Stefan Pierer on purchasing Husqvarna

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stefan-pierer

In a shock move, KTM CEO Stefan Pierer just bought Husqvarna from BMW, just five years after BMW itself acquired it from MV Agusta and pumped a ton of cash into development of new street models. What gives? Our friends at Nieuwsmotor.nl got Pierer on the phone to ask him just that. In this frank interview, he talks about the brand’s current troubles, it’s future relationship with KTM and even suggests the possibility of getting Bajaj involved.

Nieuwsmotor: Herr Pierer, congratulations on the purchase of Husqvarna. The big question now is “Why?”

Stefan Pierer: “In the auto industry, you’ve seen a similar movement for years of more brands moving under one roof. The motorcycle market is considerably decreased, therefore consolidation within it has become even more important.”

“To sell more products, it’s logical for a company to target brands at specific niches. KTM is now the global leader in the field of endure and motocross, therefore expansion in those areas is very difficult. That is why, like many auto companies, we are looking at multiple brands that can cooperate in areas such as development, purchasing and the like.”

Nieuwsmotor: Why Husqvarna when, with Husaberg, you already have a similar marque?

Stefan Pierer: “We think that with Husqvarna, there’s a specific niche to tackle. With this brand, we want to focus on competing with Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki. We’d like to move the brand to selling 10,000 units per year, then continue watching. For that, Husqvarna needs to go back to it’s roots, it’s strayed too far.”

“The brand has a wonderful history, but a completely wrong model lineup and is on completely the wrong track. The dealer network was not ready to sell two-cylinder street models.”

“We will work with Husqvarna to go back to its origins. We’ll soon be back in motocross and then in supermoto, both sports in which Husqvarna previously dominated. Within the next year, we will make an appropriate motorcycle developed with the specifications and character Husqvarna needs.”

Nieuwsmotor: How do you integrate Husqvarna and KTM?

Stefan Pierer: “The brands will remain self sufficient in terms of brand perception, models and sales networks, but as I mentioned earlier, there will be a lot of behind the scenes cooperation in the field of R&D, purchasing, components and more. We’re not sure if production will remain in Varese, Italy or move to Mattinghofen, Austria.”

“Initially, Husqvarna was bought by my private company, Pierer Industry, but in the future this may change and possibly involve our Indian partner Bajaj.”

Nieuwsmotor: There’s been no word on the price, but we know BMW invested a lot of money in the brand.

Stefan Pierer: “The price was reasonable for both parties. It was easy for BMW to come to us, since they wanted to leave the offroad market. I think you’ll soon think of us as world leaders in offroad. I think we have a great deal here, it’s up to us to make something out of it!”

This interview originally appeared on Nieuwsmotor.nl and is reprinted here with permission.

  • Aaron Trent

    I think most people already consider KTM a leader in off-road. Domination of Dakar, a huge presence in Hare Scrambles with the 300cc 2 stroke, and a premier class title in Motocross. If he wants Husky to be premier he has a lot of poaching on big brother’s turf to do.

    • roma258

      Yeah, not seeing the angle here. Unless they’re going to make KTM more road-oriented (not a bad thing, their road models are universally excellent).

  • The_Doctor

    Pretty damn ambitious plans. It will be interesting to see how it all unfolds for him.

  • Khali

    So instead of diversifying markets he wants the sales of 3 motocross brands gathering a big share of that specific market, right?

  • di0genes

    It’s beginning to make sense, when I tell people I have a KTM, few know what that is even life long street bikers, (how y’all spell that?) the only people who know what a KTM is are hard core off roaders. Thanks to On Any Sunday every bike rider dirt or street knows what a Husqvarna is, and many non bike riders know the brand because of the chainsaws. Husqvarna will do for KTM what Polaris hopes the Indian brand will do for Victory.

  • http://www.facebook.com/SashaPave Sasha Pave

    I truly hope it works out for Husky, it’s such a wonderful iconic brand with huge value. The shared r&d is a bit concerning, and KTM’s history with Husa has left too much cross-over in the product lines.

    I just hope this doesn’t happen “You want your 300cc 2-stroke in Orange, Blue or Red?” and have them all essentially the same machine with different logos.

    That said, if you look at the 450 Enduro segment, the differences between Beta, Gas Gas, Husaberg, KTM, Husqvarna, Suzuki, Honda, Yamaha aren’t huge, but from a consumer perspective still significant.

    Good luck to Stefan and Husky, I’d love to own one some day!

  • John Ashman

    Husky needs to go for normal people with nice trail bikes, scramblers, dual purpose bikes, etc. KTM stuff is too hard core for most people. It would be great to have bikes that don’t require stilts and a butt masseuse that still have some tech and capability to them.

  • aluvimoto

    since husqy released nuda 900r, i think those manufacture goes losing his identity. i hope with the orange hand husqy will go better and doesn’t loose his identity again :3