Husqvarna sold again!!!!

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by HIKO, Feb 7, 2013.







    The Tiger Rally 2012.

    BMW is selling the Husqvarna factory to the Pierer Industrie AG:lle owned by the managing director of KTM Stefan Pierer. Stefan Pierer has also the majority of the KTM factory together with his partner Rudolf Knὔnzin. 45,6% of KTM is owned by the Indian Bajaj Auto Group.





    Interesting now is to see why Stefan Pierer bought it himself. Is there building up a conflict between the Indian and Austrian owners? Is there some friction between the long time partners Stefan Pierer and Rudolf Knὔnzin? Why did BMW sell just now when Husqvarna was about to make a turnaround?

    Or are there a merger on the way between the biggest off road motorcycle manufacturer KTM and another big off road manufacturer Husqvarna. And will the European Cartel Controllers give green light to the deal. We have to remember that KTM already owns another quite big off road bike manufacturer the Swedish Husaberg, which is on old off spring of Husqvarna.


    Maybe the reason for the little strange ownership situation is to secure that the deal will be accepted since it is not made directly with KTM? All big major acquisition within EU borders takes time. In this case most likely the EU Anti Trust Authorities – put in place to ensure that free competition is ensured, stopping cartels monopolizing markets- will stop the attempt or at least put some restrictions, if they regard the off road racing market as one market.

    Anyhow Mr. Pierer is a very clever Businessman but also sometimes quite “ruthless”. He is well-known for turning the KTM factory from bankruptcy to a very successful company some 20 years ago, He raised the necessary capital by using all financial instruments available on the financial market by that time. And if there were some financial instruments he needed not available he invented them himself. Mr. Pierer is a financial mastermind and wizard.

    The old KTM went broke when the old owner died in the late 1980:s and a bank controlled lawyer syndicate took over the company and split it into 4 divisions, Radiators, Bicycles, Tooling and Motorcycles. The last one was named KTM Sportsmotorcycle GmbH and a few years later KTM Sportsmotorcycle AG. This is the KTM Company we know today.

    This company was sold to the Mr. Pierer and Mr. Knὔnzin run Cross Holding AG an investment company specializing in restructuring companies, financing startup companies and takeovers. I am not sure but I think that KTM was one of their first companies. Cross Holding AG:s name was later changed to KTM Power Sports AG. That company has since then owned the majority of KTM Sportsmotorcycle AG and that company has been the vehicle to control KTM and an arena for “power struggle”.

    When Cross Holding AG changed name to KTM Sportsmotorcycle AG they had to disinvest their interest in Cross Services GmbH and in a fire equipment company called Rosenbauer. Probably they wanted to focus on the motorcycle industry and products related to them and they needed the money to expand and to maintain their ownership power.

    In 1995 they bought the Swedish Husaberg Factory. That company was established by the very talent engineers who worked at the Husqvarna motorcycle factory when the Swedish Company Giant Electrolux traded their Motorcycle division to the Castiglioni Brothers of Cagiva. Electrolux thought motorcycle business was too small globally and they wanted the Italian washing machine brand Zanussi. The Castiglioni brothers were quite ruthless business men. The Aermachi Owners knew it, The AMF Harley Davidson learnt it, Electrolux knows it, the Malaysian Proton Group knows it, BMW have some experience also and now lately the Harley Davidson have learnt again and some others along their byway… The only one who “survived them was Texas Pacific Group who bought Ducati but even they were srewed up when they found out that the stock of Ducatis missed some pistons despite that they were supposed to be “ready for deliuvery. The Castiglioni Brothers had unpaid invoices to the manufacturer of the pistons…But for sure the Castiglioni Brothers would be worth a story…

    The engineers at Husqvarna were left without work despite promises that the production will remain in Sweden, so they took the 4 stroke know how with them and established Husaberg. Some of the know how also came from another, primarily engine designer/manufacturer Swedish Folan. Folan also made an engine for the Formel 2 cars, a 2000 cc 5 cylinder two stroker!!! Some years later they also designed, according to some rumors the engine to the American Cannondale MX bike. That project put the American successful bicycle company into receivership.


    Mr Pierer bought the factory to KTM and some of the engineers got upset again and went to make Folan/Husaberg based Highland named Enduro bikes. Another Swedish engine company makes/try to make Rollox named single cylinder and V2 off road bikes. Redline Snowmobiles also used Folan Husaberh engines and KTM bought Husaberg to get hold of the Folan technology to manufacture their successful KTM LC4 engines. Even Sachs made at least a beautiful prototype with the Folan engine./










    Some of the engineers went to US and established the Oklahoma based US Highland Motorcycles; Before they started manufacturing they died in a Cessna plane crash and the company was left with components and unpaid rents at the factory.

    The landlord sold everything to an American investment company and they hired a former Harley Davidson and Indian Motorcycle Executive to run the company and he promises that they will start production this year and sell 10.000 single and V2 four stroke off road bikes…This Indian executive had to leave Indian Motorcycles when Polaris/Victory motorcycles took over the company a year ago.



    Some of the Husqvarna/Husaberg/Folan/ Highland engineers established a new Nya Sweden Highland Motors AB and made a partnership with the Chinese Luoyang Northern Enterprises Group Co., Ltd. The name of the partnership is Luoyang Luojia Highland Motors Co., Ltd and they are supposed to manufacture some hundreds of thousand small high tech bikes for the Asian and African market and then single and V2 four stroke off road bikes for the western world…





    The Husqvarna sale to Cagiva caused a chain reaction in which the Husqvarna/Folan/Husaberg/Highland 4 stroke technology was transferred all over the world and KTM made a success of it through the buyout of Husaberg. And now we are there again with the KTM owner buying up the Husqvarna factory.

    1997 KTM Sportmotorcycle AG took over the legendary White Power Suspension Company then named WP Suspension. The company was founded by a Dutch suspension Guru, Henk Thuis, who later established many other suspension companies like Technoflex, Intrax and in some way he has also been involved with YSS suspension in Thailand and Ohlins in Sweden. Later KTM moved the factory to Austria and included other automotive products in the product line and renamed the company WP performance systems. The company is nowadays owned by a new Cross Motorsports System AG owned by Mr Pierer.



    When Mr. Pierer took over the KTM from the bankruptcy he had plenty of financiers at different stages. Anyhow he succeeded to keep control of the company with the help of his partner Rudolf Knὔnzin. One financier was a London based British private equity house BC Partners who helped them with a 57 million euro deal. When Mr. Pierer and Mr. Knὔnzin bought it back to their Cross Holding AG their shares of KTM Group raised to to 89.2%.

    But at the same time they needed money to finance this deal so they had to sell quite a big amount of their Cross Holding Company to new investors one among them the Swisspartners Insurance AG, a subsidiary of Swisspartners Investment Network Ltd., a Zurich-based neutral asset management firm with approximately Euro 4.3 billion in available capital.

    In 2004 on the 19th July the Minnesota based big Snowmobile manufacturer Polaris Industries Inc. who also owned the Victory Motorcycle factory (better than Harleys) announced that they had bought the 24.9% interest in KTM Power Sports, former Cross Holding AG from Swisspartners Insurance AG for 62,6 million. The buyer was Polaris Austrian or German subsidiary (Polaris Beteiligungsverwaltungs GmbH),

    The same day KTM Power Sports announced that they have bought the remaining outstanding shares 10,8 % in the KTM Group GMBH from the Hofer Foundation. So now the KTM Power Sports AG majority controlled by Mr. Pierer and Mr. Knunzin owned the KTM motorcycle business by 100%.

    Polaris and KTM had a deal that either company merges into each other in two years. The Formula was stipulated into the contract and based on financial performance during 2007. The deal failed and the only result of the cooperation was that Polaris got some sport Snowmobiles and ATV:s with KTM engines instead of Fuji engines. And KTM got KTM snowmobiles which I actually never have seen on the market. Probably the failed deal left some mental tensions…

    Mr Pierer certainly knows how to turn around a “sick” motorcycle company but maybe some people also says that he also know some rather “dirty” financial and legal tricks….But he is a good manager and there are a few management books about him. What I do not understand is how he has time to make all his financial maneuvers and at the same run the day to day businesses of the KTM in a rather successful way.

    But the Story doesn’t end here, Mr. Pierer sold 14,5 % of KTM to India’s second largest two wheel manufacturer Bajaj Auto in 2007. Probably that was a friendly and agreed acquisition. Slowly they bought more and more stocks up to 47,6%m all the time claiming that they are not aiming for a majority ownership. Most of the deals are made on the open market so probably Mr. Pierer cannot control everything. The deals are made by the Bajaj Auto International Holdings ( BAIHBV), a Netherlands-based wholly-owned subsidiary of Bajaj Auto.

    At the same time Mr.Pierer and Mr. Knὔnz took tighter control of their other partly owned subsidiaries that owned KTM shares and maybe want to sell them on the open market at a premium price. These takeover bids are made through a syndicate run by Mr. Pierer and Mr. Knὔnz and all the take over and the syndicate papers are official, because they have to be delivered to the Vienna Stock Exchange. These takeover bids cause a high risk of ending up in termination of the trading of the KTM shares in the Regulated Stock Market (Geregleter Freiverkehr) of the Vienna Stock Exchange because there are not enough of free floating stocks available on the market. In such a case the KTM will go more or less private into the hands of Mr. Pierer and Mr. Knὔnz at a cheap price. Also some regulations of taking over companies will also end…I wonder if everybody involved knows about this…

    When Mr. Pierer took KTM from bankruptcy to the off-road number one manufacturer and the biggest two wheel manufacturer in Europe he knew what he did, and he probably had both number A and number B plans thoroughly thought through. It is interesting that the seller BMW don’t seems to know to whom they actually have sold the company and it is even more interesting that the Indian Bajaj Partners still not have as far as I have seen officially commented on the deal Where they aware of the deal in advance or not? But Mr. Pierer, CEO of KTM Sportmotorcycle AG and now also sole owner of Husqvarna has a fantastic business track record that is as good and colorful as Soichiro Honda’s, but at a smaller scale. For sure He will have plan A ready where everybody is happy and some more plans if somebody is not happy. Maybe Bajaj Auto is not happy and they are rich!!! Maybe the EU is not happy and they have the political power. I am not even sure if the cooperation between Mr. Pierer and Mr. Knὔnz is frictionless. Somebody is playing a high risk gambling game.

    What also is interesting is “why the heck” did BMW sell Husqvarna just after 6 years. They put a lot of money into upgrading the production lines at the factory in Varese. They put a lot of money in modernizing the product range and now Husqvarna has quite an interesting line up also on the street bike market. And Husqvarna had a 15% sale increase last year despite a very tough market but a little more than 10.000 bikes is not so much. KTM sells some 110.000 bikes, and Bajaj close to 4 million…

    Now I am sure that somebody believe that I am just making up these stories by googling. Of course I can google but actually I wrote most of this text when I was killing time on the terrible long 10 hour flight from Helsinki to Bangkok last Monday. I will shortly tell you why I do have some slight inside know how about KTM.

    In the late 1980:s when KTM went bankruptcy I was involved a little in the motorcycle trade but another main profession was consulting for financial companies all over the world. Probably I was also a KTM dealer in Finland. Anyhow the KTM importer in Finland got problems because KTM had sold all the receivables to Post Bank in Austria and they demanded immediate payment of some 180 000 Euros. I was contacted, actually by the wife of the importer because she had worked for me a few years and maybe knew that I was quite a good trouble shooter.

    During the process the KTM factory was overtaken by Mr. Pierer and I met him a few times at different mc exhibitions in Europe. My KTM friend struck a deal with the new KTM and Mr. Pierer and the import of KTM was transferred to my friend’s new company and everybody was happy except Post Bank Austria and they employed the most expensive lawyer in Finland to collect the outstanding debt. At first we/I made an offer to him to pay all the outstanding debt in three installments and no interest because Post Bank had changed the rules of the game without informing us. We also wanted to deduct some guarantee claims against the old KTM factory. The lawyer laughed at my face so I told him to go to the court.

    And so we went, I changed the name of the old KTM importer to a new rather stupid “Motorbike and Mopas of a suburb of Helsinki” so that every clever person should understand what it was all about. I also took over the company and the management responsibility and we started to fight. The name of the company we wanted to save because it had a very good reputation and the company was still solid and had some assets but not cash immediately in the low season. The reason why I took over the company was not because my friend wanted to escape any responsibility and he was in damned good physical condition driving Enduro and MX at high level. He was also a very good salesman for KTM and run the KTM business in a good manner. Unfortunally he was not mentally fit for having a difficult legal fight and at the same time building up the “New KTM” business. I was on the other hand quite “experienced”, I knew the wicked world of banks, bankers and ruthless businessmen and I hated greedy lawyers. And I also knew a little about motorcycles which my “opponents” didn’t.

    Running legal processes in any country is a long and time/money consuming process. So we started to send different papers to the court. I think I wrote something about, what was a generally accepted KTM practice, that during low season bills due during low season, didn’t have to be paid on time and they hadn’t carried any interest during the 20 years long cooperation my friend had had with the old KTM. It is difficult to sell motorbikes when it is 30 Celsius freezing and you have 1 meter snow outside…

    The most funny memory from that episode was when we made the guarantee claim against the old KTM. I was working in Denmark and Norway at that time but flew back to Finland most nights. My KTM friend picked me up in the evening at the airport and then we sat a few nights writing guarantee claims against the old KTM. We also drank some wine…The claims were very specified and well documented with all information about the bike with frame numbers, engine numbers, color etc. All the info about the buyer was also supplied, name address profession and more. The damage was also very well and colorfully specified with spare part numbers, retail price and factory price together with used repairing time. The later the night became and the wine level in the bottles got lower, the specifications became more and more complex… Of course I knew that the greedy lawyer had to translate everything to his principal in Austria to the German language and most lawyers do not know what a reed valve, a piston pin lock ring or a gasoline tank breathing tube is. I think that in the end of the nights we even invented some new parts like molecule switches and sterile tire air… But it was great fun. We wrote them in the Finnish language, if the greedy lawyer would have been Finnish speaking I would have done them in the other official language in Finland Swedish because most of the lawyers with the mother language Finnish are not so fluent in Swedish…I think we produced some tens of pages.

    Then nothing happened for some two years but one day my mobile phone ringed and the greedy lawyer told me that his principal suggests that if we pay the legal costs accumulated in Finland so far they withdraw the claims. The sum was about 5 % what I suggested we pay two years earlier. I telephoned my friend and told him if he can go and pay the sum to the bank because I was abroad and I never have heard anybody driving so fast to the bank to pay a bill…

    I returned the company to my friend and everybody was happy except maybe Post Bank Austria. Later I heard that the greedy lawyer had met my lawyer who is my friend, a good lawyer and not a greedy one, in the court house and he had asked if he knew who this Hiko is? Probably my lawyer had informed him and the info went to Austria and they threw the towel into the ring.

    Anyhow during this case I had to learn a little about the history of KTM. I am aware that you cannot predict the future from the history but it can help you to be a part when future is made.

    But my KTM story doesn’t end here. Some five years later the new KTM terminated the KTM deal with my friend ending in 3 months. No compensation to my friend for some 35 years of work for KTM. I sent an angry letter, I think in German to Mr. Prierer informing him about the fact that my friend had worked for KTM since the Penton days, that he was known as Mr. KTM in Finland, that he had won so and so many Finnish Championships with KTM on MX bikes, Enduro bikes, on sidecar MX:s. I told him that it is not fair that You just take over a successful business for free and establish Your own company in Finland, He understood it and my friend got a golden hand shake. That was my KTM story and now you maybe understand why I know a little about KTM.

    So let us round up this terrible long story with a few videos of Juha Salminen, 13 time world champion, by far the most top podium world champion race wins and probably one of the best, if not the best Enduro drivers the world ever have seen. Juha was BMW factory rider before and is now Husqvarna factory rider. I also put some Husqvarna pictures and a picture of my Husqvarna cap I got last week signed by Juha Salminen when we had a chat at the motorcycle Exhibition in Helsinki Last week.





  2. Brilliant report Hiko. You're a star on GT Rider! Thanks again for the contribution.
    Take care & get well soon mate.
  3. Wow, Information Overload! Great insight into the Wicked World of Big Business! Husqvarna make some Neat Bikes at the Moment so lets hope they continue? Of Course No Dealer in Thailand yet! But the Brands are all coming slowly so maybe in the Future?
  4. Yes Ian overload information, but remember the wise words of John Naisbitt, the author of the Megatrends book in the 1980:s and one of the most expensive consultants the world ever have seen.


    MP-Terveisin Hiko (means motorcycle greetings in Finnish)
  5. yes its a dirty old business ,,, reminds me off the shennanigans that ultiamately sankTriumph and BSA its was not just the lack of investment or old manufacturing practices and old models which most assume sank the companies the worst reason was the primary owner/shareholder was lord and Lady Docker a socialite couple who bled the businesses for years on yachts , fancy houses ,jewels, silk dresses and the highlife , they did not even like motorcycles !!!!!!

    i also cant understand what the BMW board think they are doing selling Husky but perhaps they see a bigger recession coming and money in the bank is better than a dead duck.
  6. Husky used to make some great bikes, pity to see such an historic marque tossed about like this.

    Some of my favourite old school Huskys:

    83 500 CR


    84 four stroke TX510


    And how about a 390cc automatic motocross bike

  7. Yes the Husky TX510 was a masterpiece. It was created by a Swedish engineer/enduro rider named Thomas Gustavsson. He wanted to make a powerful and light MX/Endurobike to compete with the dominant two strokers.

    His RD budget was quite tight so he had to make the machine based on a two stroker Husky bottom end. On that he put a four stroked cylinder and head. It did not have any oil pump but was dependent on oil “spilling around in the engine” and relying on reed valves and crank case pressure to have the lubrication work done. The engine had 4 valves, camshafts with roll bearings, the crank had silver coated bearings, the carbo was a DeLorto with acceleration pump,, the gearbox was 6-speed, the kick starter was on the left side and had decompression valve both manual and automatic, rear shocks were dual Husqvarna ITC system. The bike was a step forward in off road history, very light and powerful compared with it’s competitors. It was only some 5 kilos more heavy than a two stroker.The year was 1983 and 1984.

    But the bike had some problems. The lubrication system worked quite well when racing 5 seconds full throttle/engine braking but when driving high speed at constant speed the engine broke down. The oil lubrication system needed some changing of speed, some bumping and constantly changing carburetor throttle opening. And the oil had to be changed every 500 km:s…

    Husqvarna was sold to Cagiva in 1986. The working force was promised that they will keep their work and the production was supposed to stay in Sweden. That Italian promise lasted for three months then everything was moved to Italy and the old Aermachi Factory. The Husqvarna people got a little upset and they sabotaged the “move”. The “ready to sell” TE 510 machines were delivered to Italy without the lock rings to the piston pin, the spare parts were delivered without spare parts number etc…The brains behind Husqvarna technology established the Husaberg factory and continued the development of the quite advanced 4 stroke technology started by Husqvarna. And the story from there I already told.

    But the 510 was a beautiful bike and it has a colorful history and it had a plastic tank already in 1984 something Monsterman can be interested in when analyzing the problems with plastic tanks…

    MP-Terveisin HIKO
  8. One thing I've never understood, why is it that companies like Husqvarna, Maico and CZ produced brilliantly engineered designs and yet they stuck the kick starter on the left. It defies all logic as far as I can see, I know what it's like to kick start a Honda CR500 with a right sided kick starter and it aint easy. Actually even Honda had left sided kick starts on the old CR450 and CR480 but it probably took them a couple of years to work out a way to put it on the right after they ripped off the Maico open class design.

    Is there a reason for a left sided kick start ? the few times I've used one on an old CZ I had to stand next to the bike and use my right foot, preferably whilst standing on something of around footpeg height, not something you'll find easy to do after an off in a motocross race.
  9. First organised bike race i ever went to at the age of 13 was an event held in western Sydney in 1972 that had the first MX International status in Australia.
    World 500 champ De Coster,Roberts,Weil,Aberg and others were there on their factory Suzukis,Maico`s,CZ`s and Husky`s against the locals on all types of bikes including hotted up XL 250`s and the like,the late Greg Hansford was on one as i remember.He was a QLD MX champ back then before he went road racing.

    Quite an eye opener for a young kid that had never heard of Motorcross before...but i was hooked and have owned and raced bikes ever since.

    I loved the look of the old Husky`s but had a preference for the Maico`s then for some reason....1972 Husqvarna 400...

    Yes this is an interesting topic, why is the kick starter sometimes on the left side sometimes on the right?

    I’ve seen many “theories about it” but I don’t know for sure who is right?

    One theory has something to do with the left hand traffic in England and also in the former home country of Husqvarna that is maybe the oldest still available motorcycle brand in the world. Sweden also used to have left hand traffic up to 1963. England also used to have some motorcycle industry… But it was convenient to put the side stand on the left side so that the bike could lean to the left on the not so straight roads. When the bike was standing on the side stand it was more safe to kick start from the side of the road standing next to the bike and kick start it with your right leg. But that theory must be false. Most of the English bikes had the kick start on the right hand. But Continental Europe, including Sweden had mainly the kick start on the left side, Most of the Spanish, Italian and German brands had kick start on the left side, Belgian FN mostly on the right hand, CZ/Jawa from Czechoslovakia mostly on the left side sometimes with a combined gear level/kick starter. I do not think that the left hand/right hand traffic has anything to do with the kick starter location.

    A better theory is that it has something to do with the engine layout. Most modern machines have the chain on the left side and that makes it difficult to put a kick starter on that same side. That is probably the reason why the kick start is mostly on the right side today. Exceptions are of course scooters were the engine layout forced the manufacturers to put the kick starter on the left side. English bikes also used to have the rear brake on “the wrong side” on the left and that made it sometimes difficult to put the kick starter on the same side.

    Another theory is that most kick starters are connected to the clutch’s flying wheel so the kick starter must be on the same side if you don’t want to put a long axle through the engine. So the gearbox/clutch layout specifies the location of the kick starter.

    Yet another theory is that big sized engines need more power to start and since most people are right handed and have more power in the right leg that’s decides the location. Small two strokers and small cc capacity bikes can easily be started with your left leg.

    The Honda CR480 mx machine got the kick starter on the left side. The reason was that Honda wanted the bike to be as light as possible so they put the rear brake/rear sprocket on a conical hub on the right side and that forced to put the kick starter on the left side. That bike was not so easy to kick start with your left foot….

    Then we have the boxers, BMW ,Zundapp, Ural, Dnepr,Chiang Jai, and even Honda Goldwing, They all had a kick start that were to be used vertically, I think on all bikes it could be on either side. But the kicking could easily be performed by both legs vertically. The Honda Gold Wing is a funny case. On the first Gold Wings the kick starter was situated in the toolbox and you had to take the kick starter out and put it into the gear box kick starter axle if you wanted to use it. It was heavy and difficult to use…

    Yes there are many thoughts about this but I think that mostly the designs are the result of engine designs and habits in different countries.

  11. Actually the Plastic tank problems have become clearer , 90% of the problems are in the USA market , the solution which Ducati, Acerbis , moroguzzi, KTM etc etc have used in the rest of the world is to replace PA6 plastic with PEX which is more gasohol friendly so recently made bikes last 4 years are probably OK, unfortunately for the Yanks PEX is banned by the USA environmental agency as it may leak tiny fumes through its pores ,,, the rest of the world does not see this as a safety or emmisions problem but USA does see it as an emmissions violation . so bikes sold in USA still getting the problems as they use PA6 but negotiations are under way to change this ???.

    what happens with gasohol is that it absorbs water and thats the main problem its the H2O reacting with the plastic that causes warping of the tanks , in a car or truck tank which use the same plastic you dont usually see the problem but it also happens .

    off cause steel tanks are also vulnerable to rust so keep them clean and topped up with benzine when not in use .

    triumph and the japs have stuck to steel tanks .
  12. No Monsterman I don’t buy Your explanation.

    I’ve heard about that explanation before but the size of a water molecule is too big to get into the tank’s plastic. I rather think that age, wrong construction/layout, cheap raw materials are the problem for Ducati tanks. Other manufacturers do not have the same problem at the same rate as Ducati. And metal tanks have had by far more problems with leaking during “the old good days with gasoline”.

    Yes Japanese stick to metal but their volume is quite high and the and molding very thin metal sheets is not so expensive. Triumph went back to metal because they were scared. Most cars have plastic tanks, almost all marine gas tanks are plastic. Why they don"t have the Ducati problems. Plastic as a material have some deformation problems when wrong constructed and with wrong materials. And the US have greedy lawyers...If You need the US court case I have a copy of it.

    I will give You my opinion in a more elaborate way on the thread where it belong GASOHOL.

    Some updates on the Husqvarna deal.

    Vijav Bajaj, who probably didn’t like that his picture was in this thread (somebody took it away) has recently given some interviews to Indian business magazines where he is not aggressive against the Husqvarna deal at all. He thinks that it will open possibilities for Bajaj to become a global motorcycle company player. His vision is that Bajaj should work like Volkswagen in the car market with different brands for different segments like Volkswagen with luxus brand Audi, a lower status Volkswagen and the brands like Skoda, Seat and some Chinese for the masses for the masses. But they all should use the same components and the expensive car platform for different brands. It is that concept that Bajaj is copying from Volkswagen.

    Rajiv Bijaj is rather young, is very well educated, I think at the Harvard Massachusetts Business School and he owns very western ideas about management. Go look at Bajaj Auto homepages and you know what I try to communicate.

    Rajiv’s father Rahul was more of a friend of “protectionism of Indian economy” and against liberalization of the Indian Economy and a member of the Indian Bombay Club who succeeded in the 1970:s to have all foreign partly foreign owned companies Indian Nationalized. For this reason the Piaggio Group lost their very high profitable and volume high joint venture with Baja for Vespa scooters in India and Bajaj owned Cheetah scooters (copy of Vespa) became the world leader in the scooter market. Rahul Bajaj was a good friend of the ruling party’s Ghandi family. At that time there was a ten years queue for buying a new Chetetah scooters. In that way it is quite easy to make some profit….

    Rahul was not so popular after that at Vespa/Piaggio. When I was importer for Piaggio I had some meetings with the top management at Piaggio when I stayed at their factory/head office in Pontedera Italy and even the young Agnelli/Piaggio (papa Fiat Agnelli mama Piaggio) son Giovanni Agnelli was very upset about the treatment they got it India by Bajaj. Giovanni was a very talent manager of Piaggio and supposed to become the Fiat new managing director but cancer caught him at young age.

    When Rajiv came back from the US he saw that the Bajaj factories were inefficient, he saw that the scooter market is becoming to heavily competitive and he turned the Bajaj group into motorcycles. And now they are number one in India and maybe number four in the world. His ambition is to make it the number one…Maybe he succeeds, he is a clever guy.

    But what worries me is why did the main owner in KTM Stefan Pierer buy Husqvarna in his own name. If I would have owned 47% in a company (like Bajaj) and the main owner would have buy a competitor in his own name I would have been upset.

    Those who live will see…

    And why did BMW sell at this stage but that is another long story

    MP-Terveisin HIKO (motorcycle regards Hiko)
  13. Hi Hiko,
    thank you for all this information.I had no idea about all this corporation history.
    I find very interesting how the technology from a small unknown company in Sweden did the round of the world
    without us mere consumers noticing.
    This is a great peace you wrote.
    By the way I want to ask you,is the thread on the CB750 four still active?
    I uploaded on that thread,about ten days ago,some pictures of bikes from small Japanese industries
    that are missing from your history (Cabton Asahi etc.) but the post didn't appear.
    I think you will like them.

    I posted there
  14. HI fkostas and greetings to the beautiful Islands of Greece. Hopefully You will be able to take out the corruption among the very rich people in Greece so that the decent people can get their lives back. But I think they started already from what I read. I also know that there is quite hard feelings among people in those country that had to pay the bailout of Greece.

    Yes I read your reply to the very old thread about some Japanese motorcycle brands. I also have some information about the Cabton Asahi and Mitiya who actually was the owner of the Cabton Brand if I remember right. what I am actually only waiting for if the English Twin copied Cabton were used my the yasaki maffia when they took over the gambling on motorcycle speedway motorbikes in the 60;es. I think I have read about it some place and Auto Racing as it is called is damned funny. But for sure I will post a reply about some day.

    Regarding Husqvarna the first Round in the Enduro World championship just started in Chile and there is one favorite the 13 time world champion Juha Salminen on a Husqvarna despite his 38 years

    Then how in hell did You end up on the other end of the World on a Thai motorcycle site/ and a very old thread? The Cyberworld is rather interesting.

    Best Rgds MP-Terveisin Hiko MC--Χαιρετισμοί
  15. Hi Hiko,
    I came to this forum through a link on another site when I was looking up on early Jap moto history.I don't remember
    which site.I research this topic for some time now and I am puzzled on how scarce is the information available.
    It's like all these happened centuries ago and the details are lost in the mists of time.Not like the industrial history
    of just 50-60 years ago.
    The most comprehensive and complete that I found is what you wrote on the CB750 thread.And the way you write
    got me hooked so I had to check who the hell is this Hiko guy.So I read this and other threads that you started
    and I have to tell you,you are very good.You have a way of keeping the reader interested,and I think you should consider
    writing a book.
    I find very intersting how engineering solutions and designs(like the Folan engine or DKW post WW2 and many more) are moving around the globe from one brand to another and from country to country because a good design is never lost and it will always get copied or inspire some one else.

    I understand that people in north E.U. are angry but the bail out in reality is just more loans with higher interest rates
    and most of it goes to support the banking system so it doesn't go bankrupt.I don't see why any country should support the banks since we live in free market times.Is any one going to support me,for instance,if my little bussines goes bad?I think european citizens should'nt accept it and Greece shouldnt take more loans but this is a political discussion and is definetely not for this forum.

    I will post some more pictures on the CB750 thread tomorrow including some autorace machines.
    I read that in autorace they bet huge amounts of money so naturaly there would be some sort of"mafia" involved.
    The Cabton twin in autorace?I thing only singles are allowed to compete in it.
    Let's have the details.

    With regards,

    Needless to say that I envy all of you guys for living and riding around S.E. Asia.

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