KTM bullish on India despite auto blues

Nandana James Mumbai | Updated on September 23, 2019 Published on September 23, 2019

Sumeet Narang, president - Pro-biking, Bajaj Auto Ltd during the launch of KTM Duke 790 superbike. Photo: Paul Noronha   -  BusinessLine

Enters superbike segment with 790 Duke model costing ₹8.63 lakh

At KTM India, there is no change in strategy owing to the current slowdown in the automobile sector, and India has emerged as the biggest market for the motorcycle-maker in volume terms, said Sumeet Narang, President, Probiking, at Bajaj Auto Ltd.

Pune-based Bajaj Auto has a 48 per cent stake in KTM, an Austrian bike-maker. KTM motorcycles are sold in around 72 countries around the world.

Around 20 per cent of the overall volume of KTM comes from India. “India is the biggest market for KTM worldwide. We sell more KTMs in India than in any other country around the world. So, for any business, one country contributing 20 per cent of our volume is huge for us,” Narang told BusinessLine on the sidelines of the launch of its superbike, KTM 790 Duke.

KTM India on Monday entered the superbike segment with its KTM 790 Duke, priced at an ex-showroom price of ₹8.63 lakh. This 799-cc superbike is being launched in nine cities, with plans to roll out to more than 30 cities by April 2020. The 790 Duke will be will be imported into the country as a completely knock-down (CKD) unit.

At 7,500 units, superbikes constitute around one per cent of the overall sports motorcycle segment in the country. “With 790 Duke, we present our best and most unique offering loaded with a host of first-in-class features like Motorcycle Stability Control with Cornering ABS, Motorcycle Traction Control, Motor Slip regulation, four ride modes and Quickshifter+ that marks KTM’s emphatic entry into the rapidly growing superbike segment,” said Narang.

To a question on whether Bajaj Auto’s Chakan plant near Pune will be utilised for the 790 Duke, he said: “When you are entering into a super premium segment like this, you need to first gauge your demand. Tomorrow, if the demand justifies, we might move into localisation but that is really out in the future. And, I will not comment on that until we see what kind of a stable demand this product has.”

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Published on September 23, 2019
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