6 months ago

Dirt and Trail June 2020-2

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KTM BOUGHT GAS-GAS WHAT’S THE STORY? At last months KTM 390 Adventure Launch, the marriage between the KTM Group and Gas-Gas was confirmed and presented to the South African press. And whilst, initially Gas-Gas is not expected in SA (you never know…) it makes for a good story as the KTM group continues to be a major force in the great world that is motorcycling… In a nutshell: KTM Industries AG and Black Toro Capital signed an agreement to work together – saving the Gas-Gas factory and boosting KTM product range. On the surface it seems quite a simple deal and the logical conclusion is that we will see red bikes alongside orange and white ones in dealer showrooms globally. But what does it mean for Gas- Gas and what is the point for KTM? Here’s what we know… What’s the story? It is an understatement to say Gas-Gas has had an up and down recent history. Bankruptcy, staff layoffs, buyouts, re-launches, a fire and poor sales have put the the Spanish manufacturer, and all associated with it, through the mill. Despite that, the brand Gas-Gas remains a strong one which is why when news broke that KTM were buying a major share of the company, it came as no surprise. Gas-Gas is joined to Torrot ( an e-mobility company) so KTM has not only bought a Spanish enduro and trials arm but a whole ‘e’ brand as well. We know KTM were not the only interested party and understand Sherco owner, Marc Tessier was also in the running. What’s the financial issue? Most recently the Girona-based Gas-Gas factory underwent a temporary layoff of staff due to a fall in sales, which dropped from 39.3M Euros in 2017 to 22M Euros in 2018. It was the point at which parent company, Torrot, cried enough with mounting debts growing to 23 million Euros – putting the factory at risk. As recently as September (2019), Gas-Gas received financial aid from the Spanish government who injected 4.6 million Euros to the company to reduce the chance of shutdown while a new owner was sought. Enter KTM Industries AG KTM Industries AG (soon to be renamed Pierer Mobility AG) and Black Toro Capital signed an agreement to give Gas-Gas a future and boost their own portfolio in terms of trials and e-bikes. “New models will be developed alongside the Trial and Enduro bikes of Gas-Gas” says a statement by KTM Industries AG, which importantly also points out that production of Gas-Gas and TORROT electric vehicles will continue in the Gas-Gas factory in Girona, Spain.