KSR Group still on the rise
Despite the pandemic, the last business year has been very successful for the KSR Group and we continue to expand as the project «Vision 2025» and many innovations in the model programme shows. Nevertheless, the current situation also brings challenges.
Expansion course despite pandemic
Despite the global pandemic, KSR is positive about the future, having coped with the crisis very well so far thanks to a forward-looking business policy, great employees and loyal dealers and partners. The success is also reflected in the fact that during the pandemic more than 30 new employees were hired. The last business year ended with a record turnover of 179 million euros. This corresponds to an increase of +27% compared to the last business year, with particularly remarkable growth rates in the vehicle sector from the corporate brands BRIXTON (+73%) and MALAGUTI (+71%), but also CFMOTO or ROYAL ENFIELD. KSR also made strong gains in the other business areas.
The expansion course is also shown by the establishment of KSR Hellas in Athens, which will serve the Greek motorbike market from April 2021. This means that KSR is now represented in the 5 largest two-wheeler markets in the EU with its own branch office.
In order to master the challenging future in an even better and more focused way, the company is currently reorganising itself. The two owners, Christian and Michael Kirschenhofer, will concentrate more on strategic corporate management in the future – which is why they have placed operational management in the hands of long-time CFO Peter Kopriva as of 1 January 2021. Peter Kopriva has already been working at KSR for 15 years and has been instrumental in placing the success of the KSR Group on a solid and secure foundation.
Together with a strong, motivated management team, Peter Kopriva will be responsible for implementing the new strategy («Vision 2025») and a new organisational structure. Asked about this, Peter Kopriva says: «The KSR Group has developed extraordinarily fast in recent years and we are continuing to expand. That is why we are now also putting the company on a new organisational footing – with the clear aim of focusing more strongly on our customer groups and increasing customer satisfaction.»
This aforementioned focus is also reflected by the appointment of Christoph Wolf as head of the newly established «Mobility» division. Christoph Wolf has been working at KSR Group since June 2019 and has a lot of experience in sales and development of new business areas in the automotive environment (Volkswagen, DEKRA). With the «Mobility» division, which is responsible for more than 60% of KSR’s sales, he is responsible for all business activities involving two- and four-wheeled vehicles, regardless of whether it is a corporate brand (BRIXTON, LAMBRETTA, MALAGUTI, MOTRON) or one of the reputable import brands (ROYAL ENFIELD, NIU, CFMOTO, ITALJET, SUR-RON).
When asked about the innovations in the model programme, Christoph Wolf refers to several milestones in recent months: «We used the time of the pandemic to implement new ideas. For example, we were able to launch our new corporate brand MOTRON MOTORCYCLES in mid-February – a brand that will start with 11 different models ranging from electric scooters to touring bikes and 400cc adventure bikes. This is also in response to the continuing strong demand for motorbikes in the entry-level and mid-range segments. With a wide range of combustion engines but also with electric drive, the new brand appeals to different groups of buyers. We are also proud to have successfully positioned our new bicycle brand MALAGUTI BICYCLES in the market. These sporty e-bikes carry on the «Spirit of Bologna» of the Malaguti brand and are already almost sold out for the 2021 season. And last but not least, we are also proud not only to continue to be very focused and successful for our long-standing partners Royal Enfield, CFMOTO and NIU, but that we were able to secure the distribution of the renowned ITALJET brand in 5 European countries.»
Delivery situation as current challenge
KSR Group currently sees the global supply situation as the biggest challenge. «Of course, we are also suffering from the global procurement and supply problem,» says Peter Kopriva. Not least thanks to the great demand for two-wheelers, the supply chains are coming to a standstill because many producers are running short of resources (raw materials, vendor parts, etc.). In addition, the delivery problems from Asia, which have been known for a long time, make it difficult to supply our dealers with goods on time and in sufficient quantities. «We are working hard to be able to ship as many containers as possible to meet demand in Europe, but we are dependent on many external factors,» says Christoph Wolf. KSR is distinctly affected by this circumstances because end-customer demand for almost all brands in the portfolio remains huge. «Especially the brands CFMOTO, BRIXTON and ROYAL ENFIELD are strongly impacted – for example, many customers are eagerly awaiting the new Meteor 350.»
Despite the shortages in the supply chain, there is also good news. The registration figures for the first quarter of 2021 in Germany confirm the path taken. The registration figures for the brands Brixton (+337%), CFMOTO (+164%), NIU (without L1e; +100%) and Lambretta (+67%) increased impressively.