KTM, an Austrian manufacturer of street and off-road motorcycles, is expanding its North American headquarters in Murrieta to a new campus.
A groundbreaking is expected in August.
KTM NA (North America) is building its campus at the northeast corner of Winchester and Borel roads. The company, led by CEO John Hinz, says it will span 20 acres and include at least three buildings with more than 150,000 square feet of technical, office, warehouse and racing departments.
The development is one block south of KTM NA’s private motorsports facility, which is used for testing products and athlete training. It has two supercross-style dirt tracks, two extreme off-road courses and a trials competition section.
The company sells its motorcycles and related gear through independent dealers across the U.S.
We asked the company about its new HQ and what it’s bringing to the Temecula Valley. Tom Moen, KTM’s marketing manager, gave us an update.
Q: Tell us more about the KTM brand and what it makes.
A: We have three brands of motorcycles we build and distribute to our dealers, KTM, Husqvarna and GasGas. In those brands, we have an array of products from balance bikes for 3-year-old children up to 1290 Adventure motorcycles. Plus we have electric minibikes and a full-size, off-road electric bike.
We also produce and sell parts and accessories to our dealers, everything from T-shirts to full riding suits and anything for protection and safety equipment, kids to adults sizes.
Q: Where was KTM’s North American HQ previously?
A: Our headquarters was back in Amherst, Ohio. We also had sales and marketing offices down in El Cajon. We moved to Temecula in 2004 and opened our current headquarters in Murrieta in 2009, which has grown to four buildings now (and we are outgrowing them). Our Ohio offices are now the parts warehouse and dealer training center
Q: How long has the test track been operational?
A: Our private test track has been fully operational for 3 years now. It’s right above our current offices off Technology and Innovation streets, south of French Valley airport.
Q: It sounds like business is going well. Can you share more?
A: Our company has been doing very well in the off-road market for a while. This is where we lead in market share among the other brands. Our street segment has grown in the past three years, and we are/have been the largest European motorcycle manufacture in North America.
We’ve been seeing 10% average growth for the past years, and this last year was our best year retail sales-wise for our dealers.
Q: How did the pandemic impact the company?
A: COVID just made people want to get out and do things. Riding motorcycles was something you could do with yourself and your families. We were lucky that our production was down for only a month or so, but once it got going, they delivered what we had planned for the year, pre-COVID. Plus, we took some other countries’ product while they were in lockdown. There was demand and we were able to supply the product.
Q: Will KTM NA be hiring?
A: Yes, with the new HQ expansion we will be hiring more staff. It’s hard to say how many at first, but the company sees potential to increase HQ staff by 50 within the first year at the new HQ.
Q: Does the region (and a certain love for the outdoors) help KTM’s business?
A: Yes Southern Cal and the Southwest is the hot spot for offroad and all general motorcycling. We have the best weather!!
KTM has been making motorcycles and gear in the North American market since 1967. The company says it has grown its U.S. workforce, expanding to 150 employees from 30 since 2009.