Interview with KTM’s Stefan Pierer – Half 2

Interview with KTM’s Stefan Pierer - Part 2

Alan Cathcart’s dialog with Stefan Pierer continues, because the PIERER Mobility president and chief government officer discusses his motorbike manufacturers (particularly, KTM, Husqvarna and Husqvarna), and a few of their competitors. This contains MV Agusta, of which PIERER gained a stake in 2022. —ED.

Interview with KTM’s Stefan Pierer – Half 1

Alan Cathcart: Let’s discuss MV Agusta, the place final November you bought 25.1% of the fairness from its current proprietor, Timur Sardarov. What’s your future technique on your involvement within the model?

Stefan Pierer: As a part of that 25.1%, it’s taking step one of working collectively very carefully on present manufacturing fashions. So we’ll maintain the entire provide chain, we’ll purchase all of the elements wanted for MV Agusta’s manufacturing for the approaching yr, after which, after finalizing that, we’ll take over worldwide distribution of the completed product. This is step one to assist them make their whole operation worthwhile as an organization.

AC: To start with although, presumably your involvement won’t solely be MV Agusta’s provide chain and distribution, but additionally sure product improvement methods, equivalent to – ought to they be making the Fortunate Explorer 9.5 and 5.5?

SP: You’re proper, no one wants these, and particularly not branded with that identify. Journey bikes are a giant market sector, however they’re additionally probably the most troublesome section, and probably the most aggressive to be current in. No person is ready for such a mannequin from MV Agusta.

AC: Besides, do you suppose that if you happen to branded such a motorbike as an MV Agusta, and made it a two wheeled Vary Rover, so purely a excessive efficiency luxurious street bike, would there maybe be a marketplace for that?

SP: Presumably, however in my view, earlier than you enter a brand new sector with one thing as radically totally different as this by MV Agusta requirements, at first you need to get these product segments proper which the MV Agusta model actually stands for. And there’s a lot to do there, imagine me.

AC: So what sort of merchandise do you suppose MV Agusta needs to be making?

SP: The place MV Agusta’s coming from, it’s excessive finish. I wouldn’t say luxurious, but it surely’s premium excessive finish. I believe the Brutale can be a very good foundation for some very good developments, however for me, the mannequin that also captures the essence of MV Agusta is the F4. When it first appeared 25 years in the past it had so many good particulars – it was good, and really lovely. However I might say that model obtained misplaced within the final decade, as a result of that they had different issues to fret about, and Tamburini was not making the bikes, too. However simply to present you some new info, our colleague Gerald Kiska goes to arrange a subsidiary Kiska Design studio in Varese, throughout the MV Agusta manufacturing unit.

AC: That’s very fascinating information! However, presumably it’s elementary that his design studio can be in Varese – do you imagine that any new MV Agusta mannequin have to be designed in Italy?

SP: That’s completely appropriate.

AC: Should MV Agusta have extra than simply high-end area of interest fashions – do you imagine they should have the 800cc three cylinder vary so as to have the ability to generate quantity?

SP: Positive, in addition to the excessive finish we should have premium middleweight fashions. Their new three-cylinder engine, the 920, 950, it’s an excellent engine, however now now we have to make it compliant for Euro 5.2, which is somewhat bit difficult, however sure, it’s clear. What we’re additionally experiencing out there, is that a variety of the large displacement house owners within the excessive finish class are stepping all the way down to smaller capability fashions, as a result of they’re getting older, so the load of the bike, and the rideability, the dealing with, all of it turns into simpler. I met a number of guys who stepped down from a 1290 Tremendous Journey to a 390 Journey due to this.

AC: So, for that purpose do you suppose a 390 Journey or a 590 Journey made in China with the MV Agusta identify can be OK?

SP: No, don’t even take into consideration such a factor, by no means ever! It should keep premium by way of capability in addition to design, and provenance. All MV Agustas have to be made in Italy, and the smallest capability would be the 900 three-cylinder.

AC: Nonetheless, let me return once more to the 2 wheeled Vary Rover, your prospects are getting older, so they need one thing that’s extra snug, nonetheless with excessive efficiency.

SP: That’s the rationale that the Journey section is rising so properly.

AC: Precisely – so an MV Agusta Vary Rover, can be a sound product.

SP: Sure, however earlier than you launch such a mannequin you need to win again the credibility about the place you’re coming from, as an alternative of doing new issues which aren’t a part of the model’s heritage.

AC: Brough Superior and Aston Martin have proven that it’s viable to cost 108,000 Euro for every instance of a 100-bike line of ultra-deluxe fantastically designed bikes carrying a historic badge, and promote each one. Is that this one thing you are feeling MV Agusta needs to be taking a look at?

SP: Sure, I do. We’ve got achieved an identical joint venture with Brabus in Germany with the KTM Tremendous Duke R Evo the place all 290 examples offered out on-line in a single minute and 55 seconds flat at 42,500 Euro every! Very spectacular – and to that extent, for certain, eventually that’s what I see MV Agusta as doing, after now we have stabilized the core program.

AC: Do you imagine that MV Agusta should go racing?

SP: No – and particularly not with a three-cylinder Triumph engine in its Moto2 bike!

AC: Will KTM engineers assume accountability for future improvement of the technical side of MV Agusta merchandise?

SP: Sure, for certain, we’ve already helped them on engines from Day One in every of our partnership, and this may develop significantly in future.

AC: Is PIERER Mobility enthusiastic about deploying its present monetary power to enter different sectors of the motorbike business by way of acquisition? So, for instance, if it ever grew to become obtainable would you be enthusiastic about buying Moto Guzzi from Piaggio to cowl your lack of a Cruiser vary?

SP: We at the moment have sufficient on the desk to do with motorbike manufacturers in repairing MV Agusta, and growing GASGAS as an on-road producer – in order that’s enough in the meanwhile! Anyway, one other enormous job is to change into a world participant within the E-bicycle enterprise. Having stated that, for certain, any new acquisition might happen if the worth tag is correct, and if the momentum is there.

Picture by Taglioni S.

AC: How do you are feeling about Triumph, and likewise apparently Ducati going Motocross racing towards KTM and GASGAS?

SP: Sure, that’s the opposite facet of the coin, if you happen to’re a public firm for a few years, you need to report and launch the whole lot, so then our rivals begin seeing what enormous success now we have, and say, let’s observe them. OK, let’s see, I like competitors! Their investing in that off-road market means it would develop as extra individuals world wide change into conscious of it. However now we have so many initiatives to maintain, and constructing our new North American headquarters in Murrieta, California, was the most important single funding I ever but made.

AC: How a lot?

SP: $48 million with 10 hectares of land, a brand new distribution centre which units a brand new commonplace for the entire US market, even for the Japanese. We’re promoting 100,000 items yearly within the USA, so a couple of billion {dollars} in gross sales, and now we have overtaken Yamaha in gross sales quantity final yr.

AC: So what are your projections for PIERER Mobility within the subsequent 5 years? The place would you like the corporate to be in 2028?

SP: I’m taking a look at attaining a 4 billion Euro turnover by 2028, with three billion Euro within the short-term, hopefully this yr. Look again at the place we’re coming from – yearly on common we’ve grown by 15% or higher. That’s very satisfying.

AC: That’ll presumably imply taking market share from the Japanese corporations to do it?

SP: Whoever!

The interview with Stefan Pierer continues partly 3, as he discusses electrification and artificial fuels.

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