KTM top manager Hubert Trunkenpolz says they will take over MV shortly. What about it?
“Our partnership has a horizon of 5 years. There was no discussion of anything specific that needs to happen within these 5 years. Maybe he just made a wish. KTM is a big company, and it voices many opinions. I mean this: the company will not come under anyone’s control before it is strong, independent and profitable. It’s very important, it’s one of the reasons why I decided to do a deal with KTM, and I structured it so that this company isn’t controlled by one shareholder before it’s strong enough, especially for KTM’s history, with brands that tend to disappear within its ecosystem. I want to avoid that.”
What went wrong, if anything went wrong, under your management?
“How did it go wrong? What?”
For example KTM says MV only produced 1,000 bikes last year
“That’s not true, last year we produced almost 5,000 bikes. Unfortunately, at the moment KTM doesn’t know much about the company, now they’re very busy with their stuff, and they haven’t studied enough, so they make these mistakes.”
If KTM were to ever acquire majority ownership, would you stay with the company, perhaps in a different role?
“Five years from now we will have joint control of the company, us and KTM together. For these five years I will stay here”.
What do you think about Stefan Pierer?
“I have great respect for Stefan Pierer, I think he is one of the greatest European entrepreneurs. Everyone would like to collaborate with him, and we are extremely happy to have him on board. Of course he has very strong opinions, and he’s very insistent, but we can’t wait to find out what will come of it, between our creativity, his energy and his infrastructure. We have a good partnership.”
Initially, however, KTM was only supposed to deal with the commercial part, but now they say they are working on a new project. What are their areas of intervention today?
“They take care of distribution, warehouse, logistics and purchasing. These are the four areas of cooperation we are working on”.
For the future, do you see a possible collaboration between CRC and Kiska Design?
“CRC will always be an important asset to our group. Kiska is very professional. I have great respect for what they do, and they will certainly be able to help us with the goal of making MV Agusta grow. But the heart of our design will remain MV Agusta, or CRC”.
KTM says it doesn’t want to produce the Lucky Explorer… so what should we expect?
“That the Lucky Explorer will be produced in three months and will be called “MV Agusta LXP”
And the Cagiva brand?
“Nothing, we have this brand, which has been dead for a long time. Maybe we’ll do something about it, maybe not, at the moment my priority is MV Agusta, I’m not thinking about Cagiva for now”.
“At the moment the project is under review, due to a question of price. To re-enter the KTM ecosystem, it will have to be a little more competitive in that respect”.
Have you also thought about the return of the F4?
“We’re working on it. We are working on the specifics of this engine type and platform. Both we and KTM want the return of this legendary bike”.
But if you really are so “premium”, why did you activate collaborations with QJ, Loncin and Kymco?
“MV Agusta needs to produce large volumes. We have to produce between 15,000 and 20,000 units to be economically viable, to be independent and to be able to develop new models within our product family. To do this we are continuously trying to optimize our position on certain materials and machinery, to build cheaper products. There’s a great collaboration with QJ on some of the components for the bikes, and we’ve collaborated on the platform as well. With Kymco we are working on the industrialization of components in Taiwan. It’s a normal process.”
It’s not exactly normal, if one thinks of the MV Agusta brand
“If you think about it, half of the Ducati range is made in Thailand. Triumph manufactures all of its motorcycles in Thailand. Everyone thinks they are British or Italian, but they are Thai. KTM makes half of its bikes in India. We are the only brand that does everything in Italy. Everyone receives components from all over the world, and we produce 85% of our bikes in Italy. So, we want to be a little more competitive, that’s all.”
How do you imagine MV Agusta after 5 years of this new partnership?
“I think we will give Ducati some serious headaches, because with KTM’s infrastructure and a brand like MV Agusta, Ducati will suffer a lot at the top end. We will continue to produce our bikes in Italy, while Ducati will continue to produce theirs in Thailand, and this will be a big problem for them”.