KTM sales surpasses Harley Davidson | Page 2 | GTAMotorcycle.com

KTM sales surpasses Harley Davidson

Roadghost

Well-known member
My local HD in the city epitomizes arrogance and condescension, I go 70km up the 401 to a really cool, laid-back dealership in the county. Totally different attitude, they let the young techs choose playlists, bought both my Harleys there after trying to deal locally.
They've pulled the dealerships from a few owners in recent years because of complaints. Jacox is now Brown's. I don't generally deal with any of them unless I specifically need something. Nobody touches my bike, I do my own work. HD filters and oil are good. MoCo has stopped selling parts for anything over 10 years old, so lots of older bike owners buy parts elsewhere.
 

Mad Mike

Well-known member
I don't think KTM is a threat to HD at the moment for a couple of reasons: 1) they compete in different segments of the market (that may change) and 2) KTM would have to sell more than 4x as many bikes as HD to match profits.

There is no doubt they are on a tear. Great management, well thought out Asian strategy and slow and steady improvements to build quality and dependability. I think the saddest thing for HD is they lost an opportunity. I always thought by acquiring KTM, the combined companies would make it possible to take on the Japanese. KTM's Euro footprint and growing Asian presence, HD's North American footprint, no overlapping products, both are profitable, looked like the perfect merger.

Another thing to think about is financial market confidence. HD sales and profits are sliding. KTM sales and profits are growing yet investors are pounding their stock harder than HOG.
 

crankcall

Well-known member
Site Supporter
HD merger with anybody always seems to go a bit wrong, Aremacchi (sp?) , MVagusta, Buell. KTM would have to be a bit nuts to hitch to that wagon IMO.
KTM has great opportunity, its sort of 'exotic', not Japanese and do what they are supposed to do.
 

jemlinus

Well-known member
I would still buy a KTM than HD even with reliability issue.

Although, IMO, KTM Adventure 790 is one of the ugliest looking bikes I have ever seen.
 

xrljoel

Well-known member
" I always thought by acquiring KTM, the combined companies would make it possible to take on the Japanese. KTM's Euro footprint and growing Asian presence, HD's North American footprint, no overlapping products, both are profitable, looked like the perfect merger. "

I agree with your theory, but the trouble with corporate acquisitions is some (self-anointed) business genius searches for "synergies". 2 brand dealerships, cross branding of products and merging of marketing and production-related departments. In the end nobody is satisfied and the purchasing company dumps the acquired one for a song, or just shutters it (for example - Buell).

As for KTM's - I'm on my 5th. Reliability has always been satisfactory and performance exceptional. Like others I do all my own maintenance, but I've found KTM dealers provide great service when I've needed it, which has contributed to my loyalty as a customer.
 

Mad Mike

Well-known member
HD merger with anybody always seems to go a bit wrong, Aremacchi (sp?) , MVagusta, Buell. KTM would have to be a bit nuts to hitch to that wagon IMO.
KTM has great opportunity, its sort of 'exotic', not Japanese and do what they are supposed to do.
These decisions are made, by shareholders -- not riders. 3 years ago it would have been cheaper for HOG shareholders and more lucrative for KTM's to merge. It's still not a bad idea. Aermacchi & MV are typical Italian moto-disasters, Buell was too much of a niche. Both HD and KTM are well managed, profitable and synergistic. Neither can take on the Japanese alone.
 

Iceman

Well-known member
These decisions are made, by shareholders -- not riders. 3 years ago it would have been cheaper for HOG shareholders and more lucrative for KTM's to merge. It's still not a bad idea. Aermacchi & MV are typical Italian moto-disasters, Buell was too much of a niche. Both HD and KTM are well managed, profitable and synergistic. Neither can take on the Japanese alone.
I disagree. Ktm is doing extremely well against the Japanese in the offroad and adventure market. Go to any enduro event in the world, more ktm and husky than anything else.
Obviously they dont have the sales of Honda, but that's not necessary when you build niche bikes built for a purpose.

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Iceman

Well-known member
" I always thought by acquiring KTM, the combined companies would make it possible to take on the Japanese. KTM's Euro footprint and growing Asian presence, HD's North American footprint, no overlapping products, both are profitable, looked like the perfect merger. "

I agree with your theory, but the trouble with corporate acquisitions is some (self-anointed) business genius searches for "synergies". 2 brand dealerships, cross branding of products and merging of marketing and production-related departments. In the end nobody is satisfied and the purchasing company dumps the acquired one for a song, or just shutters it (for example - Buell).

As for KTM's - I'm on my 5th. Reliability has always been satisfactory and performance exceptional. Like others I do all my own maintenance, but I've found KTM dealers provide great service when I've needed it, which has contributed to my loyalty as a customer.
Agreed. Look what BMW did with Husqvarna. Threw away the Italian design, came up with their own engine which sucked and then sold the name almost immediately.

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Hardwrkr13

Well-known member
Site Supporter
My local HD in the city epitomizes arrogance and condescension, I go 70km up the 401 to a really cool, laid-back dealership in the county. Totally different attitude, they let the young techs choose playlists, bought both my Harleys there after trying to deal locally.
My good riding buddy has always dealt with the same HD dealer and drops a ton of money there over the past 20yrs on his Ultra. He recently bought a used 18 Indian Scout with under 2,000km on it for his wife and brought it there for a safety. They turned him away saying they only work on HD bikes (bike didn't require anything to pass). Pretty crappy dealer imo and I've heard plenty of similar stories about other HD dealers.
 

ReSTored

Well-known member
I think HD and KTM are polar opposites in terms of existing and future customer demographics and expectations, I see virtually no synergies in any type of merger, in fact, it would damage both brands if a merger happened.

As to customer experience at dealers, it's always surprising how different it can be and how many dealers seem to get it wrong. You'd think that in an internet online world where customers have many many options that dealers would recognize that customer service is critical and they would weed out staff that seem to have an attitude, are indifferent or just treat a customer like crap.
 

crankcall

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Taking an Indian to the HD dealer is a bit like asking the Pepsi rep if he'd like a rum and Coke. He might, but he's never going to let anybody on the patio see him drink it.
 

Brian P

Well-known member
Moderator
Site Supporter
I don't think a KTM and HD merger makes sense, either. KTM is on an up trend and has a good product mix. HD is on the way down and it remains to be seen whether their planned entrance into other market segments will succeed. It's unclear if dealers will be supportive, or just push the same old product that they know how to sell. Indian seems to be on an up trend, and that could be the undoing of HD. KTM stands nothing to gain by such a merger, so why should they bother.
 

xrljoel

Well-known member
My good riding buddy has always dealt with the same HD dealer and drops a ton of money there over the past 20yrs on his Ultra. He recently bought a used 18 Indian Scout with under 2,000km on it for his wife and brought it there for a safety. They turned him away saying they only work on HD bikes (bike didn't require anything to pass). Pretty crappy dealer imo and I've heard plenty of similar stories about other HD dealers.
That is crappy service. When I bought my 99 Super Glide in 2010 I wanted to get it serviced at the dealer so they could check it over and perform any updates. I stopped in at the dealer in Oshawa to book an appointment and was told, "Sorry we don't work on stuff that old." The 99 has the Twin cam motor but is carbureted and smaller than what they were selling at the time. I replied, "But you're selling stuff that old." which didn't help.

In fairness, they were selling a ton of bikes and a PDI on a new one was likely worth more than what they would do to mine, and their parts department was really helpful on other occasions.

I ended up taking it to the dealer in Peterborough in their old location and was treated REALLY well. They found some issues and did some updates. If I was buying a Harley I'd go there and have sent quite a few acquaintances to visit them.
 

wonderings

Well-known member
I've pulled into a Honda dealership with my BMW and they've worked on it no problem. If it doesn't need parts, just tools+time, then why not?
I would buy my BMW bike batteries from the local Harley shop. They were great to deal with and stood by their product. Had a defective Yuasa battery from them and they just swapped it, no questions, no receipt, just replaced it for me.

Harley is making an adv bike, will be curious to see what the specs are for their bike when it is finally released and all the details are announced. If KTM retained their brand image, merging with Harley and have 2 in 1 stores would be a great thing for the brand as no other bike company has anywhere near the same dealer network. That alone knowing anywhere Harley is sold you an get a KTM serviced would be a big plus. Wish BMW was like that, not that I have had many issues, just nice to have a good support network if something does happen.
 

Trials

Well-known member
There are KTM dirt bike dealers that don't even have access to selling KTM street bikes :/ they might want to sort that out before they look to a third party dealership network.
 

sburns

Well-known member
That is crappy service. When I bought my 99 Super Glide in 2010 I wanted to get it serviced at the dealer so they could check it over and perform any updates. I stopped in at the dealer in Oshawa to book an appointment and was told, "Sorry we don't work on stuff that old." The 99 has the Twin cam motor but is carbureted and smaller than what they were selling at the time. I replied, "But you're selling stuff that old." which didn't help.
Are you talking about Mackkie HD... if so not surprising they are aHoles there. I stopped taking my business there as they were a bunch of tools. There Know it All Jamie is the worst. I wanted the belt tension tool, he told me it was only for technicians. <face palm>
 

xrljoel

Well-known member
There are KTM dirt bike dealers that don't even have access to selling KTM street bikes :/ they might want to sort that out before they look to a third party dealership network.
They sell a lot of dirt bikes and comparatively few street bikes. I know a couple shops up towards you that sell only off road, and I doubt there would be any point in them taking on the expense of the street line. I'm sure KTM would love to have all their dealers take all their products, and in the future I wouldn't be surprised if they went that way but it would be too bad as many of those small dealers provide good service and have been around for a while.
 

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