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Monday, December 21, 2015

Husqvarna Motorcycles in partnership with Bajaj Auto

Husqvarna Motorcycles, the European brand known for its dirt-bikes, will likely use India as a production hub for on-road motorcycles. Its parent, Austrian KTM-Sportmotorcycle, is working on plans to develop such bikes for the global markets with partner Bajaj Auto at Chakan near Pune.

KTM plans to initially source engines and components from India and assemble bikes at its facility in Austria for sale in Europe and the US starting 2017. Products would then be rolled out in emerging markets, including India. Production too could subsequently happen in India.

"The focus was previously on off-roaders. Now we are developing on-road models which are partly based on the engine platforms we are doing together with Bajaj," KTM chief executive Stefan Pierer told ET in an interview.

"In model year 2017, we will launch the first models in Europe and then in the US. We are looking at how it works and then rolling out globally, coming basically back to India."

Bajaj, through subsidiary Bajaj Auto International Holdings, holds a 48 per cent stake in KTM.

The new Husqvarna motorcycles would be powered by 125cc and 390cc engines, similar to the ones KTM is currently using in the products it has jointly developed with Bajaj.

"We are getting engines and components for the models from Chakan for assembly in Austria initially. Later on, India could be part of the production plan. It is a step-by-step process," Pierer said.

India has emerged as a key base for exporting 125cc, 200cc and 390cc bikes for KTM because of the benefits of low-cost production accruing from its partnership with Bajaj.

"In my opinion, Bajaj is the most efficient producer and it helps us price our KTM entrance products very competitively in emerging markets. Together we could achieve very good quality levels on the products we sell globally," Pierer said.

"KTM's alliance with Bajaj gives them access to a low-cost production hub for motorcycles below 500cc, which is where the volumes are," said Deepesh Rathore, founder and director at Emerging Markets Automotive Advisors.

Source: ETAUTO
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