BMW has announced an agreement to sell Husqvarna Motorcycles to Austrian-based Pierer Industrie AG. Husqvarna started 110 years ago in Sweden but was owned by the Italian Cagiva MV Agusta group when it was purchased by BMW in 2008. Pierer Industrie AG is headed by Stefan Pierer who is also KTM’s managing director and a principle shareholder of the motorcycle manufacturer.
The sale is a surprise given the money spent to updated the production of Husqvarna motorcycles in Italy and BMW’s engineering and technology found in recent Husky models. BMW’s purchase of Husky came amid the global economic crisis which saw sales of off-road motorcycles decline sharply. Husqvarna sales have only recently started to pick up with a 15.8% increase last year after new model introductions including several street bikes. The 10,700 motorcycles sold last year are still far lower than their high of 15,000 a few years back, however.
BMW says it’s restructuring its BMW Motorrad division to focus of their new urban mobility and e-mobility lines. “The BMW Group is realigning its BMW Motorrad business. In the context of changing motorcycle markets, demographic trends and increasing environmental demands, BMW Motorrad will expand its product offering to exploit future growth potential. The focus of the realignment will be on urban mobility and e-mobility. By restructuring the segment, the BMW Group will concentrate on expanding and utilizing the resources of the BMW Motorrad brand.”
“BMW Motorrad achieved a new sales record in 2012. With the realignment of its motorcycle business, BMW Motorrad aims to maintain profitable and sustainable growth over the coming years. Its current core business consists exclusively of premium vehicles in the categories ‘Tourer’, ‘Enduro’, ‘Sport’, ‘Roadster’ and ‘Maxi-Scooter’ from 650 to 1600 cc. BMW Motorrad entered the urban mobility segment for the first time in 2012 with the C650GT and C600 Sport maxi-scooters. The next step in the expansion of the product line-up in this segment will be the series launch of the ‘C evolution’ electric scooter in 2014. Further innovative vehicle concepts are also under consideration. Drive trains will include both environmentally-friendly combustion engines and pure electric drives. This move by BMW Motorrad reflects the BMW Group’s overall focus on early identification of trends, such as megacities and traffic density, as well as environmental issues. Corresponding products and services are already available for the Automobile segment.”
Terms of the sale were not released and still must be approved by anti-trust authorities.