Alex Acket knew he would be the perfect fit for Zero Motorcycles. The French-born, Detroit-based automotive executive had spent 23 years in the industry in roles as diverse as sales, manufacturing, supply chain and operations when he spotted the opportunity at the market leader in electric motorcycles.
What Acket saw was a company in growth mode but lacking the operational expertise to really scale up.
“With my background, I saw this untapped opportunity on the operational side that my automotive experience would bring,” he says. “I thought I could enact a quick, transformational change for the company. That’s what motivates me – to come here and scale up quickly.”
The staff at Zero Motorcycles were passionate but frustrated, Acket explains. They had been in production for more than 10 years but had not seen growth that lived up to the potential of the product and brand.
“That’s really why I’m here, to transform operations so that we can follow the growth and then the demand, because we have very high demand.”
With my background, I saw this untapped opportunity on the operational side that my automotive experience would bring.
First joining as Executive Vice President of Operations, Acket was responsible for supply chain and purchasing. The position allowed him to understand the financials of the company, looking at cost structure and comparing to the market.
This led him to propose a plan to eliminate inefficiencies, restructure and reorganize his team. Once he solved the issues with the supply chain – the main issue that prevented the company from scaling up – he took over manufacturing and was promoted to COO.
“Now that I have the full operations under me, including manufacturing, I can transform the operations here to become linear, more efficient,” he explains.
To achieve this ambitious goal, he is implementing a multifaceted strategy. The strategy aims to drive efficiency across all aspects of business as Acket is committed to creating a lean, agile organization.
“By embracing lean and contract manufacturing principles, we can minimize risks for investors while increasing our overall profitability,” he reveals.
And in a market full of uncertainties, he remains relatively unfazed. Unlike other manufacturers, Zero Motorcycles doesn’t rely on government incentives and subsidies to drive growth. Instead, Acket focuses on providing a superior customer experience and delivering products that speak for themselves.
Now that I have the full operations under me, including manufacturing, I can transform the operations here to become linear, more efficient.
This dedication is what has garnered Zero Motorcycles a steadfast following.
“The ultimate is customer experience,” Acket stresses. “Remember when Tesla first launched its vehicles? There were a lot of issues, but it fixed them quickly. When you fix them quickly, customer satisfaction can be higher because they forget about the issue and remember they were satisfied with the resolution. Sometimes, it’s about perceived quality.
“Our focus is to get the product right when it leaves the factory to ensure customer satisfaction.”
Keys to success
One of the keys to Acket’s success lies in his ability to inspire and empower his team. As a true changemaker, he leads by example, establishing a clear mission and vision.
By giving his employees a sense of purpose, he has fostered a culture of innovation and collaboration, and this collective drive for excellence propels Zero Motorcycles forward.
A changemaker to me is someone who can walk the talk.
“A changemaker to me is someone who can walk the talk, someone that can set up a vision, a mission, then execute and rally people around them to implement change,” he reflects.
“So, it’s really about driving accountability, putting the right people in place for effective teamwork, and then influence people to have a positive outlook.”
In the quest for transformation, digital tools play a crucial role, something Acket understands how to leverage. Through features like the Zero Motorcycles app and remote firmware updates, the company empowers riders with cutting-edge capabilities.
In addition, its accessories platform Cypher provides users with endless customization options, further solidifying Zero Motorcycle’s position as a leading innovator.
In recognition of this, the company has formed a number of strategic partnerships with influential players in the tech industry.
“Relative to the size of the addressable market, Zero is a small player today, but we have crafted great partnerships,” Acket says.
One such key partner is Polaris, who has incorporated Zero Motorcycles’ drivetrain technology into its new line of electric four-wheeled vehicles. These collaborations signify a growing recognition of the company’s technological prowess and its ability to shape the future of electric transportation.
With these partnerships, we’ll be at the forefront of this revolution within the motorcycle industry.
As it continues to push the boundaries of electric mobility, scalability becomes paramount. Just as Tesla transformed the automotive industry, Zero Motorcycles aims to revolutionize the motorcycle industry.
“With these partnerships, we’ll be at the forefront of this revolution within the motorcycle industry, of the quantum leap the industry is about to make,” he says proudly.
In the realm of electric mobility, Acket and the whole team are redefining what it means to ride. By combining visionary leadership, strategic partnerships and innovative technology, they drive the industry forward.
In a world embracing the transition to electric vehicles, Zero Motorcycles is poised to lead the charge creating a greener and sustainable future for all.