Discussion in 'History' started by Coffee, Oct 30, 2008.
Husqvarna lawnmowers are manufactured in Orangeburg, South Carolina.
It's not completely uncommon. It happens when a company with a strong brand and a diverse set of products hits a rough financial period, and the stockholders would benefit from a divestiture of one or more business lines. Typically the spun-off businesses are granted royalty free license to use the trademark of the parent in perpetuity. That grant makes the spun-off business more valuable, and more attractive to a buyer.
If Honda were selling off their motorcycle business, and you were a potential buyer, would you rather be able to use the Honda name or not? Would you expect to pay more to become the maker of Honda branded motorcycles?
The reason I know this: I once worked at Purina Mills - a company making commercial animal feeds, using the Purina name and the checkerboard logo, but completely separate from the Ralston Purina company that makes and markets Purina Dog Chow and Cat Chow. Purina Mills was spun off when the shareholders of Purina decided they wanted to be invested in the pet food business at the exclusion of their farm, zoo, and custom milling business.
What about the fact that Steve McQueen is responsible for bringing the Husky brand to U.S. shores? It is my understanding, I'm sure I'll be corrected if I'm wrong, that Steve McQeen, once he achieved fame and a decent bank roll, was so into racing in the dirt that he organized a race circuit bringing over three of the top European racers. They all rode huskys and needed parts support which inevitably brought husky dealers to America. Roger Decoster was one of those Euro's, and he saddled a Husky back in those days. Steve loved the husky brand, he was loyal to the end and has done probably the most for developing motocross in the U.S., and the world for that matter since we lead the way after that. Just sayin'...
While Steve McQueen was an ardent Husqvarna rider at the time, It was Edison Dye that was the driving force that wanted to import Husqvarnas into this country in 1966 and brought over Torsten Hallman to introduce them into US scrambles(later to become motocross). Edison contracted with Malcolm Smith and John Penton to be the US riders. Edison was also the promoter of the early InterAMA series that was a 250 series. Edison was the West Coast Husqvarna importer and John Penton was the East Coast Distributor. John Penton was a national enduro champ on Husqvarna while contracting with KTM to build small bore machines to his specifications known for 10 years as Pentons. This was because at the time the smallest machine Husqvarna was marketing at the time was a 250. That was the start of KTM as a major force in off road.
Perhaps one of the major influences on motorcycle racing period in the early 70's was Bruce Brown's On Any Sunday. Brought exposure to previous unknown forms of competition. Motocross, ISDT, Observed Trials, Flat Track Road Racing, Desrt Racing, and more... Malcoll, Steve McQueen, and Mert Lawill were common friends that were featured in their own little desert playtime in the film
While I have always been a Steve McQueen fan, it is not fair to direct undue credit to him
I recently had to purchase a new lawn tractor and ended up at Sears where I had purchased the lawn tractor bought in 1997. The 1997 Craftsman tractor was built by MTD for Sears under the Craftsman. I had to make many over the top repairs to keep that tractor as long as we did. The mower deck was the biggest issue as it was made of the thinnest sheet metal I had ever seen on a mower deck other than the John Deere consumer tractor carried at Home Depot. I looked into Cub Cadet..partially owned by MTD in Canada. Went to Sears and looked at the Husqvarna tractors The salesman told me that the Craftsman YT series is made by Husqvarna in USA. I asked if they were built to Husqvarna criteria. He assured my they were constructed to Husqvarna standard with proprietoy features that Husqvarna was not licensed to offer under their own name. Like the tighter turning radius. I ended up with the YT3000 and have been very impresed and happy with it. Under the seat is a label stating manufactured by Husqvarna. Yes that means something to me now as it has since owning my first Husky in 1974.. a 1969 360 Enduro
I strongly encourage everyone to purchase Husqvarna and rebadged Husqvarna riding mowers since it pumps money into my hometown!
late into this history, but a point worth mentioning is when Husky sold out to the Cagiva group in 1987, there was a group of Swedish former employees, mainly engineers and designers who were against the idea and set up their own workshop in Husaberg in Sweden to develop their own project. Here we have the start of Husaberg motorcycles. when you put the early Husky next to the early Berg you can see the comparison, not just in national colour scheme. just to emphasise the similarity, my Berg was just as bad to start as my Husky.
When the 4 strokes re started in motox I was marshalling at Hawkstone international and Joel Smets stalled his Berg after falling at the Bomb hole in first place. I was covered in his sweat and tears as he was kicking to no avail , it wouldn't start when hot, but then the KTMs and Hondas were just the same. Things have changed now.