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KTM owner cuts 300 European jobs

Pierer Mobility Group has announced that it will cut 300 jobs in Europe, as more industrial activities are sent overseas.

PMG owns the KTM, Husqvarna, and GasGas brands, and also owns 25 per cent (to become a majority share by 2026) of MV Agusta. It has announced that 300 jobs will be shifted from its European industrial bases to those owned by its industrial partners in Asia.

Specifically, this means that the 300 jobs will be picked up by the Chinese manufacturer CFMoto – which already takes care of production for the 799cc parallel twin-cylinder engine used in the KTM 790 Duke and KTM 790 Adventure – and the Indian manufacturer Bajaj, which has also partnered with Triumph in the production of the Triumph Scrambler 400 X, Triumph Speed 400 and the potential ‘Speed 400 RR’.

PMG blamed “the unfavourable economic conditions in Europe,” for its decision to cut the European jobs. These have “led to the decision to relocate parts of production for individual mid-range models and certain R&D activities to strategic partner Bajaj Auto, India, and CFMoto, China,” Pierer Mobility Group said. “Among other things, this is intended to exploit cost advantages in these regions and accelerate development and industrialisation processes.

“This strategic decision is associated with a necessary reduction in staff of up to 300 employees at the Austrian locations in 2024.”

Pierer Mobility Group’s statement on the transfer of these jobs from Europe to Asia also concerned other matters, including the sale of two of its e-bike businesses – R Raymon and Felt – to allow it to focus more on its motorcycle brands, as well as the announcement that the 2024 financial year will see its reports split into the ‘motorcycle’ and ‘e-mobility’ segments where the latter refers for now to e-bikes but will in future also include “all electrically powered two-wheelers such as e-motorcycles, e-minis and stand-up scooters.”

The statement also said that PMG is anticipating a difficult 2024. “We expect the global economic environment to be difficult in the 2024 financial year,” Pierer Mobility Group said. “For the Pierer Mobility Group, 2024 will be a year of consolidation, which will be used to strengthen the core business.

“In order to secure the group’s profitability, the management will implement cost-cutting measures in the double-digit million range in the 2024 financial year.” The statement added that “The Board of Directors expects sales to remain almost unchanged.”