Two wheeler major Bajaj Auto today launched the KTM RC series of super sports motorcycles RSC 390 and RC 200 in Pune.
The RC 200 will cost Rs 1.60 lakh, while the RC 390 is priced at Rs 2.05 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The company said that the current price were introductory and it may increase the prices later. Both the models are being manufactured at Bajaj Auto’s Chakan Plant.
“Being number one bike manufacturer in Europe, we are now exploring all the emerging markets like Latin America and Asia. We are the fastest growing brand in India. In India, KTM is selling 1,700 units every month. We are a 100 per cent ‘ready to race’ product making company,” said Stefan Pierer, CEO, KTM Sportmotorcycles AG.
The RC 390 will compete with Honda CBR250R and Kawasaki Ninja 300.
Chakan plant is producing 45,000 KTM bikes across KTM’s six models per year and expects to ramp-up the production to 65,000 units by end of this year. It may increase the capacity up to 100,000 units in the next four years.
KTM has outsourced all product development upto 800 cc to Bajaj Auto. Worldwide, KTM has sold 1.40 lakh bikes in FY’14 and targets to sell over 2.50 lakh bikes by end of 2020.
By partnering with Bajaj, KTM is rapidly expanding across Asia and Latin American markets.
Bajaj, on its part, said it is not looking to leverage its relationship with KTM to take its Indian brands into mature markets.
"Every brand has its place. We are already present in US, Canada and Japan through KTM. Beyond all the number games, we are creating a very sharp and clear motorcycle brand. Managements go awfully wrong when they try to impose their will on the market. So there is no need to ship out Discovers and Pulsars to those markets when we can do this. In the last five years, the we have unparallel success with KTM. We are not making any additional investment with KTM," said Rajeev Bajaj, managing director, Bajaj Auto.
Amit Nandi, senior vice president Bajaj Probiking said, "In the compact sports bike segment, we are growing at 120% while industry is growing only at 10%. With the RC's, we expect KTM to be by far the fastest growing motorcycle brand in India. We are far ahead than our competitors."
Bajaj has appointed 140 dealers across India to sell for KTM bikes. A total of 11,000 KTM bikes were sold in India in 2013-14 and another 24,000 were exported. In 2007, Bajaj But a 14.5% stake buy by Bajaj Auto in 2007 paved the way for a global strategic partnership covering joint product development, technology and distribution sharing between the partners. It has since raised its stake to 48%.