KTM expands production to China with CFMoto factory deal

KTM will shift production for a number of its models to a new state-of-the-art facility in China as part of its alliance with CFMoto

KTM 390 Adventure

KTM looks set to shift production of several models to China at a new facility in Hangzhou next year as part of its alliance with local firm CFMoto.

The two companies entered into a joint venture in 2011, with CFMoto importing and supplying KTM motorcycles across China. However, this new phase in their partnership will see them working more closely together.

The new facility will be capable of producing between 50,000 and 100,000 motorcycles annually when it begins production mid-2020.

Significantly, it means KTM will shift production of a number of its middleweight models away from its native Austria and out to China to then be sold across Europe, Asia and the United States.

The move will allow KTM to focus on increasing sales in the crucial Asian market, while freeing up capacity in Europe for its more prestige models, such as the new KTM Super Duke R.

It’s a strategy that is already working in India, where KTM’s shareholding partner Bajaj Auto is based. As well as producing several models in the Pune factory, India is set to become the manufacturing base for KTM’s upcoming range of electric motorcycles.

Indeed, it has been a very busy year for the Austrian firm with a number of new models being launched across both its range and the sister Husqvarna brand, a change of parent company branding (to Pierer Mobility) and the majority acquisition of the GasGas brand, not to mention its racing activities.

How does this benefit CFMoto?

The deal will also have major benefits for CFMoto, which already has a licence in its pocket to utilise the 990cc LC8 engine and has been previewing a series of new models with the express intention of pushing further into the European market.

One of the world’s largest ATV makers, CFMoto produces a number of small-to-mid displacement motorcycles around the world (marketed at WK Bikes in the UK) but has shown off its intentions for growth with some intriguing new models.

Chief amongst this plot to grow is the brand-new CFMoto 700CL-X range launched at EICMA 2019, a new flagship range that debuts a new design language for the brand and will be offered in three defining trim levels – Sport, Heritage and Adventure.

It has also shown off the 300NK – a model that takes heavy influence from KTM’s appearance – and the 250SR sportsbike, which could be among the models to be built at this new facility.