Don’t Believe the Spin, KTM Sales Down 33% for First-Half of 2020

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While the MIC and the motorcycle industry at large tries to spin a narrative where motorcycle sales are thriving throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the cold and hard numbers don’t lie, and they paint a different story. Today is a continuation of that trend.

Case in point, we have the mid-year sales report from Pierer Mobility, the company behind the KTM, Husqvarna, and GasGas brands, and for the first six months of 2020, the Austrian group is touting only a modest (for the times) sales decline of 8% compared to last year.

That would be a decent and expected figure, considering the turbulent year with the coronavirus, if it wasn’t a complete fabrication and a contradiction to the company’s own reported sales numbers.

To be fair to Stefan Pierer’s collection of two-wheeled companies, the doom and gloom does seem to be caused in part by the company’s partner in India, with sales from Bajaj down 38% so far this year.

However, Bajaj only accounts for about one-third of KTM’s business, and the further we get into the numbers, we can see where Pierer is trying to obfuscate the larger downward trend at the company.

Case in point: for the first six months of the year, Pierer Mobility is reporting sales of 124,692 units. But, for the first time in its recording history, the company is including e-bike sales in those motorcycle sales numbers numbers.

Pulling the e-bike sales out of the equation, we see that actual motorcycle sales were 90,331 units worldwide for KTM, Husqvarna, and GasGas in the first six months of this year.

Compared to the 135,711 units (115,318 KTM motorcycles and 20,393 Husqvarna motorcycles) that Pierer Mobility reported this time last year, this shows that the actual sales change in units sold is a 33% drop, not 8% (and certainly not a 1.3% gain, which the company offers in its press release with zero context to support it).

While the e-bike business for KTM and Husqvarna is certainly going to be an important one for Pierer Mobility going forward, they are in no way indicative of the trends in the motorcycle space, and wholly inappropriate to include in “motorcycle” sales figures.

The only reason for their inclusion in 2020’s figure can be the boost in numbers that they help provide for what would otherwise be a dismal sales report.

Taking this news for what it really is, KTM et al are at least on their way to posting their first sales decline in nine years, which is a huge enough deal for the Austrian contingency, but diving into the actual numbers, we see that state of KTM, Husqvarna, and GasGas is much more dire than the headlines would have us believe.

The only consolation to today’s news and misinformation campaign is that Pierer Mobility isn’t the only European brand trying to spin aggressively what is shaping up to be a horrible year for the motorcycle industry. Be careful what you believe.

Source: Pierer Mobility