If you thought the times are tough here in the United States, be thankful that you don’t live in Spain right now, as the Iberian country hovers around 20% unemployment for the general population, with 50% unemployment for the country’s 20-something crowd. Indeed, all the Mediterranean states, save for France, are on the verge of economic collapse. It’s a scary time.
Therefore, it wasn’t surprising to hear last year that the rebirth of the Ossa brand saw the Spanish dirt bike company using the available production capacity in the struggling Gas Gas factory. It seems that manufacturing partnership has now gone a step further, with Gas Gas and Ossa formerly merging, so as to better take on the rough economic landscape.
The merger sees the companies combining their engineering, operations, design, and human resource operations under one roof, in addition to the brands’ already existing manufacturing agreement. The two Catalan brands will remain distinct in their products though, and there is already talk of a new trials model from Ossa, as well as a street bike.
With Gas Gas seemingly absorbing Ossa, the move is more akin to an acquisition than a merger. However, with the economy the way its now in Spain, it seems unlikely either brand would have survived much longer without the other.
As Ossa CEO Oan Gurt phrased it, the two companies had to put aside their egos in order to realize a stable motorcycle company from Catalunya. Will this merger be enough for Gas Gas and Ossa to weather the storm? Only time will tell.