Ecotuned aquisition

2021-08-12
MICRO BIRD ACQUIRES CONTROLLING INTEREST
IN ECOTUNED, ELECTRIC VEHICLE DRIVETRAIN
INTEGRATOR

Micro Bird shows its commitment to EV leadership by investing in key
technology with acquisition of leading EV integrator in Type A school bus
market

DRUMMONDVILLE, QC (August 12, 2021) - Micro Bird Holdings (Micro Bird),
a Blue Bird and Girardin joint venture and North American market leader in
the Type A school bus market, has acquired a controlling interest in the EV
drivetrain integrator and supplier GranTuned Automobiles (Ecotuned). This
strategic acquisition firmly positions Micro Bird for substantial growth in the
light and medium duty EV market by bringing core electrification-expertise
and value to both Micro Bird and the broader Blue Bird Corporation.
“Over the years, Micro Bird has evaluated many up-and-coming EV
companies and found in Ecotuned a more optimized, efficient and
technologically-advanced solution that is faster to install, due to its patented
cradle system, and does not compromise on safety and performance,” said
Steve Girardin, president of Micro Bird.

Founded more than ten years ago in 2011, Ecotuned has successfully
developed one of the most efficient EV drivetrains for light and medium duty
applications. Its market leading energy-efficient EV solution comes
predominantly from a proprietary two-speed EV transmission, battery
management systems (BMS) as well as advanced algorithms, which allow for
a smaller electric motor, less batteries and more useful payload, without
compromising performance. The Ecotuned drivetrain comes standard with
Level 2 and 3 charging and is V2G capable.

The transaction is effective Thursday August 12, 2021, and all three
founding members will continue to be shareholders and play an instrumental
role in the evolution of the company. “Micro Bird was one of our first
customers and we have enjoyed a very close partnership and collaboration,”
said Andy Ta, Ecotuned Founder. “We look forward to working even closer
together and see Ecotuned achieve its full potential.”

For more than five years now, Micro Bird and Ecotuned have been closely
working together to perfect the medium-duty EV powertrain which is
currently offered in the Micro Bird G5. “The intent from the beginning was
always to offer a properly integrated solution that works in harmony with our
products and is supported by an experienced and established network of
dealers and professionals,” added Steve Girardin.

The Micro Bird and Ecotuned partnership is the EV solution of choice for
North America’s Type A school bus market, achieving over 80% market
share in the segment over the last twelve months. This segment leadership
further reinforces Blue Bird’s overall North American market share leadership
in the EV school bus market, having delivered more EV school buses in the
last 12 months than all its competitors combined.

In addition to the school bus segment, Micro Bird also plans to deploy its
Micro Bird G5 with Ecotuned EV powertrain in the commercial bus segment;
more details to come soon. Ecotuned also plans to expand its EV powertrains
in class 3 to 7 segments across various vocations.

“We are very excited about this highly-strategic acquisition,” said Phil
Horlock, Chief Executive Officer of Blue Bird Corporation. “This acquisition
reinforces our leadership in the EV school bus market while positioning Micro
Bird and Blue Bird for significant growth in revenue, profitability and value
for our shareholders. We look forward to utilizing Ecotuned’s significant EV
capabilities within Blue Bird.”

About Micro Bird: Founded in 1966, today Micro Bird is recognized for its
innovative products in the Type A category, and as a leader in the North
American market for school, commercial, collective and adapted buses.
The head office, plant and all marketing, engineering, manufacturing,
research and development activities are located in Drummondville, Quebec,
employing more than 500 employees. Micro Bird is currently experiencing
significant growth in vehicles powered by alternative energies such as
electric and propane. Micro Bird is a joint venture equally owned by the
Girardin Group and Blue Bird. For more information, visit the website

About Ecotuned: Ecotuned has developed one of the first electric powertrains
to perform universal and reusable vehicles designed to electrify buses,
trucks and light weight vehicles with traditional combustion into a 100%
electric vehicle. For more details, please visit the Ecotuned Automobile

About Blue Bird Corporation: Blue Bird (NASDAQ: BLBD) is the leading
independent designer and manufacturer of school buses, with more than
550,000 buses sold since its formation in 1927 and approximately 180,000
buses in operation today. Blue Bird’s longevity and reputation in the school
bus industry have made it an iconic American brand. Blue Bird distinguishes
itself from its principal competitors by its singular focus on the design,
engineering, manufacture and sale of school buses and related parts. As the
only manufacturer of chassis and body production specifically designed for
school bus applications, Blue Bird is recognized as an industry leader for
school bus innovation, safety, product quality/reliability/durability, operating
costs and drivability. Blue Bird has a rich history of bringing new technology
to the school bus space and is the undisputed leader in alternative-power
school buses, having more than 20,000 low and zero emission buses on the
road. Blue Bird manufactures school buses at two facilities in Fort Valley,
Georgia. Its Micro Bird joint venture operates a manufacturing facility in
Drummondville, Quebec, Canada. Service and after-market parts are
distributed from Blue Bird’s parts distribution center located in Delaware,
Ohio. For more information on Blue Bird’s complete line of buses, visit

About Girardin: Girardin has been a bus distributor for over 62 years,
serving Quebec, Ontario, the Atlantic provinces, and most recently to New
York and Connecticut in the United States. Girardin is the official distributor
of BLUE BIRD school buses and MICRO BIRD minibuses, being manufactured
in Quebec. Today, Girardin is the leader in alternative energies (vehicles
powered by propane, natural gas and electric) in school, commercial, urban
and adapted transport. More information is available on the Girardin
website:www.girardinbluebird.com.


PRESS CONTACT:
ANNIE LANGLOIS, Partner, Senior Vice-President
Massy Forget Langlois Public Relations
514 923-5036
alanglois@mflrp.ca