ROKiT Made to Open 'Largest e-Bike Manufacturing Facility' in the United States

Oct 23, 2020 at 5:02
by James Smurthwaite  
AUTODROMO HERMANOS RODRIGUEZ MEXICO - FEBRUARY 15 Felipe Massa BRA Venturi EQ Silver Arrow 01 during the Mexico City E-prix at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on February 15 2020 in Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez Mexico. Photo by Dom Romney LAT Images
Photo: Dom Romney / LAT Images

ROKiT Made has announced it will create the "largest e-bike manufacturing facility in the United States” that is set to open in 2021.

There currently aren't many ebike manufacturers based in the United States, and certainly none of significant size, but the facility will apparently produce 300,000 units in its first year with plans to increase that to 900,000 in the future.

The facility will be located on a campus named Orb near Las Vegas and ROKiT has already allocated funding for building the infrastructure and campus. The Orb campus is designed to be big enough to view from the International Space Station and will employ over 2,000 workers. ROKiT Made claims the facility will provide on-the-job training for its employees and will assist in boosting the local economies.

ROKiT Made is part of the ROKiT Group that describes itself as "a next-generation global media company" and is made up of businesses that deliver mobile phones, beverages, WiFi services and film and music distribution. It doesn't currently produce any electric vehicles but it does sponsor the Venturi Racing team that competes in the FIA Formula E race series.

The ROKiT Group is made up of a number of brands across a wide spectrum of sectors.

ROKiT Group is entering the ebike market based on analysts' predictions that 130 million e-bikes will be sold globally between 2020 and 2023 and, according to a May 2020 study by Fortune Business Insights, the global e-bike market is expected to reach $46.04 billion by 2026. Rather than produce the bikes in East Asia like most manufacturers, ROKiT says it wishes to "reimagine American manufacturing by moving away from the current trend of robotics and artificial intelligence, and instead utilize human intelligence and American labor." The company has apparently secured exclusive rights to 10 consumer-tested designs from established e-bike companies at a range of price points and intends to license more in the future. After production, ROKiT Made will take on the marketing, and both retailer distribution and direct-to-consumer sales. It is not clear at this point if any of the designs will be for eMTBs.

Jonathan Kendrick co-founder of ROKiT Made, said: "We are bringing manufacturing jobs to America. ROKiT Made is the future of American manufacturing. We are dedicated to identifying, licensing, and manufacturing cutting-edge products. The focus is on building e-bikes in our Las Vegas Orb campus, which is strategically situated in an enterprise and duty-free foreign-trade zone."

Dean Becker, Chairman and CEO of ROKiT Made, said: "There is no better time than now to invest in a new American manufacturing facility, and that's exactly what ROKiT Made is doing. We have studied the e-car business for several years and noticed that the existing concepts for the public new entrants into the e-car business and other e-mobility sectors are currently flawed; none of the companies show serious consideration to where their vehicles will be manufactured and built. We believe that to create a strong e-mobility business you have to start first with the facility, and then move on to the product. By ensuring that the build and assembly of our products will be done domestically we are adding American-built value to our products."


120 Comments

  • 143 1
 "a next-generation global media company"
- Prestige Worldwide
  • 63 1
 "Last week we put liquid paper on a bee..."
  • 34 0
 Entertainment 720... because you're willing to go around the world twice for your clients. Swag baby.
  • 1 0
 How much travel does your unit have ROKIT?
  • 8 0
 Putting in the man hours to study the science of what you need.
  • 3 3
 therokitgroup.com/about-us

Looks more like Ilton John and Richard Brandon got together and have a pile of cash to burn.
  • 1 0
 @renin: I was gonna post this exact thing. Thank you
  • 6 0
 @heckler73:https://www.reddit.com/r/formula1/comments/azy6t7/semiotshady_backgrounder_about_rokit/

RoKiT is pretty shady
  • 3 0
 Is that Detlef Schrempf?
  • 2 0
 @bruvar: don’t worry, my e-bike downpayment isn't being sent.
  • 1 0
 Brought to you by the same folks that produce high quality entertainment via Netfli... oh excuse me, Rockflix.
  • 2 0
 @bruvar: This explains it "I did look into the RoKiT group as a whole and it seems they don't really actually do much in actually selling products. Most of the what I could find seems to be rehash after rehash after rehash of their press releases and things that are perpetually in the "coming soon" phase of development."

They went to the bike industry because there are more people who they can fool.
  • 1 0
 @jamessmurthwaite: Research And Development!
  • 61 3
 Hopefully some cool high end tech will come from it but even if they make a zillion consumer e-bikes and change the way the general population commutes that would be cool. Living in Los Angeles, land of great weather but horrific traffic it's nice to fantasize about the 405 being one giant bike lane with happy, fit people zipping along to work in half the time they do now in their smog belching death machines.
  • 6 0
 Sounds like they are just buy the licenses to manufacture bike that were already designed by other companies, so I don't expect them to be developing any of their own technologies.
  • 2 0
 @jonodavis: Smart way to start. They clearly have the resources to go in their own direction once they have some experience in the business. Refreshing they dont think they can jump in with no previous direct experience.
  • 43 3
 They are gonna get hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks and then pull a Foxconn www.theverge.com/21507966/foxconn-empty-factories-wisconsin-jobs-loophole-trump
  • 7 1
 Great News for America. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!
  • 26 0
 Damn dude, this is exactly the link I came here to post. It does sound like another public tax dollar squeeze. I mean, sincerely hope that they pull it off, but all the hype and corporate speak dripping from this article- and the fact this company has zero experience is bicycle production makes me extremely dubious. Vegas does have the gigafactory, so there could be some agglomeration effects of having these industries located in a cluster, but I'll believe it when I see it.
  • 3 1
 Also, I know that the state has no corporate tax, so there is a chance that this could work out well, especially given the "trade war" tariffs and escalating tensions with China.
  • 2 0
 Wow didn't know about this story.... crazy !!! It really seems similar!!
  • 4 0
 Rokit itself is a tax break. Not optimal.
  • 5 1
 They don't even need the tax breaks anymore. My guess is they're trying to ride the wave of e-startup IPO's that generate a billion $ market cap based off a few photoshop images and then collapsing into decades of SEC litigation. See: Nikola
  • 10 0
 Will see if they are successful, but just like many other solar companies got billions of subsidies and failed. Solyndra cost tax payers $545 million. New York spent $958.6 million to build a solar factory (SolarCity) in upstate New York. Now auditors say the building and equipment are only worth 8% of the cost (75 million). Tesla took over the SolarCity plant and got a free 10 year lease in exchange for creating jobs, but only a fraction of jobs have been created. Tesla has gotten 4.9 billion in government subsidies.

www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2015/06/01/elon-musks-companies-receive-4-9-billion-in.html

buffalonews.com/business/local/teslas-buffalo-plant-gets-884-million-write-down/article_fe1e6866-9dea-5c56-a217-b3bc35a69acd.html
  • 8 0
 @tacklingdummy: Yep, the handouts have got to stop without due diligence, and politicians need to be held accountable. Unfortunately, neither are likely to happen.
  • 2 0
 @Sardine: ding ding ding! Winner winner chicken dinner!
  • 2 0
 @Tiez: seriously... That foxconn deal was to give away $200000 per job. What kind of backwards world do we live in to pay to work.
  • 2 0
 @stonant: If this was like Foxconn they would have negotiated the tax incentives before the announcement, but they didn't so it isn't.

@sardine: If it were sone type of IPO scam they wouldn't be hoping to merge with a special purpose acquisition company.

www.google.com/amp/s/finance.yahoo.com/amphtml/news/rokit-made-reimagining-american-manufacturing-114600908.html

A better guess is that they are anticipating a Biden win, which will mean big subsidies for sustainable transportation alternatives, and which is a good thing. Or maybe they just want to make a bunch of e bikes and create American jobs?
  • 5 2
 wow! well, what do you expect-a company called fox con pulled a fast one on a bunch of republicans. kinda makes me giggle
  • 3 0
 @alwaysOTB: kleptocratic oligarchy parading as late capitalism in public-private partnership. "The best is when you’re in the elevator with somebody and then they just scream out of nowhere” [...]. Turns out freedom and despotism aren't so incompatible when you have good salespeople.
  • 1 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: the gigafactory is nowhere near Vegas. It's almost 500 miles north (almost 8 hrs driving time). Essentially Las Vegas and the rest of Nevada are two very different economic entities. Basically any economic production the gigafactory provides (positive or negative) isn't going to affect what's happening in S. Nevada and vice versa.
  • 1 0
 @tacklingdummy: So, the system is working exactly as designed.
  • 1 1
 @fruitsd79: Yeah, fossil fuel industries have gotten a ton of subsidies as well. Both green energy and fossil fuel industries have gotten the same amount. About 20 billion/per year. However, the difference is that many solar companies failed and are not producing. So, that is just throwing money in the fire with no benefits.
  • 3 0
 @tacklingdummy: Fossil fuel industry has been subsidized for generations, and with a great amount of subsidies during those generations, so green energy not gotten the same amount of subsidies. Also, how many gas/oil companies have failed and are not producing? How many abandoned wells will taxpayers be left to clean up?
  • 2 0
 @tacklingdummy: Fossil fuel companies go under all the time. If you cherry picked the bad ones like you are doing with solar you could just as easily 'prove' that the fossil fuel industry is just a taxpayer vampire that produces nothing.
  • 2 1
 @stonant: I don't think look at historical money from way back when. Those were different times, different economies. As of right now green energy gets much more subsidies than fossil fuel companies by far. Gas companies generally only fail because of government policy that may ban certain fossil fuel production. There are extreme regulations on the fossil fuel industries. Right now, the world cannot function without fossil fuels. 80% of the world's energy is still created by fossil fuels and green energy is not efficient enough to be viable. Since 80% of world's population live in dense cities, there is no way to fuel those cities with green power because of the logistics. Not enough area to put solar panels or windmills in those big cities like Tokyo, New York, LA, Shanghai, HK, London, Paris, etc.

The green energy companies that went under, failed on their lack of demand because green energy is so expensive. For example, if I was to get solar panels for my house, it would take 25-30 years to pay off. I am not against green energy at all, but right now it is not efficient or inexpensive enough to be viable. Only electric cars have been gaining ground because they made the costs comparable with gas cars and are efficient.

Here are the subsidies given to companies right now. Majority of the top subsidized energy companies are green energy.

subsidytracker.goodjobsfirst.org/top-100-parents
  • 2 0
 @wingguy: Like I just said early. Fossil fuel companies generally go under because of government policy changes. If Biden bans fracking, just think how many fracking companies go out of business. On the other hand, solar companies failed because of the lack of demand. Solar is too expensive and not efficient enough. It would take me 25-30 years to pay off solar panels on my house. Disclaimer: I am not against green energy at all, but the reality is that it isn't efficient and cost effective enough for most people to afford or want to buy into it.
  • 2 0
 @tacklingdummy: the list ignores many other forms of subsidies, such as statutes requiring the U.S. build roads and other necessary infrastructure to gas and oil wells across the united states. The list also fails to include the amount of money that we spend acting as world police to allow oil companies to safely bring their product to market.
news.usni.org/2019/11/29/report-u-s-shoulders-steep-price-to-protect-merchant-ships-in-strait-of-hormuz

The list also ignores the environmental costs and cleanup that we have to spend, effectively subsidizing the fossil fuel industries. Also, many fossil fuel companies have failed because they over-extended themselves and were reliant on market assumptions that were incorrect.

www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2020-09-17/abandoned-gas-wells-are-left-to-spew-methane-for-eternity

The reason why the fossil fuel companies are so heavily regulated is because they demonstrated they won't hold themselves accountable and they will not act as responsible citizens. Think about every bit of pollution, oil spill, foreign conflicts, etc. involved with the history of the industry.
  • 2 1
 @stonant: and all before you take into account the human costs and shareholder benefits of Proxy Wars that keep the black gold & natural gas flowing.
  • 1 0
 @stonant: That is a fair point about infrastructure subsidies, but still the fact remains that the US and the world are not able to function solely on green energy at this time. Economies would collapse if forced to go to green power abruptly. Again, 80% of the world energy is fossil fuel based right now and 80% of the population live in dense cities which is impossible to provide the energy needs solely by solar and windmills because both need large amount of area. Also, even if the US cut their fossil fuels by 20% (which would take years and years and immense amount of money), it is only a 3% decrease of world's C02. There are a 194 other countries that have to make drastic changes as well. China, India and rest of the countries have increased their emissions of C02 in the last few decades. The US and EU are only ones that decreased their C02 emissions the last few years.
  • 1 0
 @tacklingdummy: Lol what? Fossil fuel companies generally go under because of policy change? A list of examples woud be good. Heck, even one example that isn't something Biden might hypothetically do in future would be good.
  • 1 0
 @wingguy: OPEC policies affect oil companies a lot. OPEC controls the price of oil, so if they want to pressure the US oil companies, they just produce more oil. Also, a lot government policies have bankrupt oil companies. Of late, the government shutdowns have caused oil companies to go bankrupt because the demand for oil has dropped tremendously. People not commuting, airline travel grounded, etc. Environmental policies like banning offshore drilling has caused a lot of bankruptcies with oil companies. You should try researching a little before commenting.

www.cfr.org/backgrounder/opec-changing-world

www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/energy-environment/2020/05/11/369209/more-oil-and-gas-bankruptcies-could-be-on-the-way

www.ourdailyplanet.com/story/offshore-oil-and-gas-industry-challenged-by-lawsuits-and-bankruptcies



@stonant Oil company bankruptcies do not take away environmental obligations.

cen.acs.org/environment/pollution/Bankruptcy-does-release-oil-gas/97/i6
  • 1 0
 @tacklingdummy: If you give green energy more subsidies and fossil fuel industries no subsidies(they deserve none since they are destroying the climate stability), it would be more competitive with fossil fuel. We should have done this decades ago.

The cynical part is me wonders how much subsidies went into funding the fake science that has caused us to do nothing about the fossil fuel problem.

www.greenpeace.org/usa/global-warming/exxon-and-the-oil-industry-knew-about-climate-change/exxons-climate-denial-history-a-timeline
  • 31 1
 "The Orb campus is designed to be big enough to view from the International Space Station"...

WTF! This has to be the worst design brief ever put to tender.
Rolleyes
  • 14 1
 Yeah that line alone, made me extreeeeemely dubious. Are you here to fluff your ego or build some freaking bikes?
  • 10 5
 The 2020 Trump campaign???
  • 1 0
 Will the building be made of aerospace materials too?
  • 4 0
 There was already a bike shop that was visible from Membury Service Station. So of course they had to go one bigger.
  • 1 0
 Our projections for iBike sales to migrants outbound for more habitable planets from our duty-free ISS concept store suggest this market is going to be astronomically big. Who's orbiting whom, bitches
  • 28 0
 I smell Rich Energy
  • 2 0
 Nailed it!
  • 9 0
 Nah they paid money to Williams Formula 1 team before leaving them high and dry and leading the family to sell the team they’d owned for decades.
  • 14 0
 > We believe that to create a strong e-mobility business you have to start first with the facility, and then move on to the product.

I'm not in manufacturing, but this sounds rather dubious. How can you build a manufacturing plant when you don't even know what you're building yet?
  • 2 0
 Yeaaaaaah... You decide what you’re going to produce and how, then design the faculty around those needs. Have I been taught all wrong or something?

I mean, ROKiT *is* a shady group so...
  • 1 1
 Instead of committing to robots that can only be retooled so many ways at immense upfront cost, you hire a bunch of people at minimum wage that already have a manufacturing skillset of zero. Maybe?

Get the contracts and designs then learn as you go sounds like their idea. If you build it, they will come.
  • 1 0
 I think this was just a poorly articulated way of saying that Ebikes are currently being manufactured in retrofitted factories with great innefficiency and they are planning to optimize the process by creating an entire factory dedicated to the one type of product. This has happened numerous times thru the years in various Indistries. Tesla is doing just that right now
  • 14 0
 Does ROKiT know what an eBike is...or a bike in general?

I'm not even sure what ROKiT is...other than they sponsor a racecar. Is "a next-generation global media company" like RedBull...but not as cool or successful?
  • 3 0
 I think they make rockets
  • 1 0
 @Ooofff: Sweet...I like rockets. Even e-rockets!
  • 9 0
 Anyone that follows F1 will know that rokit is sketchy AF. Williams F1 pulled the chute on them when they didn't pay their bills as part of their sponsorship contract (Rich energy anyone????). When it's hard to tell what a company does, usually it's because they don't actually do anything. And when they say they will build a facility big enough to be seen from space?Stay the hell away from this deal people.
  • 4 0
 Sounds cool, but something just doesn't seem right here...Making and selling 300k ebikes annually is a big number... Especially in today's world where every manufacturer is struggling to get parts to get bikes built.. What's the over under for the time until they close shop?
  • 8 0
 To close a shop you must first open one.
  • 1 0
 @Sardine: good point..
  • 7 0
 In the words of AvE, I smell a rat!
  • 2 0
 LOL, waiting for his BOLTR on a ROKiT bike or the inevitable engineering failure analysis of the building collapsing
  • 3 1
 Ebikes will be the biggest innovation in personal transport this century. (over self-driving because they're a tiny fraction of the cost of FSD systems/cars) I think it will be a steady gradual wave of adoption, instead of an explosion like everyone seems to think. Democratized mobility is good for humanity.
  • 1 0
 And with the fact that previously snow-affected major cities will see a sharp increase in temperatures in the winter leading to less and less snow and ice, e-bikes can be used year round everywhere. Stonks only go up!
  • 4 0
 So, this is real-life Thunder Muscle? And hasn't the idea of a "campus" been rethought by most companies in this wonderful year of 2020?
  • 1 0
 Different as theyre not desk jockeys-but mfgs...im thinking cross bw an f1 house meets amazon.
  • 5 2
 That look like a project that only purpose is to suck public money into them own pockets. Base on the ongoing Foxcomm in Wisconsin money sucking. MAGA
  • 6 0
 "Harriieee" posted this in the Canyon thread:
www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/greed-and-debt-the-true-story-of-mitt-romney-and-bain-capital-183291

But applicable here? Maybe this is the new scheme? Foxcomm and now this...will we be seeing a bunch of companies introduce a "plan," get local, state, and federal gov. to give all kinds of tax breaks...company milks it for a few years...and then bails on project as "unfeasible." Taxpayers left holding the bag for all the infrastructure that was build and out of the tax $$$ it would have gathered. Company wins!
  • 8 4
 *scrolls through list of executives*

"ah yes....old white men"

*ticks box*
  • 1 0
 That's great - but is that cost going to brought down for consumers or are they planning to sell the e-bikes like a boutique brand? I don't care how many bikes and how many billions of dollars they'd make, but if the cost of e-bikes or any bike for that matter doesn't come down in price, many jobs will be lost afterwards.
  • 5 0
 The machines take over
  • 1 0
 Another reason to go small and support your LBS that can't be seen from the space station.
  • 4 0
 Is this a real company or is this a venture capital scam hype company?
  • 1 0
 Seems legit to me, but I don't know f*** about s***.
  • 1 0
 Good luck, I’m part of the senior leadership team of a 3200 employee facility in the US and we can’t move away from the reliance on human “intelligence” fast enough. Improved safety is a large priority though
  • 1 0
 Just sounds like a bunch of corporate speak buzzwords were thrown into a blender along with the word eBike. Sounds like a huge scam. It’ll never work because they forgot to use synergy!
  • 1 0
 Don’t these guy will do much. But just wait until Tesla introduces model XC, followed the ATM and DH. Tesla bikes will crush all other American bike manufacturers in battery and motor performance.
  • 1 0
 You know those 50 pound full-sus bikes with cantilever brakes and corporate paint jobs (coke, viacom,...) that you always find discarded and rusting away in cities? Soon they are going to have batteries in them.
  • 1 0
 -company with a shady track record:✅
-massive ego:✅
-shady business plan:✅
-venture capitalists looking into exploiting a hype:✅

Yea, this definitley looks like a scam.
  • 3 1
 Hoping for the best but this has Solyndra written all over it. Let’s hope it is more than just selling nationalism.
  • 4 1
 at least it's creating jobs
  • 2 0
 I read it as "ROKit made to open largest e-bike..." ... who made them do it, guess they lost a drunken bet! haha
  • 1 0
 What does Paul Mitchell, the Shampoo dude, and Patron have in common...?

E-bikes apparently...

They better be black and white, and have a tequila bottle mount...
  • 3 1
 What the hell is wrong with Pinkbike to decide to post trash like this. Falling so far so fast.
  • 2 0
 Using all that Williams F1 winning money huh
  • 2 0
 Ah yes, the ropey company which definitely isn't a money laundering front.
  • 4 6
 The US, home of the lazy. LOL, I kiiid. But honestly, who is buying all these e-bikes? I rarely see any but maybe there's alot on the road and bike paths? I don't go on the road, cars are more dangerous than trees.
  • 12 0
 I’ve a feeling that they’ll be churning out bog-standard commuter type bikes rather than the type that make PB’ers lose their reason.
  • 1 0
 Most by me are 20" fat tire commuter bikes, look like a Bike Friday and beach cruiser style. At $2500+ you could build up a pretty sweet normal bike.
  • 2 0
 The e-bike rental market in resort towns in CO is huge; they are everywhere. Although they are mostly being used as a lazy day activity to cruise around town....not so much for sending it on trails.
  • 15 3
 Is eBiking to work lazier than driving to work?
  • 8 0
 "I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it." - Bill Gates
  • 10 0
 Raises hand- I am. I got one for my 10 mile one way commute because....well yeah I'm pretty lazy and don't want to show up to work all sweaty or kill myself on the climb back. And to run errands. And to cruise with my kid around on the back. Ebikes as commuters and car replacements are rad. Don't knock it till you try it. Also, I've been seeing a lot more on the bike paths over the last year or two here on the east coast. It's definitely catching on.
  • 2 1
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: You speak the truth. So much more fun, and often times faster, but never lazier than driving a car. It's still often easier to use a car but I would never want go back.
  • 2 0
 Head down to any beach town in California, and you'll see a ton. Head down any river bike path(ton in so cal) and you'll see many.
  • 1 0
 Gf roommate just bought one from walmart $600. Shes makes @$35k/yr
  • 3 0
 NYC is packed with e-transpo. Bikes, scooters, skateboards, bike/scooter hybrids, and stuff I can't even begin to explain. People are choosing these instead of regular bikes, walking and public transpo.

Urban areas are a huge market.
  • 1 1
 This is a Mtn bike site right?
  • 1 0
 There are a.bunch being used where I live in Norway both the cheapy Chinese designs and the European/American designs. Like someone else said here, every commuter car they replace is pretty rad. I don't use one but I bought a decent full-sus for my daughter so she would be interested in riding with me on some of my favorite longer trails.
As long as I'm not too old and relatively fit, I actually prefer the feel of biking a pedal bike, but I'm sure there will come a time that I'll switch over.
  • 1 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: Just turn all the freeways into e-bike tracks?
also banning cars would do planet a lot of good, but may be too late, as CO2 levels are already beyond 400 parts/ million?
  • 1 0
 LOL scam scam scam scam scam.
  • 2 1
 The Ford of EBikes has just entered the room!
  • 1 0
 Ah yeh, these guys, ugliest williams livery of all time!
  • 1 0
 Get ready to start up more trail advocacy hours...
  • 1 0
 900 000 MORE Toxic e-bikes is all good, right?
  • 1 0
 Sounds like yet another E- Vaporware company.
  • 1 0
 lets hope there bikes are better than their f1 team
  • 1 0
 Best.. Comment Section... EVER
  • 3 3
 But which presidential candidate is gonna take the credit.. Wink
  • 1 1
 Make that 300,000 scooters.
  • 1 0
 Filter is broken.
  • 4 6
 I just heard the doubters heads explode
  • 1 4
 Make American Bikes Great Again!!!
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