India’s second largest motorcycle manufacturer, Bajaj Auto Ltd (BAL) has introduced the Husqvarna brand of bikes for the domestic market today in Goa. The Pune-based company has unveiled two motorcycle models – Svartpilen 250 and Vitpilen 250 – that are to be launched by January – February 2020.
The Husqvarna motorcycles will be sold alongside the KTM range through Bajaj Auto’s existing network of probiking stores across the country, Sumeet Narang, president, probiking, Bajaj Auto told Mint.
With Swedish roots, Husqvarna was acquired by KTM AG from its previous owner, BMW Group, in 2013 as the Austrian bikemaker attempted to consolidate its presence in Europe and emerging markets globally.
The Husqvarna motorcycles would be manufactured at Bajaj Auto’s Chakan plant and will share several components, besides the 249cc, single-cylinder engine, with the KTM’s 250cc models (KTM 250 Duke).
While analysts see KTM’s synergies with Husqvarna bikes as a positive for Bajaj Auto’s margins, it was earlier expected that the company would roll out the brand in the more premium 375cc engine displacement range.
“We have learnt from our experience that 250cc is a sweet spot in the domestic motorcycle market. This category offers the best of performance that can help you ride anywhere as well a good combination of fuel economy and affordability. So it is a conscious decision by the management to get the brand in the quarter-liter segment as certain degree of scale is important," Narang said justifying the company’s move to expand its offering in the said category.
Narang said while KTM inspires fast riding, Husqvarna is meant for more mature (urban) riders without any compromise on the motorcycles’ performance. “You can assume that KTM caters to young riders aging between 18-25 year old, Husqvarna would appeal to the riders aged between 25-35 years of age," he added.
The Husqvarna bikes would be made available across 30 cities in its first month of retail sales, said Narang, who estimates that in the mid-term the Swedish brand would generate similar demand as that of the KTM’s 200-250cc range.
Bajaj Auto also unveiled its much awaited KTM 390 Adventure motorcycle today. While pricing is not disclosed as of now, the model would be available from end-January 2020. It would directly compete with Royal Enfield’s Himalayan and would cater to customers looking for on-and-off road riding applications.