India to Emerge KTM Production Hub by Year End

Published: October 23, 2014; 18:00 · (Vindobona)

India is on the cusp of emerging as the lead production hub of Austrian motorcycle brand KTM with the four motorcycles manufactured at the Chakan plant poised to outsell super-sports and off-road bikes rolling out of the Mattighofen facility in Austria.

India to Emerge KTM Production Hub by Year End / Picture: © Indian and Austrian crossed flags by Vindobona

“For KTM, this will be a record year with sales projected to touch an alltime high of 150,000. Of this, 80,000-85,000 bikes will be made in India and sold in the domestic market as well as exported to Europe, US, Latin America and all of Asia, including Japan,” KTM India head and Bajaj Auto senior vice-president Amit Nandi told TOI. Bajaj Auto has 48% stake in KTM.

The biggest export markets for the made-in-India KTM bikes are Western and southern Europe comprising Germany, France, Spain and Italy. With EU countries consicous about fuel conservation and its positive impact on the environment, these relatively frugal bikes are becoming extremely popular.

The four bikes manufactured in Chakan - Duke 200 and Duke 390 in the naked bike category and RC 200 and RC 390 in super-sports bikes are co-developed by KTM and Bajaj for the global market. “Prior to these bikes, KTM made street motorcycles upwards of 690 cc and 50-500 cc off-roaders,” Nandi pointed out.

While Bajaj Auto sold 11,000 KTM bikes in India last fiscal, it may sell twice as many bikes this year, having already clocked sales of 10,000 bikes till August. “We have registered 120% growth in the first five months of this fiscal,” the official said.

“What has led to the phenomaenal growth is that we have broadened our portfolio to introduce bikes that are relevant to the market and priced just perfect and also improved the network to 150 showrooms.

Now that we four products, we are also marketing them aggressively through events like Orange Days and Track Days where we are hiring a venue where riders can turn on the throttle and enjoy the thrill of riding a KTM,” said Nandi.

The market for bikes priced above Rs 80,000 is around 500,000 units per annum in India. Of this, Bajaj Pulsar corners nearly 60% sales, leaving others to fight over the remaining pie.

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