KTM Outdo Harley in 2018 on bike sales

KTM sold more motorcycles in 2018 than Harley-Davidson, and now want to break into the top three motorcycle manufacturers worldwide

Morocco KTM Sena SF4

KTM had a stellar 2018 after selling 261,000 motorcycles globally, but KTM CEO, Stefan Pierer, has his sights set on breaking into the top-three makers on the planet and overtaking Kawasaki in the process.

Pierer took the helm at KTM in 1991 after purchasing the flailing company from then owners, he began trying to turn the company around, focussing the workforce on off-road bikes.

Fast-forward to present day and Pierer reigns over an empire worth an estimated $1billion dollars, making everything from small capacity machines, sportsbikes, supernakeds as well as their famous off-road and adventure machines.

With all this success comes further pressure from the industry, stakeholders and customers alike, as Pierer admitted in an interview with Matthias Wabl for Bloomberg that he has his sights firmly set on placing KTM near the top of the world motorcycle manufacturing tree.

Bloomberg report that KTM, under Pierer’s reign, has quadrupled sales in a shrinking market, with new designs and a greater focus on Asia both being key to hitting 400,000 sales by 2022 – meaning they’d be snapping at the heels of Kawasaki in the sales charts!

Another interesting insight is that KTM has usurped the mighty Harley-Davidson in outright bike sales by approximately 35,000 units, although for clarity H-D’s sales mainly comprise of high-value machines and a massive accessory and clothing line, meaning Harley’s revenue was three-times that of the Austrian firms at $1.75 billion.

It might not be smooth sailing for KTM’s trip to the top though, with Pierer himself admitting that electric bikes will have to feature more heavily in the sales figures in order to allow KTM to attain this figure. As a brand that is so deeply rooted in the world of performance motorcycles and racing, will the Orange Army take a range of eco-friendly electric commuters and pedal bikes further down the line?

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