BMW sells Husqvarna

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BMW has officially announced the sale of Italian dirt bike brand Husqvarna to Pierer Industrie AG – the firm headed by Stefan Pierer who is currently boss of KTM.

MCN was the first to reveal BMW was lining up to sell the company earlier this week but that first rumour suggested it was KTM buying the company. It turns out its KTM CEO Pierer completely independently of KTM.

The sale of Husqvarna comes less than five years after BMW bought it from the Castiglioni family (which owned it alongside MV Agusta) and has since ploughed tens of millions of Euros of investment into the firm, built an all-new Research and Design department and transformed the production facilities.

Both BMW and Pierer have agreed the price of the purchase will not be released. The purchase of Husqvarna coincided with the global financial crisis with off-road bike sales dropping off a cliff and not yet recovering.

Road bike sales of the new Nuda 900 have never been as high as hoped either.

Pierer is the current CEO of KTM but this purchase has been completed by his own Pierer Industrie AG firm and it is unknown at this stage if he will be allowed to stay on with KTM.

The BMW statement in full reads: "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.

"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."

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Andy Downes

By Andy Downes

Former MCN Senior Reporter