KTM-Sportmotorcycle AG is an Austrian motorcycle manufacturer, which was formed in 1992 but traces its foundation as early as in 1934. In 1992 the company was spun-off from its parent company KTM when it ran into financial troubles. KTM was split into four companies, all of which shared the same KTM branding, and in present have many more subsidiaries with the same branding.
However, KTM-Sportmotorcycle is most commonly associated with the iconic KTM branding, because of the fact that it still continues the flagship business of its parent company.
Foundation [ edit ]
KTM 690 Duke Orange
In 1934 an Austrian engineer Johann (Hans) Trunkenpolz [ 3 ] set up a metalworking and locksmith shop in Mattighofen. In 1937 he started selling DKW motorcycles and Opel cars the following year. His shop was known as Kraftfahrzeug Trunkenpolz Mattighofen but the name was unregistered. During the Second World War his wife took care of the business which grew mainly of diesel engine repairs. [ 4 ]
After the war, demand for repair works fell sharply and Trunkenpolz started thinking about producing his own motorcycles. The prototype of first motorcycle R100 was produced in 1951. [ 5 ] All of the components of the motorcycle were produced in house, except for the Rotax engines which were made by Fichtel Sachs .
KTM Era [ edit ]
In 1953, businessman Ernst Kronreif became a sizable shareholder of the company which was then renamed and registered as Kronreif Trunkenpolz Mattighofen . KTM started serial production of R100 in 1954. With just 20 employees, motorcycles were built at the rate of three per day.
The company’s first title was secured shortly thereafter with the 1954 Austrian 125 national championship. KTM first made an appearance at the International Six Days Enduro in 1956 where Egon Dornauer secured a gold medal. Racing continued to be a testing ground for production technology, but next in line was its first scooter, the Mirabell.
It started providing a factory team for the ISDE in ’64. As the company continued to expand, the workforce totaled 400 in 1971, and forty years after it was founded, KTM was offering 42 different models
In 1955 Tourist 125cc model was developed. In 1957 KTM built the first sports motorcycle Trophy 125cc . KTM’s first moped, called Mecky was launched in 1957, followed by Ponny I in 1960 and Ponny II in 1962. The 60’s decade saw the beginning of the bicycle production.
Beside, KTM was also able to produced motorcycles for the racing industry.
Kronreif died in 1960. Two years later in 1962 Trunkenpolz too died of a heart attack and his son Erich Trunkenpolz took charge of the company’s management. Its name was changed back to Kraftfahrzeug Trunkenpolz Mattighofen . [ 6 ] At that time, KTM had about 180 employee and a turnover that would represent €3,5 Millions.
In 1978, US subsidiary KTM North America Inc. was founded in Lorain, Ohio. International business then amounted to 72% of the company turnover. In 1980, it was renamed KTM Motorfahrzeugbau AG .
Scooter and moped turnover sank rapidly, and production had to be halted in 1988. Erich Trunkenpolz died in 1989 and in 1991, KTM applied for insolvency. Its management was taken up by banks who split the company into four new entities in 1992:
KTM Sportmotorcycle GmbH. motorcycles division
KTM Fahrrad GmbH, bicycles division
KTM Kühler GmbH, radiators division
KTM Werkzeugbau GmbH, tooling division
KTM-Sportmotorcycle [ edit ]
KTM Sportmotorcycle GmbH started operation in 1992 and later took over the sibling tooling division KTM Werkzeugbau. In 1994 KTM Sportmotorcycle GmbH was renamed KTM-Sportmotorcycle AG . In the same year it started production of Duke series of road motorcycles.
In 1995 KTM acquired Swedish motorcycle maker Husaberg AB . [ 7 ]
In 1997 LC4 Supermoto and LC4 Adventure motorcycles are introduced by KTM.
Ownership [ edit ]
KTM-Sportmotorcycle AG is fully owned by KTM AG (formerly known as KTM Power Sports AG). In November 2007, Bajaj Auto Limited of India acquired 14.5% stake in KTM Power Sports AG and increased their shareholding to 47% by 2012. [ 8 ]
At present KTM AG is 51% owned by CROSS KraftFahrZeug Holding GmbH, a subsidiary of CROSS Industries AG [ 9 ] and 47% owned by Bajaj Auto. CROSS Industries is founded by KTM’s current CEO Stefan Pierer. [ 10 ]
Subsidiaries [ edit ]
In present KTM-Sportmorocycle AG has the following subsidiaries:
KTM Events Travel Service AG
KTM Dealer Financial Services GmbH
Joint Ventures [ edit ]
KTM started exporting their GS model to USA in 1968 through an American importer, John Penton under the Penton brand. This JV lasted until KTM established KTM America Inc. in Ohio in 1978. [ 11 ]
In 2005, KTM-Sportmotocycle began a partnership with ATV manufacturer Polaris Industries with the goal of shared RD, and more importantly shared distribution networks. This partnership was a two-year trial arrangement, at the end of which both parties had the option of merging the two companies into one. In 2006, KTM announced that the partnership with Polaris had been downgraded, and would instead only supply their 450cc and 510cc RFS engines to Polaris. [ 12 ]
In January 2008, Bajaj announced that it would jointly develop two new 125cc and 200cc bikes for Europe and the Far East. The bikes would be badged KTM . [ 13 ] In January 2012, Bajaj launched the Duke 200 model in India. [ 14 ]
Design [ edit ]
Since 1990, KTM motorcycles and automobiles (X-Bow ) have been designed by KiskaDesign, a Salzburg-based design firm. It is responsible for the overall branding for KTM; including the design of the vehicles, shops, exhibits and printed material.
Racing sponsorship [ edit ]
- KTM 125 Duke Turning Heads Before Launch
- 2013 KTM 250 XC-W Comparison Review – Motorcycle USA
- Quick Test: 2010 KTM 990 Supermoto T MotoOnline.com.au
- 2010 KTM 1190 RC8R motorcycle
- Perspective: KTM 390 Duke Vs Suzuki Inazuma