The first motorcycle born out of the partnership between Bajaj Auto and Triumph Motorcycles could hit the showrooms towards the end of FY23, after a delay of six-nine months.
Travel restrictions due to COVID-19 brought about by the Delta variant forced the UK to suspend air travel with India, and that forced teams from both the motorcycle companies to move slowly on product development schedules.
The Pune-based Bajaj Auto and UK-based Triumph Motorcycles are jointly developing the motorcycles that will be sold under the Triumph brand, having mid-capacity engines (250cc-700cc). The entry models could start below Rs 2 lakh. The current entry price of the Triumph brand is Rs 7 lakh.
Speaking to analysts, Rakesh Sharma, executive director, Bajaj Auto, said: “We are in the (product development) stage, where we have made prototypes, and these require physical presence to make corrections, if needed. This whole process takes time. The partnership got hit because of COVID.”
From the earlier declared time-frame of 2022, the rollout of the Triumph bikes has been pushed forward to 2023.
“We expect towards the end of FY23 to probably present the products in the market. There will be a delay of 6-9 months from what we had indicated earlier,” Sharma added.
The collaboration will combine strengths in design, technology, cost- competitive manufacturing and an intimate knowledge of key target markets to deliver a range of products.
Bike to roll out from Chakan plant
Triumph bikes will be one of the brands to roll off the production lines from Bajaj Auto’s new Rs 650-crore plant at Chakan, Pune. KTM and Husqvarna will be the other brands to be produced from the same plant, which becomes operational in 2023.
After being in discussions since 2017, Bajaj Auto and Triumph Motorcycles signed the partnership agreement only in 2020. The non-equity partnership aims to have a high degree of localisation that will be on par with a Bajaj Pulsar or a KTM Duke manufactured in India.
The two companies are set to challenge the dominance and monopoly of Eicher Motors-controlled Royal Enfield in the mid-capacity motorcycle segment.
In addition, the upcoming bikes of Harley-Davidson, which is being developed by Hero MotoCorp, bikes of Jawa and bikes from the partnership between TVS Motor Company and BMW will also be challenged by the Bajaj-Triumph combine.
This is the first time in its 118-year history that Triumph is collaborating with another company.