Bajaj Auto is facing slowing down sales in India and is therefore looking at the export market for solace. Like India, China is a huge bike market but Bajaj doesn’t have a presence in that country. Bajaj is planning to make its Chinese debut with KTM Duke motorcycles. From this week, the KTM Duke 390 will be exported to the Chinese market.
Bajaj will follow a top down approach for the Chinese market by first launching the Duke 390 and then following it up with the Duke 200. Both the Duke 200 and 390 are built at Bajaj Auto’s factory in Chakan, an industrial township near Pune. Bajaj Auto will initially export 9000 bikes a month to China.
In a year’s time, Bajaj plans to increase this number by a whopping 10 fold. For Bajaj, which is presently exporting 1 lakh bikes a month to countries around the world, China presents an opportunity to double its exports as the company seeks to export 90,000 KTM bikes each month to China next year.
Bajaj Auto holds a near 50% stake in KTM. While KTM handles the research, design and development of world class sportsbikes, Bajaj Auto brings its manufacturing expertise to the equation. The Pune headquartered Indian two wheeler giant produces bikes for a fraction of a cost when compared to what KTM would need to spend to build bikes in Europe.
These cost savings allows Bajaj to sell KTM bikes at a very competitive price in the former’s home market of India. By using Bajaj Auto’s factory as a low cost manufacturing base, Austrian bike maker KTM is able to earn big profits when it sells the Duke 125, 200 and 390 models in European and other developed countries.
Soon, KTM and Bajaj will launch fully faired bikes based on the Duke platform. The KTM RC 125, RC 200 and the RC 390 will be exported to markets around the world and China could also be a major export destination for these bikes. In India, Bajaj and KTM will sell the RC 200 and RC 390 fully faired sportsbikes.