Boss of KTM on their electric future

He’s very powerful, concerned about the future of KTM and very upbeat about bikes. Especially electric ones.

THE last 12 months were really difficult
And at some stages almost like freefall without seeing any ground – and not just for KTM. The US market declined by 60 percent, and in Europe the market went down 30 percent. Right now the situation has already recovered. In the last six months our business delivered positive figures.

THE major reason for this is KTM reacted very fast
This process was the toughest throughout my time in KTM but on the other hand we had no other option. The industry will probably never return to the sales heights of 2008.

THESE days we’re focussing on our strengths
Which means delivering the best possible off-road sport motorcycle to the core community. On the other hand we started up a strategic partnership with Bajaj in India – the perfect partner to introduce and distribute KTM motorcycles in new, important parts of the globe.

R&D is the powerful engine of this company
And it will remain like this. For some projects, we had to bring the ‘rpm’ down a bit and some targets had to be redefined. But basically all core projects are still in progress and on time. We also had just minor cutbacks in terms of infrastructure and employees inside R&D.

THE Venom was made as a pure show bike from the beginning with RC8 DNA
Maybe in the future we can think again on this kind of naked bike interpretation, but right now we are focusing on the Super Duke range – which is still perceived as an extremely competitive bike in this segment and 100% in line with our philosophy.

WE presented the latest versions of our zero emission sports motorcycle project at the Tokyo motorcycle show last month
One off-road version which is not that far away from a serial production and one interpretation for e-drive street riding in the nearer future. The KTM Freeride project is on schedule and we will see the introduction of the first serial electric sportenduro in summer 2011.  We are pushing this project hard, because we definitely see a huge potential here – and a big chance for off-road sport.

AT KTM we’re open-minded  about electric projects
We always look for sports applications and sooner or later also racing categories for electric vehicles will appear on all kinds of surface. It is like a jump-start situation for the entire industry and we all have to learn.

Continue with the KTM interview

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