Official: BMW sells Husqvarna to Stefan Pierer

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News of Husqvarna’s sale to KTM CEO Stefan Pierer was met with much skepticism yesterday. It shouldn’t have been. Here’s the official press release announcing the move.

Strategic realignment at BMW Motorrad

Sale of Husqvarna Motorcycles to Pierer Industrie AG

Munich. 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.

But why? spoke to BMW’s head of product communications, Manfred Grunert, who stated, “Due to the enormous downturn in the offroad market, BMW has decided to focus purely on BMW Motorrad, so on road models of over 600cc. Never say never, but in the short term, BMW will therefore not return in the offroad segment.”

  • Lama glama

    BMW does the Harley flip-flop.

  • KevinB

    Is the maxi-scooter segment really that big that it bears mention here? Who would’ve thought. I think I’ve seen like 10 of those things in my life and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody under 300lbs on one of them.

    • nick2ny

      Do you live in the United States?

      • KevinB

        Do 300lb people live somewhere else?

        • nick2ny

          In Europe, people < 300 lbs happily ride Maxi-Scooters to work, while staying dry and keeping their suits clean. That's where you end up when lane-splitting is legal and gas is $8+ per gallon.

          • nick2ny

            World’s Fattest Twins: avid motorcyclists.

            • KevinB

              that’s awesome

    • Wes Siler

      Look at a map of the world. How much of it isn’t America?

      • KevinB

        I don’t know in relation to motorcycle sales. You should make one of those distorted maps with worldwide motorcycle sales. It’d be interesting. Like this –

        • Jasiek Wrobel

          This is the closest they have – mopeds and motorcycles ownership in 2002:

        • Gregory Eaves

          The future of two-wheels is in Indonesia and India, to a lesser degree in China. (Mainly because China already has plenty of its own brands… that we’ve never heard of.) The big motorcycle brands– Kymco, Honda, SYM, Yamaha, et cetera– are focusing on those markets, getting families mobile and granting dignity to the people.

          A map like that would be awesome.

          Seoul, KR

      • Kidchampion

        I was surprised to see so many BMW C1′s still in use in Spain. Yes, so much of the world use smaller displacement motorcycles and larger displacement scooters as their daily transpo. I was also surprised to see so many large BMW bikes and dealerships in Chile – a place that seems like Los Angeles in the 90′s but with a feeling of financial ascendency. BMW aren’t dummies.

      • KeithB

        Oh dear…some may find that hard to imagine. :-)

        • Hooligan

          I’m afraid so. In terms of landmass the USA fits easily into the Sahara desert.

    • Gregory Eaves

      Yes, it is. In dense urban environments, where most people in the world live, a maxi-scooter– from 250cc up to about 650cc– is _the_ slick, mature, fun way to get to work. One tends to wear office or school clothes, with perhaps a helmet and gloves. Maxi-scooters are high-tech, luxurious, clean (relatively) and smooth like a hot knife through butter. Chicks dig ‘em. Your boss nods approvingly. In short, you are Akira.

      I just bought a 2013 Daelim Q3/ S3 and it’s glorious.

      Seoul, KR

    • Sasha Pave

      Riding through Europe and living in Spain really opened my eyes to the maxi. They’re freaking everywhere, and definitely outnumber large motorcycles.

      I found it interesting riding through the Alps to Italy on a Sunday: Every pack of sportbikes always had at least a couple maxi cruisers riding along, in full leathers. And keeping up.

  • Garrett Nelson

    Whats most interesting to me is that the press release doesn’t say it was sold to KTM, but to Stefan Pierer. A bit curious as to the business reason why the structured the deal like that.

    • Alex

      Because Pierer will own apparently 100% of Husqvarna, while he does not own 100% of KTM, which are partly owned by Bajaj, the move probably comes from the almost inevitability of Bajaj liquidating the rest of Pierer’s stock on KTM or at least the threat of that happening, and clearly he knows how to run an off-road motorcycle brand, plus the amount of money and research dumped on Husqvarna by BMW was huge, they completely left everything running to develop whole new things and they are bailing before seeing the return on that investment…

  • James Foley

    They could’ve expanded into the sub 600cc market using Husqvarna’s already designed small engines. Maybe that was the original plan and they changed their minds. Seems like a real missed opportunity.