Posted Feb 1st 2013 8:29AM
A couple of days ago the UK's Motorcycle News reported that BMW was in the final stages of selling Husqvarna to KTM, with a deal potentially confirmed as soon as this week. Following that came reports that Husqvarna Motorcycles wasn't sold to KTM but to a Pierer Industries, the company owned by KTM CEO Stefan Pierer. Turns out the advance report was true, as was the follow-up: BMW has just announced a "strategic realignment" of its Motorrad division, explaining that it sold Husqvarna to Pierer Industries in order to focus on the urban and e-mobility segments. Husqvarna's off-road machines, obviously, don't fit into those categories.
BMW bought the Italian-based bike maker with centuries-old Swedish roots in 2007 – the rest of the Husqvarna company remains based in Sweden – and has invested huge sums to integrate the smaller company into the larger parent. Six years later, just when dividends should begin to truly pay off, the brand is sold.
Before BMW made its announcement, one of the theories that forum members put forward for Pierer's interest in purchasing Husqvarna was that he wants his own business to run his own way. The parent company of KTM, Cross Industries, is 47.27-per cent owned by India's Bajaj Automotive, with Pierer the majority shareholder, and is on a quest for global growth, taking the fight to BMW in Europe and launching new bikes and technology into the Indian market. Compared to BMW's and KTM's 2012 sales of around 100,000 bikes each in 2012, Husqvarna sold 10,751 bikes, which was a 15.7-per cent increase over the previous year. Pierer would have a lot more freedom in the running of a company of that size.
Now that the sale has been confirmed, ruminations will turn to issues like whether Pierer steps down from his position at KTM, what will become of the sub-brand Husaberg if Pierer doesn't step down and how Husqvarna and KTM might cooperate no matter what Pierer does.
In the press release from BMW below, along with urban and e-mobility initiatives the German firm says it will expand its interests in "core segments from the 650 single-cylinder entry-level bike to the six-cylinder luxury tourer." The sale is pending approval from European anti-trust authorities.
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Strategic realignment at BMW Motorrad
Sale of Husqvarna Motorcycles to Pierer Industrie AG
Munich, 31.01.2013 - 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.