Shock News – Kove Resignation

This news came in literally as I posted the last video or I would have included it.

It is major news, especially for those of us who have been following the progress of Kove.

The Charismatic figurehead of the company, CEO Zhang Xue has resigned his position as CEO. He still retains his shareholding, but with little explanation there will inevitably be questions about why he has resigned.

I first began looking into the background of this company over a year ago now and you can listen to what I said then in the video linked above.

I followed the launch of the Dakar team and their successes in year one, and the progress and tribulations of year 2. I have also been putting together a video about the WSBK Supersport 300 team too.

The launch of a new 450cc MX bike and an all new electric bike showed the company was looking ahead.

However, we have just received a statement from Kove and I will read it in its entirety first. That way, the viewers who aren’t native English speakers can use the autotranslate to get the real truth of the message.

The Announcement

The letter reads:

Dear KOVE Customers and Fans.

It is with regret that we inform you of Mr. Zhang Xue’s resignation from the position in KOVE, officially departing from KOVE as of February 28th.

In 2017. the KOVE project was officially launched. Together with a team of six entrepreneurial individuals, including Mr. Zhang Xue, we faced challenges and made strides forward. Over these 2500 days and nights, we collectively achieved the success that defines KOVE today. He has decided to temporarily step away from the KOVE management team. However, he remains a member of the KOVE shareholder team.

In the future, KOVE will continue to uphold the philosophy of “Focus on Performance” in vehicle manufacturing. The products and distribution system of KOVE will remain unchanged, and we will consistently pursue technological innovation and breakthroughs. We aim to transform racing technology into mass production, bringing forth more and better products and service for our consumers.

The journey to Dakar will not cease, and the footsteps of WorldSBK will continue. At Kove, we assure you that our commitment to excellence remains unwavering. Our team of talented individuals, along with thousands of dedicated workers, continue to drive our pursuit of innovation and improvement. Together, we will forge ahead, striving for greatness and creating groundbreaking motorcycles that captivate the world. Hiccups happen. Kove stands strong producing it’s range of exciting motorcycles for distribution around the World. Go Kove. Ride and have fun.




My Thoughts

That was dated as the 2nd of March 2024

Now there are plenty of rumours flying around, but I try to stick to facts, and all we really have is a statement from Zhang Xue in his first social media post.

He says that he has struggled with the pressure and responsibility of looking after so many staff.

So we have lost someone who has proven himself a charismatic leader, but he surrounded himself with a team of thousands of workers including talented engineers and designers.

He is still a Kove shareholder too don’t forget.

My first question was, who are the other 5 entrepreneurs, and what is their history either as a rider or their experience within the motorcycle industry.

I am yet to receive an answer.

Zhang Xue made an impact, that is for sure. He has left big shoes to fill and I don’t envy the person who tries to follow in his footsteps. However, I do think someone needs to step up and introduce the people behind the company more now.

Taking the competition to the West was always going to be a challenging mission. The Dakar Team still has a long way to go and I hope we don’t see the end of their journey. With WSBK, the journey is just beginning and I hope they continue and grow as a force within the paddock.

Let us not exaggerate or minimise this problem for Kove. I will try and discuss it rationally.

Getting Rational

Zhang Xue’s leadership style meant that he was constantly under scrutiny, but gave the media a very personal view of the goals and direction that Kove were heading. The personal connection he was able to create with people reinforced the believability of that story.

That has meant that people in the west had begun to believe in his dream too. They saw Kove as His products, and so had begun the slow process of building trust and fulfilling dreams. The dreams of the buyers, but also Zhang Xue’s own dreams.

That is why I think this story has been one of the most potent since Soichiro Honda began racing.

I will be sorry to not see his smiling face, tears and manic laughter anymore. Without him as the figurehead I wonder will one of the other investors step forward more?

Or will Kove become a successful leader on the world stage without the need for a standard bearer? Many do I guess, but as with Siddhartha Lal at Royal Enfield, having a visionary leader who people believe in is a potent weapon in the motorcycle industry.

Although they may be big shoes to fill, I think it will be difficult for Kove to become a major player without the sort of outgoing, extrovert of a leader that Zhang Xue very definitely was.

Seeing his passion in full view elevated Kove above the morass of other Chinese manufacturers even before the first bikes had landed.

Continuing that legacy without the personal connection he created will be almost impossible I think. That is what instilled a level of trust in new customers that was and still is missing for most companies from China.

I wonder if others will try to emulate what he has achieved? If they do it honestly, then that is great. If it is fabricated, then not so.

Where will the hype train move next I wonder?

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