KTM CEO Mr Stefan Pierer has acquired BMW Motorrad owned Husqvarna, a Swedish motorcycle brand now headquartered at Varese, Italy. This surprising move comes at a time when BMW Motorrad is said to be heavily invested in Husqvarna, even deputing a chunk of its engineers from Germany to design and develop new products at Husqvarna. One such development from BMW Motorrad’s efforts resulted in the Nuda 900 streetbike, which has turned out to be a successful model for Husqvarna. The Nuda even uses the engine designed and built by BMW. Now though, Stefan Pierer has bought Husqvarna from KTM through Pierer Industries AG, a company that Mr Pierer owns.
In light of these facts, it remains to be seen what will happen to the technology that BMW Motorrad has helped Husqvarna develop over the past half a decade. Meanwhile, the move from Mr Pierer is said to be one that will help consolidate KTM’s leadership position in Europe by adding to volumes. KTM overtook BMW Motorrad in Europe, on the back of the success of big volume motorcycles like the Duke 125 and the Duke 200. The addition of Husqvarna in KTM’s portfolio will further strengthen the Austrian motorcycle brand’s dominant position in Europe. Incidentally, Indian motorcycle giant Bajaj Auto, owns a 47 % stake in Cross Holdings, the holding company of KTM.
Bajaj Auto contract manufacturers a range of KTM motorcycles like the Duke 125, 200 and 390, in exchange for technology from KTM, that it in turn uses on its own range of high performance Pulsar motorcycles sold in India and abroad. The exact size of the Husqvarna deal and more details on how this brand would be positioned is something that remains unknown at the moment. However, BMW Motorrad bought Husqvarna from MV Agusta, an Italian sportsbike maker, in 2007 for 93 Million Euros. Husqvarna is known for its motorcross and super moto range of motorcycles, a similarity that it shares with KTM. Therefore, this deal is a strategic fit of sorts for KTM as Husqvarna essentially makes the same kind of motorcycles.
In the late 19th century, Husqvarna begin life in Sweden as a maker of armaments for the Swedish Army. In 1903, the company branched out into motorcycles and from there on, it began to produce a range of motorcycles with capacities of 350cc-500cc. Though involved in motorcycle racing right from 1918, Husqvarna catapulted to global recognition in the 1960s and 1970s when it dominated the motocross championships with its motocross range of motorcycles. Ever since. Husqvarna’s been known more for its motocross range. In 1987, Husqvarna Motorcycles were acquired by Cagiva, an Italian motorcycle maker that is a part of te MV Agusta group. From here on, Husqvarna shifted base to Varese, Italy, from where it has operated ever since.