KTM PURCHASE GAS GAS MOTORCYCLES
Just last week, news broke of a deal being struck between KTM and GasGas - in particular, KTM buying up 60% of the Spanish brand. Is this KTM’s first step to killing off another rival motorcycle brand? From the outset, it doesn’t look like it.
It has been reported that KTM Industries AG and Black Toro Capital (owners of Gas Gas and Torrot) have signed an agreement to work together, which in turn has saved the Gas Gas factory from closing and potentially boosted the model range of both brands simultaneously.
“A cooperation was signed and both partners see this as a starting point for a bright future of the international well-known brand GasGas. New models will be developed alongside the Trial and Enduro bikes of GasGas,” stated a release from KTM AG, adding, that production will remain in Spain
Gas Gas has been in trouble for a while now, we reported this back in July when the factory started laying off workers and trying to cut costs (you can read that story HERE). But the brand of Gas Gas is still strong throughout the world. From their trials bikes to enduro machines, Gas Gas is one of the top dogs in the motorcycling world. Yeah, not so much in little old New Zealand but in Europe, they are a big deal. And with Gas Gas being aligned with Torrot, which is an electric brand, they will not only enjoy what Gas Gas has to offer, but also all the battery power that Torrot has too. KTM, who has been working on electric bike technology for a decade, is clearly interested in Torrot’s electric bike expertise. A bit of a cheery on the top and perhaps the deciding factor in the controlling stake partnership?
So with KTM now owning three brands, it will be pretty safe to say that platform sharing will very much be a thing amongst the newly included brand. But just how much sharing will only be revealed in time. And that will either go one of two ways; Either KTM lovers will now have the option to get their bikes in Red, or Gas Gas will remain it’s own design with some small shared components, unlike KTM acquired Husqvarna which shares the majority of its hardware.
Black Toro Capital said in a statement that: “This agreement will allow the expansion of the Gas Gas product portfolio into different segments, engine capacities and models. The main new models will be four-stroke and electric motorcycles, including children’s models, as well as electric bicycles.”
The biggest change that could occur might also be the most talked about. As we know, KTM owns WP suspension, which are found on all KTM and Husqvarna bikes. With Gas Gas having been producing bikes with KYB suspension as their now-preferred OEM brand, would KTM continue to allow this to happen now it has a 60% stake in the company? Or would the switch to WP be mandatory? That is something that will be very interesting to follow.
It is hard to know what will really happen in 2020 with the Spanish brand. Though unlike the demise of Husaberg, all the signs seem to point towards Gas Gas sticking around in a more separated brand tyre of way. Though, we wouldn’t be surprised if we saw KTM engines in future Gas Gas bikes, as the Austrian brand has all their engine bases covered when it comes to the EU emission laws, which Gas Gas could take advantage of - especially in the TPI two-stroke engine.
In our opinion, this can’t be a bad thing when you look at all the issues that Gas Gas has been through over the last 5 years. Bankruptcy, a factory fire, and now further financial troubles. Without the help of KTM, there was a good chance that Gas Gas could have gone under. And we don’t need to lose another motorcycling brand, do we? Even if Gas Gas eventually ends up like Husqvarna, they hey, at least you have another colour option to choose from.
Though, what about the current, die-hard Gas Gas dealers? I hope they guys at the top are thinking about them too.