Friday, February 1



AFTER the rumours flew around the internet early in the week, BMW yesterday issued a press release confirming that it had sold Husqvarna Motorcycles to Austrian company Pierer Industrie AG.

This has set off a fresh round of speculation as Pierer Industrie AG is owned by Stefan Pierer, the Chief Executive Officer of KTM Sports Motorcycles AG…

Rather than get into speculation here, let’s just report the facts.

In July 2007, Husqvarna Motorcycles was purchased by BMW Motorrad for a reported 93 million Euros.  At the time BMW Motorrad said it planned to continue operating Husqvarna Motorcycles as a separate enterprise.  

It has done in the five plus years since.

In addition, it retained all development, sales and production activities, as well as the workforce, at the old Aermacchi/Cagiva location at Varese in northern Italy.

At the time BMW said it intended to position Husqvarna as "the two-wheeled version of what the Mini is to BMW's car division."

"With Husqvarna models targeted at the sporty competition, we will be able to extend the BMW Motorrad range to include younger groups of customers as well as the entire off-road and supermoto sector much more quickly and effectively than with our core brand alone," BMW's Herbert Diess,  general director of BMW's motorcycle division, said in a statement on July 20, 2007.

"This transaction also provides us with direct access to a worldwide sales network in the off-road segment," Diess added.

At the time, Husqvarna, which was then owned by Claudio Castiglioni’s MV Agusta Group, was making around 12,000 units a year.  However, while the dirt bike market has been hit hard by the bankruptcy of the international banks, a.k.a. the Global Financial Crisis, Husqvarna has been able to maintain its small market.  It sales since are:

                       2008         13,511 units
                       2009         13,052
                       2010         12,066
                       2011           9286
                       2012         10,751

Apart from the purchase price, BMW has spent a considerable amount in updating the Varese plant as well as rehabilitating the site with the removal of toxic waste built up over the years.

But now BMW is talking of a “strategic realignment,” “demographic trends” and “increasing environmental demands” as its reasons for divesting itself of Husqvarna.

Here is the BMW statement:

Strategic realignment at BMW Motorrad 31.01.2013

Sale of Husqvarna Motorcycles to Pierer Industrie AG

Munich.  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.