KTM CEO Stefan Pierer Still Wants to Buy Ducati and Now Triumph

Photo credit Cycle World
  • KTM CEO Stefan Pierer is still adamant about buying the Ducati brand off the Volkswagen Group and has added Triumph Motorcycles to his list.

  • He wants to create a “unified European motorcycle brand.”

  • KTM is currently No. 4 and aims for No. 3.

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KTM CEO Stefan Pierer is still adamant about buying the Ducati brand off Volkswagen AG and has added Triumph Motorcycles to his list.

That’s his ultimate view, but there’s a premise to the entire story.

KTM has just surpassed Harley-Davidson as the biggest motorcycle manufacturer outside Asia. The former sold 261,000 motorcycles in 2018, some 35,000 more than the Motor Company did. However, KTM only raked in USD 1.75 billion compared to Harley’s nearly USD 5 billion as the latter’s bikes were much more expensive.

Yet, KTM is still the fourth largest manufacturer in the world behind Honda, Yamaha and Kawasaki. Honda sold a whopping 20 million motorcycles last year, making even Yamaha’s 5.4 million look paltry.

KTM CEO Stefan Pierer – PHOTOGRAPHER: MICHAELA HANDREK-REHLE/BLOOMBERG

Pierer knows that the Japanese’s volume is due to the number of different types and models available in different countries. This was the reason why KTM linked up with Bajaj to produce smaller capacity motorcycles.

But the man doesn’t want to stop there and set a target of reaching 400,000 units by 2022 globally. That target ought to demote Kawasaki as the world’s third largest motorcycle manufacturer.

In that sense, he felt that he should buy Ducati and Triumph and uniting the three brands as a triumvirate to form “a united European motorcycle company.” In saying so, he mentioned Ducati and Triumph’s 2018 sales of 53,000 and 61,500, respectively. “We’re saving ourselves in Europe,” he added. He didn’t mention that BMW Motorrad sold 165,566 units, though. Triumph’s not for sale, definitely.

Will the orange brand get there?

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

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