CFMoto on the rise: Plans for up to 30 UK dealers by 2024

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CFMoto have big plans for the UK in 2023, with ambitions to recruit up to 30 new dealers supported by backing from Pierer Mobility – the Austrian conglomerate behind the success of KTM, Husqvarna, GasGas, and the WP Suspension brand.

It was announced in late October 2022 that KTM would take over distribution for Chinese firm CFMoto in the UK and Ireland from January 2023, with bosses now confirming plans for between 20 and 30 new standalone dealers this year, as well as more KTM-powered production motorcycles on the way.

“It’s already ongoing. We acquire dealers every day and we are really pushing to get there as fast as possible,” Managing Director of CFMoto Distribution, Christian Waach, exclusively told MCN.

CFMoto CL-X 700 on test in Spain

He has worked for KTM for the past 20 years and has valuable experience in helping to build the Austrian brand to where it is today.

CFMoto, meanwhile, were founded in 1989 and employ around 4800 people. In 2021, global revenue eclipsed $1.2bn and although final 2022 figures aren’t yet available, Vice President of European Sales, Markus Ferch, confirmed to MCN that 127,000 new bikes were sold worldwide across the year.

“It’s extremely important because what the customer needs is trust,” Waach continued. “They buy a product and think about the availability of spare parts, and the value of the bike in three or four years. If you have no support, then nobody will buy.”

CFMoto's Moto3 bike on track

Despite CFMoto’s growing business, they remain relatively small in the UK. Figures compiled by the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) in 2022 revealed CFMoto’s best seller in the UK to be the £7549 700CL-X Sport parallel twin café racer, which netted just 21 registrations in the period.

In future, all new bikes sold will come with a four-year warranty and spare parts will now be stored at Pierer HQ in Mattighofen, with new dealers kept deliberately separate from other Pierer brands where possible.

It’s the latest step in a partnership that began back in 2013, when the Hangzhou firm began importing KTMs to China. A joint venture to produce bikes was established in 2017 and, going into 2023, the returning KTM 790 Adventure range will be built in China.

CFMoto CL-X 700 on the road

“I will be successful when a client in four years can sell a CFMoto and still get a good price for it, because then you know you did a good job,” Waach said. “Long-term, I would like to reach 5% market share.”

Unfortunately, despite the decade-strong relationship, the CFMoto boss was quick to confirm that all warranty and servicing work will need to be taken care of at a brand-specific dealer, rather than at a potentially closer KTM franchise. This is despite their larger 800MT adventure range featuring the 799cc parallel twin engine found in the 790 Adventure.

“[KTM] simply have no access to the spare parts. They have their own network, and they will not get the parts. We have two separate channels,” he explained.

CFMoto's Markus Ferch

This won’t be the only time we see this engine included in a CFMoto either, with Waach confirming: “We now have the NK800 middleweight roadster which will be launched in May/June and this will be the next CFMoto product based on this 790 engine platform.”

This will be a naked roadster, first seen as the NK-C22 concept at the 2022 Eicma trade show in Milan, and could sit as a direct rival to the likes of the incoming Honda CB750 Hornet, Suzuki GSX-8S and the veteran Yamaha MT-07.