In efforts to focus more on its BMW Motorrad business, the BMW Group has agreed to sell its Husqvarna brand to Pierer Industrie AG (Austria), a holding company owned by Stefan Pierer, the CEO of KTM.
Pierer Industrie (AG), which owns 51 percent of KTM AG (Austria), has agreed to purchase Husky from the Munich-based BMW Group for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition is subject to approval by anti-trust authorities.
BMW says the agreement to sell the Husqvarna brand is due to BMW “realigning” its core motorcycle business, increasing focus on “urban mobility,” such as BMW’s C 650 GT and C 600 Sport maxi scooters, and “e-mobility,” such as the “C evolution” electric scooter set to launch in 2014.
BMW says “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 utilizing the resources of the BMW Motorrad brand.”
But besides expanding on these two segments, BMW reports it will also expand its core offerings, “from the 650 single-cylinder entry-level bike (F700GS) to the 6-cylinder luxury tourer (K1600GTL).”
BMW Motorrad, which earned a new sales record in 2012 (up 2 percent, 106,358 motorcycles and scooters sold worldwide), acquired Husqvarna from MV Agusta in 2007.
When BMW took control, things rapidly began changing for the Husky brand. First arrived a new R&D center for Husqvarna at its plant in Cassinetta, Italy. Then Husqvarna, which originated in Sweden in 1903 and sold to MV Agusta in 1987, restructured its production and spare-parts supply, allowing the company to push ahead with new products, such as its first street bike, the Nuda 900. In November, Husqvarna entered the Brazilian motorcycle market for the first time ever through the BMW Group in Brazil.
Under BMW, Husqvarna would grow, eventually selling 10,751 motorcycles in 2012, which was up 16 percent over 2011.
But soon Husqvarna will be under the control Pierer’s holding group, and will likely continue the trend of expanding its street bike lineup. This expansion of street bikes has certainly worked for KTM with such motorcycles as the 1190 RC8 superbike and the 690 Duke.
Such diversification also helped KTM have a successful 2012 sales year; worldwide, sales were up 32 percent (107,142 motorcycles sold).
BMW ended it’s press release about the acquisition with other ideas besides the focus on urban mobility and e-mobility. “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.”
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