Husqvarna made its official India entry a few weeks back and here’s something that we were thinking.
Indians have never been receptive of new products like the current generation. This was evident when KTM was launched earlier this decade and now Husqvarna Motorcycles have been getting a good response if reports are anything to go by. Bajaj Auto, which owns 48% in KTM AG (of which Husqvarna is part of), now has to tread carefully so as to not allow any cannibalisation of sorts.
As things stand, the Swedish firm is off to a good start in India for it shares vital components that 2-wheeler riders have experienced and know of. Sharing components used on KTM motorcycles with a package that appeals to a different set of buyers might do two things – bring in new customers or poach customers who originally intended to buy KTM or Bajaj products.
Husqvarna’s pricing has been aggressive too with the range, which has two bikes – Svartpilen 250 and Vitpilen 250 – at present, starting from Rs. 1.80 lakhs (ex-showroom). Both motorcycles share the same 250cc engine from the KTM Duke 250 that belts out 31 HP and 24 Nm. While the Svartpilen weighs 154 kgs, the Vitpilen has further been on a diet, weighing one kg less.
Any new brand would try to attract customers and with Husqvarna’s running gear all but verified to be solid units, with no major drawbacks reported so far, customers are sure to try the new motorcycles out. Plus, there is the option of owning a modern cafe racer (the Vitpilen) amidst similar models (even those from a higher price range) that are made to emulate cafe racers of the past.
On the other hand, the Svartpilen brings in the scrambler option to the fore, something that is not present at the proposed price range and displacement category the model sits in. The proposition that Husqvarna brings to the market might lure new customers who were looking to buy KTM but are fascinated by the prospect of owning something that is unseen in the market so far.
However, KTM aficionados are more likely to stick with the brand for, to date, to say the least, the two brands are not squaring off against one another. Bajaj Auto has done well to keep the brands differentiated. That said, only time will tell how much the newbie on the block gains from having stemmed off of an established powerhouse.
Husqvarna India Launch
– There are two bikes offered by Husqvarna in India at present
– Both Vitpilen and Svartpilen compete in the 250cc category
– Prices start from Rs. 1.80 lakhs (ex-showroom)