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Bajaj, KTM expand partnership to make Husqvarna Motorcycles a global brand

LiveMint logoLiveMint 03-07-2017 Shally Seth

Mumbai: Encouraged by the success of their decade-old partnership, Bajaj Auto Ltd and KTM Industries AG, the Austrian sports bike maker, are expanding the scope of their agreement to include Husqvarna Motorcycles, the companies said in a joint statement on Monday.

As part of the agreement, the companies will strive to make the Husqvarna Motorcycles brand global and scale up the business multiple times. Founded in 1903, Husqvarna Motorcycles is the world’s second-oldest motorcycle brand, for which KTM secured a long-term licence agreement in 2013. After its new positioning, the volumes have sharply gone up to an all-time high with over 30,000 units sold in 2016.

Under the widened scope of the partnership between Bajaj and KTM, the first Husqvarna models—Vitpilen 401, Svartpilen 401 and Vitpilen 701—will be produced in Mattighofen, Austria, and launched in early 2018. Later in 2018, the Vitpilen 401 and Svartpilen 401 production for the global markets will be transferred to Bajaj’s Chakan factory.

Bajaj envisages to sell Husqvarna motorcycles at a similar level as KTM products in India and Indonesia. It plans to take up the production of KTM and Husqvarna branded motorcycles to 100,000 units in 2017 and over 200,000 units in the next years. “This enlargement of the cooperation to the Husqvarna Motorcycles brand will elevate the partnership between Bajaj and KTM to the next level,” the companies said.

Bajaj currently produces the KTM DUKE 125 – 390 and RC 125 – 390 at its production facility in Chakan, near Pune. The models are distributed by the two partners globally.

For KTM, which was in the red when Bajaj acquired a 14% stake in 2007, the association with Bajaj has helped it become Europe’s second-largest motorcycle maker. Between 2007 and 2012, Bajaj, through its subsidiary Bajaj Auto International Holdings BV, continued shoring up its stake in KTM to 48%.

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