The biggest story in the powersports biz during the summer of 2005 was Polaris’ move to buy 26 percent of the legendary and revered Austrian motorcycle maker KTM.
The news was particularly important as the deal included the potential to purchase the balance of KTM stock in two years time, making KTM a wholly owned Polaris subsidiary.
Now, it’s all changed. During the summer of 2006 a carefully worded press release indicated KTM had an option on the deal allowing them stop any further purchase of its shares during the two year romance period. It seems the deal will stay where it is for the immediate future.
In the meantime, we’ve heard Polaris has benefited from the arrangement by gaining access to KTM dealers in Europe and, according to some sources, the same benefit has been realized by KTM in North America, landing Polaris dealers to handle its brand.
Certainly, one very interesting benefit has to be the imminent launch of the much awaited 525 Outlaw powered by KTM’s 525 monster mill.
This vehicle was lauded as the first “joint venture” project for the happily married couple and thankfully survived this ripple on the pond.
The Outlaw 525 is still on deck and will be available very soon.