Austrian motorcycle brand KTM will increase its stake in design firm KISKA from the current 26 per cent to 50 per cent by the end of 2019. KTM announced this news in its year-end report, also adding that the company has had its eighth year of sales increase in a row. Apart from performance and handling, KTM's success can also be partly attributed to the design of its bikes, which KISKA has been largely responsible for creating over the past several years. As KTM gets ready to push into newer geographies and newer markets, the company is planning to secure its stake in the design firm.
The annual report also states that KTM expects a consolidation in the European motorcycle market, which could mean the Austrian brand may be looking at mergers and acquisitions between brands. "Due to the increased volatility of the global economic and political environment, KTM is focussing on increasing efficiency and productivity over the next two years. This is considered as the basis in order to play a strong role during the expected consolidation of the industry," the year-end report stated.
Bajaj Auto owns nearly 49 per cent in KTM, and the report goes on to state that "due to intensive investment program of the past years in capacities and infrastructure and relocation of the small volume Husqvarna road models to strategic partner Bajaj in 2019, the required production capacities in Austria are secured for the next few years."
In 2019, the Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 and Vitpilen 401 models are expected to be launched in India, as well as the KTM 790 Duke. KTM is also planning to introduce the much-anticipated KTM 390 Adventure in 2019. With sales slowing down in Western markets, KTM is set to look eastwards to developing and emerging two-wheeler markets like India and South East Asia. An increased stake in KISKA design will be helpful in securing future development of new models, which will possibly be targeted at these markets.