The final agreement between motorcycle brands Bajaj Auto and Triumph Motorcycles will be signed sometime this year, Bajaj Auto Managing Director Rajiv Bajaj has told Carandbike at a Bajaj Auto event to announce a new brand campaign for India's largest exporter of motorcycles. Bajaj Auto and Triumph Motorcycles had made an announcement more than a year ago, in August 2017, to enter a non-equity partnership to manufacture a new range of mid-capacity motorcycles in India. These bikes are to be manufactured at Bajaj Auto's facilities in India, but will come with Triumph branding for global markets. Now, it seems these bikes from the Bajaj-Triumph partnership will not be seen any time in 2019.
"As far as Triumph is concerned, I have to be very conservative about what I say, because I have a partner there who watches everything what I say. All I can tell you is that we're very close to the partnership. We have known each other since 12 years now, teams from both sides gel very well together. The work on the products has started; we have seen the actual designs coming from Triumph which, in my view, are very sexy. All the engineering like engine etc. has been done here by Bajaj, at our R&D, we've seen some outstanding work being done there. I'm really excited, but since it's a little bit in the future, I will wait for a little bit before giving you more detail about it. This year we'll focus on Husqvarna, in the near future, we'll talk more about Triumph," said Rajiv Bajaj, CEO, Bajaj Auto.
The focus this year for Bajaj Auto will be to introduce new models from the Husqvarna brand, owned by KTM. Bajaj owns nearly 49 per cent of KTM, although both brands have independent identities. The Husqvarna motorcycles to be launched this year include the Svartpilen 401 and Vitpilen 401 which are based on the KTM 390 Duke platform. Bajaj Auto is among the top three motorcycle manufacturers in India, along with Hero MotoCorp and TVS Motor Company. While TVS already has an alliance with BMW Motorrad, under which TVS manufactures the smallest motorcycles in the BMW Motorrad line-up - the BMW G 310 R and the BMW G 310 GS. TVS also has its own version based on the same platform - the TVS Apache RR 310.
The Bajaj-Triumph partnership is expected to introduce several premium, and relatively affordable Triumph bikes in the 300-750 cc motorcycle segment. So far, there have been no details on what these bikes will be, but these bikes are expected to be high-quality and premium products targeted at a growing segment of consumers in emerging markets like India, South East Asia and Latin America, rather than developed markets like Europe and the US. So far, there's no clarity on when the bikes will be production-ready. As things stand today, the bikes from this alliance are not expected to be launched anytime before 2021.