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ADV NewsKTM Continues To Break Sales Records Beating Major Brands

KTM Continues To Break Sales Records Beating Major Brands

The orange brand continues record sales growth now 9 years running.

Published on 02.07.2020

Any Team Orange fans out there ready for some feel-good news? Despite being dethroned in the 2020 Dakar Rally, KTM is winning worldwide on the sales front. And not only because it’s churning out so many new adventure bikes. 

The Pierer Mobility Group, umbrella company for KTM, Husqvarna —  and as of September, Spain’s GasGas, has just published a year-end financial report showing KTM has broken its ninth consecutive record for sales and revenue in 2019, and more poignantly, these results show KTM has outperformed the overall market average globally — as well as in North America.

This latter fact showing that the high numbers are not all about small displacement bikes KTM has been manufacturing in India for the developing world as some readers assumed when we published figures last year, showing KTM outselling Harley-Davidson and BMW in global unit sales for 2018. In fact, KTM’s success in the States during 2019 is perhaps the most striking feature of the year end data crossing our desk today. 


There’s no doubt the U.S. is one of today’s most challenging markets. Once predictable and lucrative, manufacturers are now scrambling for traction as demographics wane and trends shift unsteadily. Despite a strong economy, sales of new motorcycles were not just stagnant in 2019, they actually shrank by 2.7%. 

But KTM’s sales grew by 3.6% in the U.S. last year. If that doesn’t impress you, what about the fact that 9.7% of new motorcycles sold in the States last year were KTMs or Husqvarnas. 

In the global market, Pierer Group’s figures are no less impressive and also not strictly a story about small displacement sales. Globally, large displacement bike sales (over 1200cc) were down 6.3% for 2019 while KTM’s sales of bikes over 1200cc went up by a whopping 14.5%.

In total, KTM sold 280,099 units globally, up from 234,449 in 2018. And Husqvarna, benefitting from KTM’s aggressive support saw sales rise to 45,650 units, creating a 7% increase in marketshare for the duo, and a 4% gain in revenue. 

KTM breaks record sales

For comparison, global unit sales for Harley totaled 218,273 (down from 228,057) with 125,900 sold in the U.S. (down from 132,868). For European brands, Ducati was up marginally in Europe, but down by 2% in the U.S. (53,183 total sales globally). Triumph has yet to release figures, but we expect something around 67,000 units. KTM’s closest competitor, BMW Motorrad, reported sales in the U.S. as stable, and set its own record for global motorcycle sales (including scooters), up 5.8% in 2019 for a total of 175,162 units.

Since sales figures for the major Japanese manufactures reside in another stratosphere (Honda sold over 20 million two-wheelers last year), it’s not a polite comparison, but it is notable that the Pierer Group is now the most successful non-Asian manufacturer.  

There’s no question KTM’s success is the direct result of Stefan Pierer’s Midas touch. When the Austrian businessman bought KTM in 1991 he said the quality of the machines coming out of the Mattighofen, Austria, factory was so poor the brand was ridiculed. He also said that “every crisis is also an opportunity.”

Last year Pierer reinvested nearly 135 million in product development and over 49 million in infrastructure, pumping the beast with lifeblood to ensure continued prosperity, not only for the growing Pierer empire, but for all of us at ground zero, enjoying this cascade of new and constantly-evolving machines. 

So far we know of several exciting bikes headed our way from the Pierer Group including KTM’s much anticipated 390 Adventure, as well as a twin-powered 490 ADV offering. From Husqvarna there’s evidence we’ll see new entry-level and mid-weight Nordens in 501, 401 and 250cc displacements, and most surprising, indications GasGas will make a daring leap from its trail/trials heritage straight into the street market with an 800cc adventure touring model. 

KTM record sales

With the advantage of momentum and positive cash flow, the Pierer Group, currently Europe’s largest manufacturer, is predicting 8-10% growth during 2020, a goal the feels odds-on.

For a long time now KTM’s biggest claim to fame was its 18-year winning streak at the Dakar Rally. With that impressive run now capped after Ricky Brabec’s victorious run for Honda, it looks like KTM is now working on being famous for winning over the world, one new motorcycle at a time. 

Author: Jamie Elvidge

Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.

Author: Jamie Elvidge

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February 7, 2020 11:38 am

I am not seeing KTM US numbers in this article, only that the sales grew and the market share is 9.7%. There is no market share for Harley or BMW. US sales numbers are given for Harley only, so this is all a bit confusing?

February 7, 2020 9:49 pm

Since I paid for my 2020 790 Adventure R in January I’ve done my part to contribute to this years numbers!

February 9, 2020 5:14 pm
Reply to  Patriot159

I’ve been contributing to their bottom line since 1973.

February 8, 2020 7:44 am

Why did it take so long for the Nap guys to put an electric start on a dirt bike? How long did it take the caps to get a hydraulic clutch on dirt bikes? KTM sells factory suspension exactly like the Pro’s use. The only thing you can get from japs is A kit. KTM is innovative and they push the envelope. KTM isn’t afraid to make changes every year. Anyone wonder why?
KTM has unmatched amateur support in all areas and it didn’t used to be that way. The support at the local level is dismal from Honda and Yamaha and non-existent from Suzuki. Kawi still has some decent local support but nothing like they used to. Any of you guys in Japan listening?

February 10, 2020 6:01 am
Reply to  wfo75080

Am I reading this correctly? Why would they listen to someone who calls the people of Japan “japs”??

February 10, 2020 8:15 am
Reply to  Mark

Here some tissues for ya Mark……

February 27, 2020 11:03 am

Have a 250 cc in the garage, would love to see them update the RC8, would love to add that to the collection.

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