Will KTM Buy Ducati ?

bsacbob

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Taken from German magazine Speedweek, rumours are getting stronger.

Stefan Pierer (KTM): "Ducati would suit us well"

In addition to the successes in motorcycle sports reports KTM CEO Stefan Pierer also records in the core business. His major shareholder Bajaj wants to buy triumph. Pierer toying with Ducati. "This is the Ferrari of the motorcycle industry."
Stefan Pierer (62) is the founder of the investment company Cross Industries, later to become KTM Industries, and the CEO of KTM AG. Not only in the core business, but also in motorcycle sports KTM ensures regularly record. In 2018, KTM won the Dakar Rally for the 17th time in a row, as well as the US Supercross Championship and the MX2 and MX-GP Motocross World Championship classes with Jorge Prado and Jeff Herlings. Meanwhile, the former off-road specialist from Mattighofen has also turned into a renowned company in road racing.

Last time at the Valencia GP on 18 November, KTM won the Moto3 World Championship race with rookie Can Öncü, with Vice World Champion Miguel Oliveira in the Moto2 World Championship, and in the MotoGP race Red Bull KTM triumphed in pole positions 3 and 8 Espargaró and Bradley Smith.

"This success with pole Espargaró's third MotoGP finish in Valencia at the end of the season was very important as it lasts for four months until the next race, which is similar to the Dakar Rally, and we benefit from these successes all year round . "

As KTM entered the road GP sport before the 2003 season, first in the 125cc World Championship and then in the 250cc class, the Austrians had 79 world titles in off-road sports.

In the meantime, KTM has received no less than 297 world championship titles! In 2012, KTM took its first Road Racing Driver World Championship title: Sandro Cortese won the 2012 Moto3 World Championship, followed by Maverick Viñales 2013 and Brad Binder 2016. The Moto3 Constructors World Championship title After 2012, KTM also fell in the hands of 2013, 2014 and 2016.

All in all, KTM has already won 89 GP victories in road GP sports - in classes 125 cc, 250 cc, Moto3 and Moto2.

In the 2013/2014 season, KTM ("Ready to Race" slogan) won no less than 27 World Championship rounds in the Moto3 World Championship once a season. "KTM destroys motorsport," ranted the then Honda race boss Shuhei Nakamoto at that time angrily.

Stefan Pierer: Businessman with visions
Stefan Pierer, who took over KTM after the bankruptcy in 1992 with 150 employees and 6,000 sold motorcycles, which now employs 5,000 people, has long since bought WP suspension (500 employees) and now sells 265,000 motorcycles a year, after having Husqvarna (by BMW ) is a man with visions.

He wants to be the third largest sports motorcycle manufacturer in the world behind Honda and Yamaha by 2020. He has increased sales at Husqvarna from 6000 to more than 30,000 within five years.

"When I joined the offroad motorcycle business in 1992 when taking over KTM, the Husqvarna brand was the benchmark for me. I soon realized that the automotive industry often plays a pioneering role for the motorcycle industry, "says Stefan Pierer. "When the Volkswagen Group with all its brands developed the platform strategy, I saw that as a role model. We bought Husqvarna in 2012 when our friends from BMW asked us for help. There were many critical voices back then. We were told that we would only trouble ourselves with it. But we knew thanks to VW, how it's done, we dare about it. Today engines and chassis are built partly identically for both brands, but in the house with us one does not work against each other.

In Europe, motorcycle registrations in 2018 increased by about 5 percent. In Germany, KTM sold about 30 percent more motorcycles than in 2017.

"I am very satisfied with our motorcycle business this year, but I am feeling a global change," notes Stefan Pierer. "In Europe, 2018 went very well. But we do not know how Brexit will impact. In America, we have an unpredictable president. We do not know what will happen there tomorrow. Anyway, in America, the overall market is slightly lower, our segment rises there a bit. But Harley-Davidson is under tremendous pressure. "

"We have to adjust to a certain amount of consolidation," adds Stefan Pierer in an exclusive interview with SPEEDWEEK.com. "We will no longer grow at double-digit rates, but must adjust to single-digit growth rates. After seven, eight years of success, new challenges come to us. Keyword digitization - what's going on there! »

The KTM CEO has been insisting for years that he will continue to limit the range of motorcycles to machines with one and two cylinders.

"The theme is the 790 adventure," says Pierer. "We want to sell 15,000 of them next year; the middle class is becoming more important. In this segment will come with us more models, an SMT and so on. In the 500 cc class, we will bring a two-cylinder machine, which is manufactured by our partner Bajaj in India and with which we compete against the Japanese. Growth is happening in the emerging markets today, and in these emerging markets 'premium' is the mid-range of 500 to 800 cc. »

Can the KTM concept really last for a maximum of two cylinders if even Ducati now offers a V4 motorcycle for the first time?

Pierer: "To be able to offer a three-cylinder, Triumph would have to come to our group, which I exclude, as much as my Indian partner makes an effort. The four-cylinder is now a Ducati theme, with Ducati already under pressure. »

"I have an emotional relationship with Ducati," assures the KTM CEO. "Ducati is Ducati, there's nothing to shake about that. The only brand that would fit us is Ducati. Everything else you can forget. MV Agusta is too small. »

By the way: KTM has been equipping the X-bow sports cars with Audi engines for years.

But the VW group has paid in 2011 about 740 million euros for Ducati. Can you ever get that amount?

Pierer: "Audi may soon have other priorities than a motorcycle plant due to the diesel affair and e-mobility. Ducati is the Ferrari of the motorcycle industry. Of course, having such a brand in our group would be interesting. It is not a question of price, but it is about the topic: When does everyone realize in which situation he is. New homologation challenges await us - for example, we have Euro 5. In 2024, the topic of noise will come up. It is also in the demographic development in Europe. Today you have to go to Asia with the motorcycle business, to India. If you are not successful there, you will eventually be gone. It's not about the purchase price at Ducati, but the question: 'How can I get stronger together?' Time will tell…"

- Mehr bei SPEEDWEEK: Stefan Pierer (KTM): «Ducati würde gut zu uns passen»/MotoGP SPEEDWEEK
 

The Bigfella

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Interesting article. Thanks.
 
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