Bajaj looks to expand KTM lineup in India

Tags: News
KTM, the Austrian bike manufacturer and part-owned by Pune-based Bajaj Auto, is expanding its product range to tap the rising number of high-end buyers in the country.

“KTM, which introduced 200cc Duke in India last year, has been hugely successful and we are expanding our product range to tap the rising number of high-end buyers,” Amit Nandi, vice-president (probiking) at Bajaj Auto, and handling KTM brand in India told Financial Chronicle.

Bajaj Auto holds a 47 per cent stake in KTM.

Nandi said KTM will launch the 390 Duke in the next four months in India, which will be followed by toned-down version of the RC8 super-sport bike in early 2014. “This smaller version of the RC8 super sports bike will be relevant in terms of pricing and performance for emerging markets like India,” Nandi said. He said the 390 Duke and RC8 will be manufactured at Bajaj Auto’s production facility at Chakan, near Pune.

“The third RC8 the 1,190cc flagship super-sports racing bike will be available in showrooms for display in March 2013 and not for retail,” Nandi said. This powerful bike in the KTM line-up will be imported from Austria, he said.

Nandi said the 390 Duke will be a preferred destination to graduate after owning the 200 Duke bike priced at Rs 1.3 lakh at showrooms at Delhi. He claimed that 200 Duke, had no rivals in the market and the closest rivals Yamaha R15 and Honda CBR150 were cheaper by Rs 20,000 and Rs 10,000, respectively. He said 200 Duke launched in January 2012 had sold 8,500 units in calendar year 2012.

Auto analysts said the new Duke 390 is expected to be priced between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 2.5 lakh. The Duke 390 is powered by a 375cc single cylinder four-stroke engine.

According to analysts, the Duke 390 is expected to hit a top speed in excess of 160 kph with 0-100 kph sprint under five seconds. “With such performance levels, the KTM Duke 390 is likely to be a hit in the Indian market,” an auto analyst, who did not want to be named, said.

At present, Bajaj Auto has set up 70 KTM sales outlets in over 60 cities and it will ramp it up to 75 in the next three-four months, Nandi said.

michaelgonsalves@mydigitalfc.com

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