Bajaj Auto could produce Husqvarna models in India – Report
Ashwin Ram N P, Ashwin is a guy with a slightly unorthodox perception of everything. His struggle to choose a career path, between art and automotive engineering, has landed him in the field of auto journalism, where he has paved way for himself to practise both.
Focus shifts to on-road motorcycles.
KTM-Sportmotorcycle’s wholly owned subsidiary, Husqvarna Motorcycles (famous for its dirt bikes), is reported by Economic Times to likely use India as a global production hub for its upcoming on-road models. The production would take place at Bajaj’s facility in Chakan near Pune.
The report says KTM is currently planning to develop such motorcycles for the global markets with its Indian partner, Bajaj Auto. KTM’s Chief Executive Officer, Stefan Pierer, told ET in an interview, “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.”
He added that the first model will be launched in Europe in model year 2017, and then in the same year in the US. Later the company will decide on expanding its supply to emerging markets which will include India.
Initially, only engines and some components will be manufactured in India, which will be exported to KTM’s facility in Austria where the motorcycles will be assembled. By the time the on-road Huskies are launched in India, the whole model could be commissioned to be produced locally.
The engines on the Husquvarna models will be the 125 cc to 390 cc units that are already being produced by Bajaj for the KTM Duke variants. Most of the other components Husqvarna will require to be shipped to Austria is likely to be the existing parts on KTM motorcycles.
Earlier reports, also based on interviews with Pierer, and one of Husqvarna’s two managing directors, Reinhold Zens, have said that the production versions of the Husqvarna 401 Vitpilen and the 401 Svartpilen will be manufactured at Bajaj’s Chakan plant as CKD kits which will be sent to Mattighofen, Austria for assembly, and that the models will hit the UK showrooms in 2017.
Husqvarna 401 Vitpilen concept – Image Gallery
Husqvarna 401 Svartpilen concept – Image Gallery
[Source: Economic Times]