successful.
Introduced as the Ionex line under the KYMCO umbrella, the electric scooters offered neat little swappable batteries but never really pulled in strong sales numbers.
Both companies are based in Taiwan, where scooters are the norm for personal transportation instead of cars. Taiwan has one of the highest scooter densities in the world.
While the majority are still gas-powered, electric scooters have been quickly eating into that market. And no company has been more successful at displacing gas-powered scooters with electric scooters than Gogoro. Morphing from a plucky startup to an industry leader in just a few short years, Gogoro now operates the world’s largest battery swapping network.
According to the Taipei Times, Gogoro holds 77 percent of the domestic electric scooter market, compared to KYMCO’s 4%. Gogoro has sold 345,190 electric scooters while KYMCO has sold 19,215 electric scooters.
Manufacturing giant KYMCO may dwarf Gogoro in total scooter sales, but Gogoro has dominated the electric scooter market.
Now KYMCO wants to cut in on that action and is officially spinning off Ionex as its own brand, removing the KYMCO branding from the scooters and their marketing. While still owned by KYMCO, the company is separating the entities to allow Ionex to grow into a full electric scooter brand with the hope that it can better take on Gogoro.
As KYMCO Chairman Allen Ko explained, “To catch the consumer’s eye, we have to adopt a new brand and forgo KYMCO. You will not see KYMCO in our electric scooter commercials anymore.”
Now KYMCO plans to open 11 Ionex-specific stores for its electric scooters within the next month. A total of 50 stores are planned by the end of 2021.
Behind the scenes the two brands will still be manufactured together in the same facilities in an effort to maintain efficiencies and reduce manufacturing costs.
KYMCO plans to build out its battery network as well, with 1,500 battery swap stations planned by the end of 2021 and 4,000 battery swap stations planned by the end of 2022. Gogoro currently operates over 2,000 battery swap stations.
While Gogoro’s battery swap stations can only be used for swapping, KYMCO’s stations will offer charging services as well.
Despite Ionex being spun off as its own independent brand in Taiwan, Ko stated that electric scooter exports will remain part of the KYMCO brand due to KYMCO’s larger brand awareness in global markets.
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