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Alexander Bukin on the dynamics of KTM motorcycle sales in Russia

Alexander Bukin, head of the marketing department of the Bikeland motorcycles dealership network – an exclusive distributor of KTM in Russia – filled us in on the brand’s development on the Russian market.

KTM is the second largest producer of sports motorcycles in Europe. The company’s shares are listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange (Austria), and the company boasts a staff of nearly 1,800 people. European sales account for 63 percent of total sales, North America – for 25 percent, and the rest of the world, including Russia – for 12 percent of sales.

How many KTM motorcycles are you selling in Russia?
About 200-250 KTM vehicles.

How does that compare to the previous years’ results?
Sales have gone up somewhat, but the sales dynamics have been affected by the consequences of the crisis, which hasn’t yet come to an end, and so we’re still feeling it.

How would you describe your average customer?
I wouldn’t be very original if I said that the average customer was a successful and independent person. In terms of age, our customers have started to become more diverse – ranging from young college graduates to affluent people who are not in fact very young. Motocross is also rapidly becoming popular with the public, and young people who’ve been participating in such competitions since a young age make up a large niche.

How many dealers does KTM have in Russia?
We have seven dealerships that we cooperate with on the KTM brand.

What new models can we look forward to seeing in the near future?
KTM’s current goal is to ensure the high quality and reliability of its models, since this is always important for the type of motorcycles in which KTM specializes. By the same token, KTM always likes to surprise its customers from time to time – the company keeps its new models and concepts secret even from distributors - until the very moment when it’s officially presented to them. In the short-term, we expect such new developments as a 300 cubic centimeters (cc) cross motorcycle, which Everts participated in developing, as well as a new 690cc Adventure.

Do you follow any motorcycle sporting events?
I don’t follow it on a regular basis.

Are there any grey dealers? How do you fight them, if at all?
Basically, we don’t fight them. At this stage, we just don’t follow them at all. Grey dealers exist independently, and if some people aren’t ready to buy an official motorcycle with a warranty, service, and maintenance at our dealership, we’re not going to keep them from making that choice. The popularity of the KTM brand is steadily growing, and this is in line with all our own goals.

What’s the brand’s pricing policy for Russia?
Our pricing policy is agreed upon with the producer, and we try to avoid pricing voluntarism. So, really, this question should be addressed to the manufacturer.

What do you do to attract customers? Do you run any special promo offers?
Yes, of course. We regularly have various promotions in our salons, and not just for the KTM brand. Our clients can always find the latest information about current promotions and terms of cooperation. And we hold promos not only for vehicles, but primarily for service and maintenance. It’s especially important for vehicles used to drive in extreme conditions, like KTM motorcycles are. We try to support our clients in all different spheres.

What do you think a motorcycle will be like in 10 years?
Mainly – more reliable and safe.

The Austrian company KTM specializes primarily in the manufacturing of off-road sports motorcycles. KTM was founded in mid-1930, when Hans Trunkenpolz opened a metalworking shop in Mattighofen.
The mass production of motorcycles under the KTM brand was launched by the company back in 1953, and at that time the company had 20 employees assembling motorcycles at the rate of three per day. It was then that the company participated in a race for the first time. It also got its official name of KTM (Kronreif, Trunkenpolz, Mattighofen) around that time. In 1954, KTM produced its 1,000th motorcycle, and by 1974 the company’s line of products included as many as 42 models. In 1978, the first subsidiary in the U.S. - KTM America, Inc. – was opened in Lorain, Ohio. Then, in 1985, KTM produced its 100,000th motorcycle, and just a year later became the world’s first motorcycle manufacturer to install brake discs on both the front and rear wheels. In 1996, shares of the company, which was by then known as КТМ-Motorradholding AG, were placed on the Vienna Stock Exchange. Currently, KTM’s motorcycles are assembled at a plant in Austria at the rate of 450 motorcycles per day. As of August 31, 2009, the company had 26 subsidiaries selling its products in different regions of the world. Of the total amount, 15 operate in Europe (in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Greece, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, the UK, Slovenia, Slovakia, France and Hungary), 4 in the Americas (2 in the U.S., 1 in Mexico, Canada and Argentina), and 4 in other parts of the world (in South Africa, New Zealand, Japan and UAE). KTM considers the U.S., Italy, France, Germany, Spain, the UK, Australia, Canada, and Austria its key markets. The share capital of KTM Motor Sports AG is divided into 7.58 million shares, 48.5 percent of which are owned by Austria’s CROSS Industries AG, 31.72 percent - by India’s Bajaj Auto, about 5 percent – by the private fund HOFER, and another 15 percent are sold on the open market.

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