KTM Owner Buys Husqvarna Motorcycles

It’s being reported that BMW has divested itself of the Husqvarna motorcycle brand in a sale to Austrian company Pierer Industrie AG.   According to published reports, Pierer is owned by KTM CEO Stefan Pierer.  KTM is partly owned by an Indian manufacturer Bajaj.  So here’s where it gets a little confusing.  What will be the relationship between KTM and Husqvarna?   While the CEO of KTM will own Husky, does that automatically assume he will share proprietary information from Husqvarna with KTM, or vice versa?

We’ve posted the press release from BMW below.  It doesn’t address any of the questions we raised, so it looks like we’ll have to wait and see.

Press Release:  The BMW Group is realigning its BMW Motorrad business. In the context of changing motorcycle markets, demographic trends and increasing environmental demands, BMW Motorrad will expand its product offering to exploit future growth potential. The focus of the realignment will be on urban mobility and e-mobility. By restructuring the segment, the BMW Group will concentrate on expanding and utilising the resources of the BMW Motorrad brand. Therefore the BMW Group signed a purchase agreement with Pierer Industrie AG (Austria) for the acquisition of Husqvarna Motorcycles. The acquisition will proceed subject to approval by anti-trust authorities. Both companies have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.

Expanded offering for urban mobility and e-mobility

BMW Motorrad achieved a new sales record in 2012. With the realignment of its motorcycle business, BMW Motorrad aims to maintain profitable and sustainable growth over the coming years. Its current core business consists exclusively of premium vehicles in the categories “Tourer”, “Enduro”, “Sport”, “Roadster” and “Maxi-Scooter” from 650 to 1600 cc. BMW Motorrad entered the urban mobility segment for the first time in 2012 with the C 650 GT and C 600 Sport maxi-scooters. The next step in the expansion of the product line-up in this segment will be the series launch of the “C evolution” electric scooter in 2014. Further innovative vehicle concepts are also under consideration. Drive trains will include both environmentally-friendly combustion engines and pure electric drives. This move by BMW Motorrad reflects the BMW Group’s overall focus on early identification of trends, such as megacities and traffic density, as well as environmental issues. Corresponding products and services are already available for the Automobile segment.

Continuation of product offensive

In addition to the expansion in the field of urban mobility, core segments from the 650 single-cylinder entry-level bike to the 6-cylinder luxury tourer will also be selectively expanded.

A One-Two Finish for MICHELIN at Albacete

The second round, in Albacete, Spain, saw Michelin Motorcycle tires claim the top two places thanks to its partners BMW Motorrad France and Yamaha GMT 94. The eight-hour marathon enabled MICHELIN to showcase its expertise round this difficult circuit where teams faced a particularly broad range of temperatures.

The second round of the 2011 Endurance World Championship at Albacete, Spain, saw MICHELIN tyres claim the top two places thanks to its partners BMW Motorrad France and Yamaha GMT 94. The eight-hour marathon enabled MICHELIN to showcase its expertise round this difficult circuit where teams faced a particularly broad range of temperatures.

It might not be the championship’s most technically demanding venue, but Albacete is always a big challenge for tyre manufacturers. The chief reasons for this are its high number of turns, the abrasive nature of its surface and the big fluctuations in temperature between the daylight and night-time phases of the race. To be competitive here, tyres must be extremely versatile and MICHELIN’s range rose to the challenge of the Spanish track with flying colours…

Philippe MUSSATI (manager of MICHELIN Competition’s two-wheel racing programmes): “Albacete is reputed for being very hard on tyres and we had to carefully tailor the range we took there for our partner teams. Track temperatures of around 40°C called for competitive, durable and versatile products, which are three essentially opposing qualities. Yet the combination of our engineers’ excellent development work and the first class job the teams did setting up their bikes gave our partners a certain edge throughout the race. The BMW set a new lap record for the track during qualifying before going on to dominate the race, while Yamaha GMT 94 quickly made its mark to secure an unchallenged second place. Indeed, only two bikes succeeded in lapping under the 1m32s mark during the race, and they were the BMW and YART Yamaha, which had the honour of posting the fastest race lap (1m31.609s). It’s such a shame that YART ran out of fuel at one point, because we were heading for a MICHELIN one-two-three at that stage. I would also like to underline DG Sport’s outstanding run in the Superstock class. Had it not been for a fall, they could well have finished on the podium.”

This MICHELIN one-two has boosted the positions of the firm’s partners in the provisional world championship standings. BMW Motorrad France is now just two points short of the current leader, while Yamaha GMT 94 has moved up to third spot.