Bajaj Auto plans to overtake Harley Davidson as the largest premium two-wheeler manufacturer globally this year, according to a report from Moneycontrol. The report states that the company plans to build 500,000 units of Husqvarna & KTM motorcycles from its global plants, with a big chunk from the BAL Chakan facility in Pune, Maharashtra.
Bajaj Auto plans to make Chakan as the manufacturing hub for two-wheelers in the world. Speaking to Moneycontrol, Rajiv Bajaj, managing director, Bajaj Auto said, -
KTM hopes to end at 270,000 (unit sales), and it will beat Harley-Davidson worldwide in premium motorcycles. And out of 270,000, about 100,000 motorcycles will be made at our Chakan plant.
The Bajaj-KTM partnership plans to introduce the Husqvarna brand in India before the end of 2019. Moreover, Bajaj Auto has confirmed that it will shift the production of the Husqvarna 401s (Svartpilen and Vitpilen) at its Chakan facility by the early next year. Bajaj manufactures the KTM Duke and RC range (125, 200, 250 & 390 engine capacities) in India for the global markets.
Speaking about the growth possibilities of the Husqvarna and KTM brands, Mr. Bajaj further added,
We are looking to build the second brand Husqvarna from Chakan and expect to roll them out before 2020. We have set an audacious target for ourselves that between Husqvarna and KTM we will strive to achieve a sale of 500,000 units in a not too distant future. This is an unbelievably historic figure to aim given that nobody has sold so many motorcycles at those price points.
The Bajaj-KTM partnership had chalked out a growth plan for the next 10 years to introduce various new models in India while also becoming the most prominent manufacturing hub for premium bikes in the world. Bajaj Auto has confirmed that the KTM 390 Adventure will launch in India in 2019. The company is currently testing the motorcycle in Europe, while it is expected to debut at the EICMA 2018 in Milan, Italy.
The KTM 390 Adventure will source power from a 373.2 cc, single-cylinder, four-valve engine that also powers the Duke 390 and RC 390 range. On the 390 Duke, the liquid-cooled, fuel-injected motor produces 43.5 bhp of power and 37 Nm of peak torque, mated to a 6-speed transmission with a standard slipper clutch. The engine is likely to get a different state of tune to provide better torque delivery in low-end and mid-range. As a reminder, the Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 and the Vitpilen 401 will employ the same engine and mechanicals as that of the 390 Duke.