Bajaj’s Chakan plant to act as global manufacturing base of Husqvarna bikes alongside KTM; additional one lakh production capacity planned
KTM bought Swedish brand Husqvarna from BMW back in 2013 and since its revival, new product planning and strategies have been well underway. At the 2015 EICMA Show in Milan, Husqvarna revitalised its product range with the debut of new concepts.
One has ultimately given birth to the Vitpilen 701 that took the 2017 EICMA by storm. The similarities between the concept and the production version have been large as the naked roadster will be introduced into the high-profile markets by next year.
Bajaj Auto is notorious in bringing forth new possibilities into reality. Only few would have got it right when the Chakan production base was ramped up to roll out KTM bikes for the Indian as well as foreign markets. The Austrian bike maker will soon inherit India as its biggest market in the world – overtaking US – as more than 50,000 units are expected to be sold this year as opposed to 40,000 in 2016.
The speculations of Husqvarna entering India has always persisted and now KTM’s CEO Stefan Pierer spoke on the sidelines of EICMA to clear the air as a big strategic alliance will soon be established. Husqvarna’s Vitpilen and Svartpilen range will be manufactured in India from late 2019.
As part of the Chakan plant’s expansion, Husqvarna motorcycles will amount for one lakh installed capacity – doubling the existing potential of KTM rolling out 1 lakh units from India. With the annual production of two lakh units and the technical collaboration with Triumph, Bajaj is looking to expand the global footprint of its big empire.
Stefan Pierer said that it has been “agreed upon” to launch the Husqvarna brand locally by 2020. Moreover, talks are in place with Bajaj for distribution of KTM to African and other countries in a year’s time. As for Indian portfolio of Husqvarna, the 401 and 701 range of bikes are the obvious choices as they are based on their respective Duke 390 and 690 cousins.
2018 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701 Images