Darfon has played a major role in the e-bike industry's development in recent years. After acquiring Kenstone in 2019, Darfon followed up with the purchase TD HiTech Energy in 2020. Recently, Darfon announced on February 1, 2021 that it would cooperate with Astro—Taiwan's leading frame manufacturer—and would use NT$1.224 billion to purchase a 51% stake in Astro's equity. With this move, Darfon's hopes to increase its high-end bicycle and e-bike orders.
Darfon's core competitiveness is in batteries and electrical control systems, and it has collaborated closely with major international e-bike makers in the development of various e-bike solutions. As a result, its own BESV brand e-bikes and OEM business have both been thriving. Darfon hopes that its investment in Astro's equity will accelerate its strategy of developing key e-bike parts and components, and will give Darfon the ability to fill high-end bicycle and e-bike orders with a complete supply system.
According to Astro GM Samuel Hu, Astro has been developing and manufacturing bicycle frames for 30 years, and its innovative designs and production methods make it the industry leader in the areas of aluminum alloy and carbon fiber frames. Astro embarked on the mass production of e-bike frames as early as 2005, and designed and manufactured the world's first e-MTB. It has become a major developer of suspension bikes and e-bikes, and is adept at integrating motor, battery, and mechanical systems in all-inclusive e-bike frame solutions. Astro's customer base consists of mainstream high-end brands in North America and Europe, and it maintains a strategic division of labor between its plants in Taiwan and Vietnam. This has allowed it to readily meet customers' e-bike and high-end bicycle frame design and innovation needs. We can be sure that the strategic alliance between Darfon and Astro will enable the two parties to achieve a high level of synergy involving their technology, processes, and management, yielding a win-win outcome for both.