Sachs is a century old bicycle component brand from Germany that also had a presence in Australia for many years, despite having a small market share here.
In November 1997 American component company SRAM bought Sachs and took over its German factory as the centre for its internal geared hub manufacture. But due to declining sales, SRAM eventually closed the factory and sold the Sachs brand.
Now German automotive transmission manufacturer ZF has revived the Sachs name to brand its now ebike drive systems, which it launched at Eurobike earlier this month.
ZF employs over 130,000 staff and has annual sales of 40 billion Euros (A$65.6 billion). This makes it far bigger than any bicycle company including Shimano and second only to Bosch in terms of European based automotive parts manufacturers.
With so much engineering expertise and money behind it, ZF Sachs Micro Mobility, to use the new business’ full name, is expected to quickly become a major player. They’ve opted for the strategy of becoming a lower cost, volume supplier and having an open system, which means that bike designers are not locked into using the battery, motor and control system, but can mix and match with other brands.