By Jo Beckendorff
MATTIGHOFEN, Austria (BRAIN) — After entering the European e-bike market, motorbike giant Pierer Mobility AG, the parent of KTM Motorbike, Husqvarna Motorbikes, GasGas Motorbikes and WP Suspension, seems to smell further sales opportunities. Currently, it is focusing e-bike marketing on the German-speaking market region (Austria, Germany, and Switzerland). This year they plan to expand throughout Europe and expansion to North America is planned for 2022.
In addition to the move into further country markets, Pierer Mobility is also relying on an expanded sales strategy. Pierer E-Bikes GmbH, which sells Husqvarna E-Bicycles, GasGas and R Raymon brand names, will not only sell through the IBD market but also through selected specialist motorbike dealers.
The Spanish brand GasGas, celebrating its e-bike debut this year, will also play a weighty role here. The aim is “to develop into a significant player in the e-bike sector in the medium term.” The ambitious goal is to achieve annual sales of 500 million euros ($600 million) by 2025.
Pierer Mobility’s 100% e-bike subsidiary Pierer E-Bikes GmbH is guided by German e-bike pioneers Susanne and Felix Puello (the former managing directors of Accell Group’s Winora Group with its Haibike e-bike brand). With the support of Pierer Mobility they built up both Husqvarna E-Bicycles and R Raymon brands from scratch.
If the Pierer Mobility name doesn’t sound familiar, there’s a reason. Due to a long dispute with KTM Fahrrad GmbH – one of the European e-mountain bike pioneers – former KTM Industries AG had to change its name since entering the e-bike market.
KTM Fahrrad (AKA KTM Bicycle) has nothing to do with the motorbike supplier KTM Industries. These are two different companies (but due to their same history, both are based in Mattighofen, Austria). Therefore last year stock-listed KTM Industries AG changed its name to Pierer Mobility AG (named after company-CEO Stefan Pierer who took over the company’s motorbike business after KTM’s insolvency in 1992).
According to the first preliminary sales figures, the Austrians closed fiscal year 2020 with its tenth record in a row. It produced 326,471 motorcycles and e-bikes and achieved 2020 total sales of 1.53 billion euros ($1.85 billion). However, this is only 0.7% higher than the previous year. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation of property, plant and equipment, amortization of intangible assets and rent (EBITDA) came in at 239 million euros, down 0.7% from the previous year, and operating profit (EBIT) was 107.2 million euros, down 18.6%. Without further details Pierer Mobility said its good 2020 results were “due to active corona management.”
Included in both volume and value sales figures above: sales of 65,064 e-bikes units under the Husqvarna Bicycles and R Raymon brand names, resulting in total value sales of 112.5 million euros for the young e-bike division. Compared to the previous year, this is a sales increase of 33.5%. Their previous year’s unit figure is unfortunately not mentioned in this preliminary annual report (the final annual financial report will be published on March 30.
Much more interesting, however, are the 2021 strategic initiatives communicated in the preliminary annual report: after the first GasGas-branded e-bikes were packed under the umbrella of Pierer E-Bikes GmbH and after adopting a new distribution channel (namely via the motorcycle specialist dealers approached by Pierer Mobility), the company also announced a partnership with Indian Bajaj Auto Ltd. (which holds a 48% stake in Pierer Mobility).
The companies entered into an e-vehicle alliance “to create various product variants — powered two-wheelers (scooters, mopeds, mopeds) and electric bicycles under the brands of both partners. The development of several electric two-wheeler models will be driven forward on the joint electric drive platform.” According to Pierer Mobility “the first Husqvarna-branded e-motor scooter will be launched in 2022.”