KTM North America President Jon-Erik Burleson says the manufacturer will begin to push off-road brand Husaberg harder in the near future.
Thus far, there has not been a lot of news about Husaberg in the months after KTM North America first began distributing the brand in September.
Burleson told Powersports Business the company now has a dedicated product line manager as well as a dedicated salesperson. But KTM has not pushed the brand too aggressively because of the 2009 product changes.
“You don’t want to set up a big dealer network and push hard when you have a 2008 product that is going to be overshadowed by a coming ’09 product,” Burleson said. “We’ll be repositioning the brand in subtle ways as we bring that new product to market.”
The 2009 Husaberg Enduro will feature a flat, 70-degree cylinder angle and electronic fuel injection as well as a chrome-moly frame chassis and slim bodywork, according to the company’s Web site.
Husaberg dealers in North America currently number approximately 35. Burleson expects that number to grow closer to 50-55 in the long term. However, he notes “we don’t want to grow it to the point where it becomes a competitor of KTM. It’s more trying to fill a niche of one that we’ve moved away from.
“While we’ve added a lot of Orange Bleeders to the family, we’ve also lost a couple that want to really be different. And Husaberg gives us the chance to keep them in the family but allows them to be the guy they want to be, which is an off-road motorcyclist but one that is a little bit different.”
Burleson expects Husaberg to provide the innovative technology that is not possible for mass produced off-road bikes.
“With KTM, you want something to reach 20,000-30,000 people,” he said. “With Husaberg, a couple thousand.”
— Neil Pascale
Copyright 2008 Powersports Business