KTM has been on a phenomenal track for the past eight years, seeing record set each successive annum.
Part of the secret sauce to that success has been KTM’s partnership with KISKA, the Austrian design firm that is largely responsible for making KTM’s bikes look good, both in real life and in the media.
As KTM ramps up its lineup of two-wheelers, and continues to push into new markets and segments, the motorcycle manufacturer is looking to secure its stake is KISKA, announcing plans to take its ownership position from 26% to 50%.
The news comes from KTM’s end of the year report for 2018, where it also says that the motorcycle maker is on track for another record sales year.
Looking to the future, KTM sees a consolidation happening in the two-wheeled space (which may help explain KTM’s interest in purchasing Ducati from the Volkswagen Group), and as a result the Austrian firm may need more design horsepower from KISKA as it becomes responsible for more two-wheeled brands.
KTM doesn’t see a great future for the United States when it comes to motorcycle sales, however. Unit sales for motorcycles in the USA dropped 2% this year (they are up 7% in Europe, by the way), and KTM predicts only more attrition for 2019 in the American market.
That might not mean too much to KTM, though. The “Ready to Race” brand is one of the few marques able to show gains in the US market, due largely to the company’s expanding on-road offering.
It certainly doesn’t hurt too that KTM (along with Husqvarna) has a strangle hold on the US off-road market, giving the zie Austrians a two-pronged approach to business success.
All of this means that 2019 is shaping up to be a very interesting year for the Borg cube that is KTM Industries AG.