KTM CEO: Husqvarna will work with KTM

Forget those big-bore BMW-powered Husqvarnas; it seems the new owner wants to return to dirt-oriented machines like the TE449.

Forget those big-bore BMW-powered Husqvarnas; it seems the new owner wants to return to dirt-oriented machines like the TE449.

The good folks over at nieuwsmotor.nl who broke the original story of Husqvarna’s sale to KTM CEO Stefan Pierer have more information on their site.

The original story of Husqvarna’s sale had many wondering where the company’s future led, and what Pierer’s plans were. After all, much of Husky’s lineup had been built around BMW motors, and with the German company unloading Husqvarna, the future of those models was in question.

It seems Pierer believes those bikes (particularly the Nuda models) were part of Husqvarna’s problem under BMW leadership – he told Nieuwsmotor Husqvarna’s dealer network wasn’t ready to sell the two-cylinder streetbikes. That sounds like the end of the line for those machines.

Instead, Pierer says he wants to bring Husqvarna back to its origins, with KTM’s help. Apparently, he isn’t planning on cashing out his KTM shares anytime soon. Instead, he says he’s hoping to use KTM’s marketing and technology expertise to bring Husqvarna back into competition in the market.

Waitaminnit, you say – doesn’t that sound a lot like KTM’s existing arrangement with Husaberg?

You’re right. It does. But Pierer seems to want to take Husqvarna in a different direction – he says he wants to challenge the Japanese manufacturers, selling 10,000 bikes a year and competing in motocross and supermoto, Husky’s traditional stomping grounds.

He isn’t ruling out some future deal with Bajaj, either, which raises a really interesting question. Pierer didn’t say anything about this possibility, but if he’s really planning to battle the Japanese on price as well as performance, could he be planning on shifting manufacture to Asia? India-based Bajaj could make motorcycles much more cheaply than the existing Italian facility where Huskies are made, or KTM’s Austrian plant.

 

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