When Bajaj first announced their association with Kawasaki regarding bringing of high-end bikes into the country, we all knew Kwackers were all we were going to get and the holes that they were going to burn in the pockets were big enough to be avoided. Hence what Kawasaki Ninja 250 managed to sell in an year, Honda CBR 250R managed those sales in a month- price being the sole judgment factor. But wait, like a showman has one last trick, Bajaj too had one. Acquiring of a stake in KTM and well, it’s turned the fortunes for the Austrian Brand.
When KTM first announced their collaboration, we all knew that Pulsars were going to get technologically upgraded by a wide margin. But who knew those orange bikes would form a cult of their own. KTM launched the Duke 200 with an aggressive price tag of INR 1.17 Lakhs which undercut the nearest competition by over INR Rs. 30,000. People who somehow managed to extend their budgets to buy the Yamaha R15 , could now buy a bike which was more city friendly (Let’s face it, how many of us actually do a knee down on daily roads ) and offered a owe of 8.2 BHP more than what R15 offered. In short it offered the performance of CBR 250R at the price of R15.
The bike went off the showrooms like anything and so did the KTM’s fortunes. And yes,the Austrians do realize that.They are all set cross a sales of 1,00,000 units this year,their best sales figures ever, all hail the Bajaj. KTM global CEO Stefan Pierer disclosed on CNBC-TV 18 about the future of the company India.
“We expect to launch a 390cc and maybe a 200cc model. We’re also thinking to go one step lower maybe below 200cc, 180cc or 190cc to offer more price-competitive models,” is what the CEO said. India is price sensitive market and he realizes that just too well.He also stated that they expect a ten fold increase in their sales in the Indian market.
The company is looking to offer three different models for the country with several displacements. This helps maintain the Brand on the whole and helps in targeting various segments. They target a production of 1,00,000 units of the Bajaj’s Pune facility in next three to four years. It is only a matter of time since we Indians got treated to the brand known for having most rally trophies under its name and if you can ride on Indian roads COMFORTABLY, you deserve something more than a trophy. And yeah, if a orange something passes you by swiftly, just in case the only thing you see is a tail light,well, its a Duke. There was the Duke of Kent and now there’s the Duke of Bajaj. Way to go Duke!!