We have been speculating for weeks about the news of 2014 Husqvarna’s. Oddly enough, the biggest rumor floating around has more to do with Husaberg. How can there be room for both in the new vision of KTM?
According to the just published Cycle News interview with Stephan Pierer, Husky and Husaberg, which share common Swedish roots, will once again be joined together, at least for distribution. ” I think there is lots in common between Husqvarna and Husaberg, so we will want to keep their Scandinavian roots and bring them closer together especially in distribution…”
So just what does that mean? While the CN interview is well worth a read and has plenty of interesting information, there is not much else for details about the future plans. It does confirm that all of the BMW powered Husky street bike line will go away, most notably the Nuda. KTM will either supply current motors or develop new ones for future Husqvarna models. Husqvarna is certainly going back to its enduro and supermoto roots.
My own view is that this is move that will immediately give current Husqvarna dealers some fresh inventory to sell. Pierer specifically said that Husky dealers would have access to Husaberg’s also. That gives them some very good models to sell, presumably while the Husky line is redeveloped into something newer and more competitive.
I have also seen some very strong indications that the Husqvarna TE model range will continue unchanged in the US for the coming year. Due to the time required for the homologation process, it is clear that no new on road models could be debuted for Husky so soon. But that does not exclude the possibility of street legal Husaberg’s for the US market either.
The second big rumor that has been floating around is that Husaberg will cease to be. So far I have been unable to find any justification for the idea. Some internet posts claim that it stems from a European magazine interview, but I have not located it. In many ways the combining of the distribution of the two brands will be good for both. Husaberg lacks any unique management in the US market, so it gets lumped in with everything KTM.
The ‘Bergs are continually looking better. While they don’t import very many units, they are also sold out in the US. The racing is going very well. Riders Lafferty, Bobbitt and Fahringer are making the bikes look very attractive. On the European front, Jarvis and the rest of the extreme team are killing it also.
I guess the real question is whether there is room for both former Swedish brands in the long run. One was simply the product of the other. I suspect that no one is ready to make that call quite yet. In the mean time, perhaps the two will use their individuals strengths to make each other stronger.
One last thing, in his interview Pierer did make on allusion to the traditional blue and yellow color scheme. I wonder if that means we will see blue Husky’s soon?