18 May 2013 - 07:24
Husqvarna and Husaberg merge under KTM ownership
Brothers separated in childhood, brought up by different parents only to be reunited 25 years later - sounds like a masala Bollywood flick from the last century? Well, it’s true in the bike world too.
Husqvarna, that was owned by BMW and was later sold to KTM, has been merged with Husaberg. Husaberg who? Well, it all began in 1988 when Italian off-road bike maker Cagiva bought Husqvarna and operations for the brand shifted from Sweden to Italy under the new administration.
A few engineers who stayed back in Sweden decided to start production of their very own motocross bikes under the brand name ‘Husaberg’. Husaberg mostly participated in racing and saw reasonable success on track; though this could never translate into higher sales.
Husaberg was bought by KTM, production, research and development was moved to Austria. Husaberg’s motorsports department is still in Sweden to keep the brand true to its Swedish routes. Under KTM’s ownership, Husaberg won the FIM 500cc Motocross World Championship in 1995, 1997 and 1998. Husaberg’s “Ready to Race” mantra was adopted by KTM, while Husaberg’s tag line was changed to ‘Pure Enduro’.
Husqvarna, on the other hand, was sold to BMW Motorrad in 2007. Life came full circle when Stefan Pierer, owner of Pierer Industries AG, bought the Swedish-Italian brand from BMW. For those of you who don’t know, Stefan Pierer happens to be the chief executive officer at KTM. Now, with both brands back together, KTM has decided to do the obvious and fuse both brands and shift Husqvarna’s production in-house.
KTM will first show a revamped lineup of Husqvarna off-road bikes this October in Sweden, and then at the 2013 EICMA Show in Milan, Italy.
So what does it mean for us Indian bikers, you ask? Well, Bajaj owns a chunk of KTM, so you can expect some co-development to happen between the three brands, and Husqvarna might just reach Bajaj’s Probiking showrooms sooner than you expect.