Brammo Inc. begins producing motorcycles in Sàrvàr, Hungary

ASHLAND — Brammo Inc.'s quieting-riding electric motorcycles made assembly line noise Tuesday when the company announced it has begun production of its Enertia and Enertia Plus models at the Flextronics production plant in Sàrvàr, Hungary.

The company has developed seven models for 2012 and Brammo founder and chief executive Craig Bramscher said the rush is on to get all of them into production.

The company is following Toyota's manufacturing model, Bramscher said, by building bikes as close to the consumption point as possible.

"We have a significant number of customer and fleet orders that we will be fulfilling this year," Bramscher said.

"The number of (finished) units is still in the hundreds, but the back-order volume is greater than what we've shipped."

Bramscher said the first 100 bikes of every production model will be built in Ashland and tested before turning over mass production to its global manufacturing partner.

"Final assembly is a small part of a completed vehicle," Bramscher said. The Sàrvàr production line is capable of producing 660 motorcycles a month.

"This takes care of all of Europe for us," he said.

Within a few years, Brammo plans to manufacture its motorcycles in Europe, Asia and North America.

"We're almost two-thirds there," Bramscher said.

The company will announce its North American manufacturing site next spring.

"One of beauties of working with Flextronics is that we can scale based on demand," Bramscher said. "We're thinking in monthly progress instead of annually. The interest in our bikes is very strong and the issue is getting them to market and in hands of customers."

One of the start-up company's surprises has been the potential growth of its power packs.

"We thought for sure we would not be in the battery business," Bramscher said. "But we found through racing and research and development that we could actually build a better mousetrap around our battery packs. That's one of the reasons why we partnered with Flextronics so we could globally produce Brammo power packs. We're starting to get queries from other companies and it could definitely become a revenue stream."

He said Brammo's initial e-bike, Enertia, attracted experienced riders and neophytes concerned about carbon footprints. Its selection now covers virtually every taste.

"We've moved from niche to mainstream mostly through migration of technology around the batteries and gearbox and drivetrain."

The company has more than 30 employees at its Ashland headquarters and has posted openings for additional mechanical, electrical and software engineers.

"This is one of those events that looks small, but feels really big to the company," Bramscher said. "The electronic vehicle markets are changing and there is a lot of excitement with (California electric car makers) Tesla and Fisker. We're trying to get rolling as quickly as possible."

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or email

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