Worldwide motorcycle sales plummeted with the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic. As different parts of that same planet begin to see the results of their coronavirus strategies, they’re cautiously beginning to resume parts of daily life. The question of ‘can the motorcycle industry recover?’ is, perhaps, slightly overdramatic, but some concern is surely warranted, given the state it was in prior to all this.
If you happen to be Pierer Mobility Group CEO Stefan Pierer right now, things are looking surprisingly hopeful. Well, not surprisingly to him, to hear him tell it. In an exclusive interview with Le Repaire des Motards, Pierer stressed that because his company has such strong international links, they were able to see the potential impacts of coronavirus early on and act accordingly.
When LRDM asked Pierer if he’d had to lay off any KTM employees even temporarily, he said no, not at all. In fact, they even had to hire 40 additional employees to keep up with increased demand upon reopening. To hear Pierer tell it, coronavirus is actually something of a much-needed shot of adrenalin for the industry.
China is a few weeks ahead of the rest of the world in its coronavirus timeline, so it’s been a bit of a test case for everyone else to watch. It seems that since everyone is more conscious of personal space, motorbike sales as a whole have climbed since the country started to open back up again. The logic is sound. As anyone who’s spent time on public transportation can tell you, it can get pretty crowded pretty quickly. That’s exactly what none of us wants as we continue to find our way through corona times.
Bikes seem like an almost perfect solution in that regard. Sure, you could drive a car, but it takes up more space, isn’t as fuel-efficient in most cases, and is in many ways a bigger hassle than you need. Plus, if you’re buying a new commuter bike versus a brand-new commuter car, one is clearly less expensive. Given the global state of economic precariousness we’re all living under, the less expensive option looks even more attractive than it might otherwise have done.
The whole interview is fascinating, and Pierer’s perspective on the industry and how he hopes to use this recovery time to propel KTM sales to number one in Europe is worth a read.
Source: Le Repaire des Motards