Tenneco ownership to boost Öhlins suspension

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Riders looking for premium motorcycle suspension should welcome the new ownership of Swedish company Öhlins Racing by tech company Tenneco.

The American company has worked with Öhlins on their CES valves over the past 20 years.

It will lend technological and logistic support that should lead to more products for more models, more outlets, faster delivery and probably cheaper prices.

Öhlins boss Henrik Johansson has welcomed the “strong owner”.

“Tenneco has everything we need that we currently do not have,” he says.

“We have technology, engineering capacity and a global brand name. Tenneco has global production, technology and a distribution network.

“By using Tenneco’s capabilities in purchasing and product development, we can reduce cost, increase profit and increase penetration of Öhlins products.”

He says the ownership deal will also bring new products to market faster.

“Competition is getting stronger, lead times are getting shorter; technology is getting to market faster,” he says.

“Tenneco will benefit from our ability – as a smaller, more agile organisation – to act much quicker and more efficiently in bringing new products and technologies to market.

“My objective is to continue to develop technology, open new doors in some areas and keep them open.”

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Öhlins is well known in racing and recreational circles as one of the world’s top suspension companies for motorcycles, mountain bikes, cars and in motorsport for the past 43 years.

It not only provides aftermarket suspension components but also factory-fitted suspension.

Manufacturers using Öhlins include Aprilia, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, Moto Guzzi, MV Agusta, Norton, Triumph and Yamaha who used to own 5% of the Swedish company before it was bought back in 2007.

Öhlins will be incorporated into Tenneco’s Aftermarket and Ride Performance company which will begin operations this year.

Despite the new ownership, Öhlins will continue to operate as a stand-alone business.

Tenneco boss Brian Kesseler says Öhlins will remain a premium product and there are no plans to bring it into the mid-market, mass-market motorcycle segment.

Tenneco also bought Italian motorcycle and bicycle suspension company Marzocchi in 2009.

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The company will continue to play an important part in motorsport.

“Öhlins has never sponsored a rider or a team,” Henrik says.

“We actually sell what we produce for Formula 1, Formula E, MotoGP, Nascar and others because we make the best products.

“I’m convinced that Tenneco will continue with that strategy and we can work on further building the Öhlins name in racing.”

The ownership deal is yet to be approved by the EU.

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