Five Minutes: Oliver Göhring – Husqvarna’s Managing Director
A long time member of the KTM family, Oliver Göhring first joined the brand 16 years ago. Working as the man in charge of the ‘middle’ European markets, he then moved to Husaberg. Now he’s Husqvarna’s man at the top, so Enduro21.com took the opportunity to ask him about new models, independent development, and expected sales figures…
Enduro21: Is the plan for Husqvarna to stay very close to KTM regarding design, or will it follow its own development path?
OG: “We have the clear genes of the Husaberg brand in the new Husqvarna range and we consider them [Husaberg] to be one of the most competitive enduro bikes in the market place. From this starting point will invest further in the Husqvarna brand and diversify the model range. In the future we will need to share product platforms with the big brother KTM, but in general we will differentiate as much as possible.”
Enduro21: Is there a clear direction you want to steer the brand and the bikes, and are you aiming the bikes at a specific market?
OG: “We already aim specific models at the different major markets – Europe, North America and Australia. We will take specific directions to make everybody happy. For the time however, we have no plans to make any ‘XC’ style models, because currently sales don’t allow us this luxury.”
Enduro21: What do you expect from the brand in regards to sales figures this year and into the future?
OG: “We already have a steep sales target, are aim in this first year is push toward 12,000 units. In the mid-term we will look to enlarge the range in the future. Husqvarna is well-known Supermoto brand so we will add these models and then the goal is to come up to around 20,000 units. This would be more models than the Husqvarna brand has ever sold.”
Enduro21: Where do you see the brand in five years?
OG: “We have the clear goal to bring Husqvarna back to its glory days and the ‘shiny’ brand it once was. It’s an iconic name in the off-road world – it’s where it was born and where the brands success is based. Husqvarna will definitely return to being a major player in the near future.”
Enduro21: What do you think is the biggest challenge Husqvarna faces?
OG: “I think the biggest challenge Husqvarna faces is the same challenge all the brands are facing. The market is still shrinking and this is an issue. We plan to invest in the youth market, in turn this will attract new people to the sport and get young people excited about riding motorcycles.”
Enduro21: Do you think there’s work to do, in order to repair damage that may have already been done to the brand?
OG: “It’s quite obvious that the last 10 years haven’t been the most exciting for Husqvarna. The development wasn’t really going into off-road competition, where the brand’s history lies. So of course there is a lot to be done. However we are merging Husqvarna and Husaberg back together – we think at present the Husaberg is the state of the art motorcycle in Enduro and with these genes in the new Husqvarnas we feel we can overcome any negative image that currently surrounds the brand.”