According to the numbers for 2018, KTM has moved past the competition to become the largest non-Asian motorcycle manufacturer in the world (sort of).
KTM supposedly sold 261,000 motorcycles in 2018, far more than BMW and even Harley-Davidson, Bloomberg says. Impressive, for sure, and some are saying that means KTM is now the largest non-Asian motorcycle manufacturer in the world.
Errrr, that might be a bit of a stretch, as you can’t forget that Indian motorcycle manufacturer Bajaj owns almost half of KTM, and many, many small-displacement KTM motorcycles are made in India as well.
But then, BMW is making motorcycles in Asia as well, and so is Harley-Davidson, and even bikes built in the US or Europe are often assembled with a huge percentage of imported Japanese/Chinese/Indian parts. It’s definitely not a black-and-white situation.
And even if it was, who cares? It’s not like Asian motorcycles, even the bikes built outside Japan, haven’t proven themselves for decades. It’s not just the Big Four; manufactures like Sym have long showed they can build motorcycles that will last for the long haul.
So KTM’s growth is impressive, although there’s still room at the top of the food chain, and that’s where CEO Stefan Pierer is aiming. He wants to overtake Kawasaki as the third-largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world, selling more than 400,000 bikes a year, says Bloomberg. Good luck catching Honda and Yamaha, who are selling 20 million and five million bikes a year, respectively …