The new generation KTM bikes, which are proposed to be developed on new platforms and engines will be manufactured at Bajaj‘s manufacturing facility at Chakan in Pune.
Bajaj Auto’s Austrian alliance partner KTM is set to re-launch its entire fleet of existing bikes by early 2017, reports CNBC-TV18. The new generation KTM bikes, proposed to be developed on new platforms and engines will be manufactured at Bajaj’s manufacturing facility at Chakan in Pune.
Bajaj, through its subsidiary Bajaj Auto International Holdings, holds a 48 percent stake in KTM.
KTM CEO, Stefan Pierer, says the company along with Bajaj would gradually phase out its existing fleet of 125cc, 200cc and 390cc KTM bikes by late 2016 and introduce an entirely new range built on new platforms. Investments would be jointly made with Bajaj.
KTM has set a global sales target of 200,000 units for CY2016 compared to 180,000 units in CY2015. To meet the additional requirement, the company plans to increase its production capacity at Chakan to 100,000 units from 60,000 units in 2015.
Although not immediately, this arrangement with KTM, that overtook BMW last year to become Europe's largest motorcycle maker by volumes, raises hopes that Bajaj, which has been going through a rough patch due to the failure of its Discover series in India would now see some better times.
KTM has indicated that they are not against the idea of gradually including Bajaj into the production plan and for expanding their sales in the Indian market at a later stage, although initially the Chakan unit may be used only for manufacture of engines and components for assembly in the home country.
Bajaj has been facing the brunt of its absence from the Scooters segment and weak product line in the domestically highest-selling executive segment. The KTM update seems to have come at an opportune time as all hopes were pinned on the response to the Avenger series
Below is the verbatim transcript of the interview..
Q: Tell us about your new launches?
A: The naked bike family, we call it Duke, from 125 cc for the European markets up to 200, 250, 390 cc, we are going to launch the second generation. It is a totally new bike based on improved engine platform which anyway Euro IV is showing up in Europe in 2017 and even the Indian regulations also very similar. Then design-wise and other components you will see a new generation naked bike.
Q: So that means by the end of 2016, you will phase out your entire portfolio of the existing models from 125 to 390 cc and all of them will be relaunched but with an entirely new platform?
A: You are right. It is starting beginning 2017. Area or country by country and by the end of 2017, globally it replaces the existing model line.
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