Taiwan electric scooter firm Gogoro delaying China expansion

By Ben Blanchard

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwanese electric scooter maker Gogoro Inc is delaying its expansion plans in China due to geopolitical and economic uncertainty there and putting more focus on India and Indonesia, its chief financial officer told Reuters on Friday.

As well as making its own vehicles, Gogoro has electric battery and other partnerships with vehicle makers including India’s Hero MotoCorp and China’s Dachangjiang Group and Yadea Group Holdings.

Gogoro, known for its green-hued battery swap distribution network for riders, has ambitious plans, seeing potential to replace vast fleets of heavily-polluting, gasoline-powered scooters with electric two-wheelers as Asia’s metropolises bid to improve air quality.

Electric scooter: The future

Gogoro’s CFO Bruce Aitken said that while almost all their revenue was currently generated in Taiwan, they are looking to diversify internationally, with the biggest market for two-wheelers being China, India and Indonesia.

But with China – whose economy has slowed because of repeated lockdowns to control COVID-19 and where Beijing is locked in trade and political disputes with Washington – “there are all the geopolitical issues, there are all the China macroeconomic issues,” Aitken said.

“There’s so much uncertainly, I think I would say, with regards to the China market in general that we’re delaying our expansion plans until we have a bit more certainty and a bit more viability into what follows,” he said.

“We’re taking an optimistic but cautionary kind of a perspective with regards to a further roll out in China as a result of the current situation there.”

With China being a challenging place, Gogoro is looking at its plans elsewhere, Aitken said.

“India and Indonesia therefore become very appealing marketplaces.”

But the company does not expect more significant international income until 2024 and beyond, he said.

Partnership with Foxconn

In Taiwan, Gogoro has a partnership with Foxconn, best known for assembling Apple Inc iPhones but with its own huge electric vehicle ambitions.

Aitken said there was potential to do a lot more with Foxconn, whose EV plans do not include two-wheelers at present, concentrating instead on sedans, buses and trucks.

“We do not have aspirations right now, specifically, to get into the four-wheeled space ourselves, so there’s no competition there.”