Bloomberg Businessweek

An Austrian Dirt Bike Maker Goes Global

After overtaking Harley last year, KTM aims to pull ahead of Kawasaki to become No. 3 in full-size motorcycles
KTM’s factory in Mattighofen, where the company was founded in 1934

In 1991, Stefan Pierer took over KTM, a failing Austrian manufacturer of motorcycles trying to counter aggressive rivals from Japan. A no-nonsense turnaround expert who at age 35 had already revived and auctioned off makers of ski boots and building materials, Pierer figured he’d spend a few years fixing KTM before moving on to the next challenge. Fast forward 28 years, and KTM is building as many bikes in a week as it did in the whole year when Pierer took over. It just surpassed Harley-Davidson Inc. as the leading motorcycle maker outside of Asia. And Pierer is still in charge, with a fortune valued at more

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