Akrapovič says development key to 30 years of success

Ivančna Gorica/Črnomelj – Akrapovič, a Slovenian company known for its exhaust systems, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Founder and owner Igor Akrapovič pointed to continuous investment in development as the key to success. The epidemic led to a slight decline in sales, but last year’s profit remained comparable to 2019.

The company’s origins date back to the spring of 1991, when Akrapovič, then a motor racing driver, started developing his own exhausts in his workshop in Ivančna Gorica, a kilometre from where the company’s headquarters is currently located.

The company first focused on exhaust systems for racing motorcycles, then expanded into the general motorcycle market and later into the automotive market.

Today, Akrapovič sells its products in more than 80 countries and has gained an international reputation for developing exhaust systems for the most famous motorcycle and automotive teams.

To date, 141 world championship titles in various motor sport disciplines have been won using their products, and the company has won 14 Red Dot design awards.

The company employs a total of 1300 people – 400 of them at its headquarters in Ivančna Gorica and 950 at the plant in Črnomelj, where most of the production takes place.

Igor Akrapovič is proud of the company’s development so far, especially its racing history. He says that racing is the toughest test for a product.

He takes pride in all the trophies that riders have won with his company’s products, but if he had to choose one, “it would definitely be the first World Championship title, won by Colin Edwards with Honda in 2000”.

He is also very proud of their 100th title, won in the MotoGP series with Yamaha and Jorge Lorenzo. “Lorenzo is a very accomplished rider and one of those who could best evaluate our products,” Akrapovič told the STA.

He also commented on the consequences of the Covid-19 epidemic, which has been affecting the economy since March 2020. It initially brought a drop in demand, but then sales started to recover in the second half of last year.

“In particular, there has been a lot of interest in the so-called aftermarket area, where we sell products through our sales network,” he said.

The company does not yet have final financial statements for 2020, but Akrapovič confirmed that it recorded a slight decline in sales compared to the year before. However, they still posted a profit comparable to 2019.

Akrapovič also said that he never considered moving production to countries where labour is cheaper. Asked whether he sees Slovenia as a favourable environment for business, he said that “throughout the company’s 30-year history, various factors have always made business activities difficult”.