With 2020’s sales figures coming in, KTM says it’s set a new sales record. It’s true, but not how you’d think.

KTM’s figures are for all of the Pierer AG empire, including KTM, GasGas, Husqvarna, and e-bike maker Raymon. Husqvarna and Raymon sold 56,064 e-bikes in 2020, and using those numbers, KTM says the company saw its best-ever sales year.

If you just look at the company’s gas-powered motorcycles, the numbers are still pretty good, although not a sales record. Pierer AG’s subsidiaries sold 326,471 motorcycles in 2020. That’s a 3 percent drop from 2019’s 280,099 bikes sold, but considering the realities of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, KTM should feel pretty pleased with itself, you’d think!

Although KTM was hurt by the COVID-19 shutdown, it had one thing going for it through 2020: Dirt bikes sold like mad. In fact, offroad motorcycles were the hottest ticket in bike dealerships this summer, and no doubt KTM moved even more than they expected.

The flip side is, there was less interest in more expensive big-bore bikes like KTM’s flagship 1290 series. Economic uncertainty made such purchases less attractive, for sure, and those are the machines with the biggest profit margins.

Moving forward

Banning some horrible, unforeseen calamity that nukes 2021, it’s likely KTM is poised on the brink of a big breakthrough. With the 200 Duke now in North America, increased presence in developing countries, a made-in-China 790, a rapidly-developing GasGas line, and a new 490 series of parallel twins, KTM’s going to have machines at basically every level of the sales column. The days of thinking about KTM as a fringe company selling dirtbikes and supermotos is over.

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