Husqvarna India launch will give the combined KTM/Bajaj duo to slug it out with the increasing competition in this space. And a latest update suggests there is a change of plan…
Putting all speculations and rumours to rest, Bajaj and KTM officially announced back in July (last year) that both the Vitpilen 401 and Svartpilen 401 – the two motorcycles which share KTM 390’s platform, will be produced and launched in India. Currently, they are being manufactured at KTM’s home facility in Mattighofen.
Husqvarna India Launch
Production of these Huskys was to be shifted to Bajaj’s Chakan plant in Pune by late 2018 or early 2019. According to Autocar, Rajiv Bajaj (MD Bajaj Auto) at the Annual General Meeting, officially announced that the Husqvarna brand will debut in India next year. Both the Svartpilen and Vitpilen 401 will be introduced here.
However, there appears to be a change of plan. According to a latest report at Money Control, Rakesh Sharma, Chief Commercial Officer, Bajaj Auto, said that they will begin with (Husqvarna) models sourced from Austria. He adds that teams are working to commence development in India.
This means that local production of Husqvarnas is taking higher-than-expected time and Bajaj has decided to introduce the internationally-made models which will either be CKDs or CBUs. This infers that the initial launch price will be higher until local production and higher localisation is achieved.
In a less-likely scenario, Bajaj may, instead, introduce the bigger Husqvarnas in India for now, following them up with the locally produced 401s. Mr. Sharma however stopped short of revealing the launch timeline update of these motorcycles.
These will be the sixth/seventh models that Bajaj will produce for global markets. Earlier, Bajaj has specifically stated that they intend to introduce Husqvarna motorcycles in India (and Indonesia) at a similar level as KTM’s Dukes and RCs. Bajaj has already started testing these 401s in India (check spy pics).
Earlier, Stephan Pierer, head of KTM, once exclaimed that he would want Husqvarnas to slug it out with Royal Enfields in India (link to report) and this is what Bajaj may precisely be thinking based on their new (verbal and product) onslaught which began with Dominar 400.
The KTM 390 Adventure’s launch timeline has also been announced for India and so you are about to get a lot of options in the ‘exciting sweet’ spot!