BMW Motorrad - BMW Buys Husqvarna - Euro Notes

Move Said To Target Youth-Driven Dirt And Supermoto Segments

It's official: After months of rampant speculation (driven by BMW's less-than-secret due-diligence activities), Europe's largest motorcycle manufacturer has officially announced that it will acquire Swedish-turned-Italian off-road specialist Husqvarna. This follows a contract signing on July 19 between BMW Motorrad General Manager Dr. Herbert Diess and Italian industrialist Claudio Castiglioni, president of the MV Agusta Group, which formerly controlled Husqvarna. Both parties agreed the purchase price would remain confidential.

BMW, which has been working to extend its reach into the competition off-road market with the new G650 X series and prototype 450 Sport Enduro, says this acquisition was a logical next step in that quest. "With the Husqvarna models targeted at competition events, we will be able to extend the BMW Motorrad range to include younger groups of customers as well as the entire off-road and supermoto sector much more quickly and effectively than with our core brand alone," said Diess, who also pointed to Husky's worldwide off-road sales network as another attractive element.

On the Italian side, the sale of Husqvarna is the next step in Castiglioni's ongoing strategic reorganization of the MV Agusta Group's resources, to strengthen the high-end MV Agusta brand and extend the reach of the Cagiva brand in smaller-displacement segments. "This transaction has been carried out in order to expand MV Agusta and Cagiva presence in the international markets, having more financial resources for new models and development," he said.

BMW Motorrad plans to continue operating Husqvarna as a separate enterprise, with all development, sales and production activities remaining in place and operational at its present location in northern Italy's Varese region, as well as continuing development of its own off-road products in Germany.