The KTM-Sportmotorcycle AG, the primary company in Mattighofen, Austria, builds race-ready motorcycles (and now the X-Bow car) for competitive as well as recreational riding.
The KTM brand has a deeply rooted motor sport tradition. More than 100 world championship titles, five victories in the Dakar Rally and countless national championships are proof of the company’s great technical expertise. “Ready to Race” – in accordance with the company philosophy, the insights gained from our motor sport experience are passed directly into series production and so become available to our customers as well.
KTM has dedicated itself to this principle. Whatever has proven itself reliable on the racing circuit, is incorporated into series-production.
The KTM story goes back to Hans Trunkenpolz who founded a metal work workshop in Mattighofen, Austria in the year 1934. His own love of motorcycles led to the production of a prototype of his own motorcycle in 1953: a lightweight model with 98 ccm displacement, the series production of which began in 1954. One year later the name of another man came into play and which went on to complete the company name still used today: Ernst Kronreif. Since that time, KTM has stood for Kronreif, Trunkenpolz, Mattighofen.
Initially engines were bought in but from 1970, a decision was taken that KTM would produce its own engines. The core business areas were steadily increased over the coming decades. KTM produced radiators, bicycles, mopeds and motorcycles. However the aggressive entry onto the market by the Japanese brands in the 1970s and 1980s, plus some unfortunate decisions by the management of the day, led to the company KTM Fahrzeugbau AG registering for bankruptcy in the year 1991.
As a direct result, the various production divisions were split up. The motorcycle production was re-launched in 1992 as KTM Sportmotorcycle GmbH under the leadership of Stefan Pierer and Rudolf Knünz under a new concept. Since this point in time the company history is a chronicle of success and growth.
Elevation to World Market Leader.
The new start up in 1992 had a clear strategy: the concept of the Hard Enduro and the Philosophy “Ready to Race“. The first success was quick in coming indicating that the combination of the company’s technical competence plus the new design by Gerald Kiska was a decision that would bring in the profits. Since then the annual average growth when it comes to sales units amounts to 21 percent and regarding turnover 25 percent per annum. KTM is today the world market leader in the offroad segment. The production rose from around 6000 units per year in 1992 to 84,421 in the financial year 2005/06. In the same period, employee numbers grew from 160 to 1700.
Parallel to these gratifying results, the infrastructure in Mattighofen was extended. A new production facility went online in 1999, in 2001 the spare parts storage facility was opened, a modern engine works followed in 2002 and an administration building in 2004. Today KTM has at its disposal state-of-the-art facilities for development, production and quality control of its products. Currently up to 450 motorcycles leave the factory every day.
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