MBK (Scooter manufacturer)
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|Products||Scooters and components|
|Parent||Yamaha Motor Company Ltd.|
MBK (pronounced [ɛm.bœ.kɑ]), a subsidiary of Yamaha Motor Company, is a French Scooter manufacturer, based in Rouvroy, Picardy, France. The company was first established in 1923 under the name Motobécane and for many years was France's largest manufacturer of motorcycles.
Early models included an in-line four-cylinder side-valve 500cc engine, with unit gearbox and shaft drive. By the 1930s Motobecane was producing a best-selling range of motorcycles and during the immediate post-war years the company diversified into moped production, selling two wheelers under two banners: Motobecane and Mobylette. Following the creation of the MBK brand in the early eighties, scooters became the company's core business.
Over the past decade MBK scooters have played a major part in the European scooter sales boom. Market leader in France, MBK is also a best-seller in Italy with significant stakes in the German, Belgian, Swiss, Portugal, Greek, UK, Irish, Austrian, Spanish and Finnish markets.
One of the company's more popular model range is the MBK Booster. It is sold with a 50cc or 125cc motor.
- 1923: Motobécane founded.
- 1924: Motobécane's first model, the 175 CC motorcycle, is produced.
- 1949: Begins policy of launching of small-engines. The company makes a true stride.
- 1951: Motobécane begins to decentralize by establishing a great part of its manufacturing in Saint-Quentin, dans l'Aisne.
- 1974: The company buys Velosolex.
- 1984: MBK Industrie takes over the activities of Motobécane, with a new partner: Yamaha Motor Company Ltd..
- 1989: The Japanese manufacturer carries the capital to 265 MF, to hold 99% of it.
- 1999: The millionth scooter of the MBK-era leaves the Saint-Quentin factory. This same year, MBK launches the Stunt around a revolutionary and single concept: "Le scooter free ride" (the freeride scooter).
- 2000: MBK widens its catalog with the arrival of the Ovetto 100, Nitro 100, Flame 125 and Doodo 125.
- 2002: MBK begins production of the Kilibre 300.
- Warnant, Léon (1968). Dictionnaire de la prononciation française (2 ed.). Gembloux: Duculot.
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