KTM: The World’s Fastest Growing Bike Maker
2015 was a record year for the Austrian manufacturer KTM, who successfully managed to produce an impressive 18% growth in revenue from 2014, surpassing the €1 billion marker, and now they’re officially the world’s fastest growing motorcycle manufacturer. It’s worth mentioning that these figures and percentages are including both KTM and Husqvarna’s sales from the report but as Husqvarna seems to be on the way back up and KTM are showing no signs of slowing down, what next for the Austrian outfit? With profits up 26% and the number of units sold up by a further 14%, “world domination” is a likely answer.
Perhaps “world domination” is the wrong word but “expansion” seems to sum it up nicely. It’s no secret that KTM plans to cause a stir with their wildcard return to the MotoGP this year with hopes to field a full and competitive race team in the premier class for 2017 but there’s more to the world of bike sales than fighting for that prestigious championship. Before we even take a look at that later this year, KTM have spent a staggering 110 million euros in investments, which is up more than 30% from 2014, and they’ve spent it all on useful services.
Firstly, KTM have invested in new facilities and amenities, and most importantly: staff. By the end of 2015, KTM employed over 2,500 people and while the bulk of them are based in Austria, a great deal of them were spread across the globe, particularly in South America. The KTM factory in Manaus, Brazil, now produces five different KTM models and the brand itself is set to become the continent’s most well received manufacturer. According to KTM spokesman Thomas Kuttruf: “You can go in a KTM shop in Sao Paolo or in Rio, and it looks like the one in Salzburg [Austria]. The entire KTM product range is available there, with five models made in our plant in Manaus… On the street side, we make there the 200 Duke and 390 Duke, the two main drivers of the business in emerging markets. We also make three off-road models in Brazil, both 2-stroke and 4-stroke bikes.”
It’s no surprise that KTM are a hit with the emerging marketplaces with a riding population that loves small to mid-capacity machines but don’t forget that KTM haven’t ruled out a road going sports bike based off of their MotoGP prototype. With profits on the rise, the only way for KTM is up.