KTM will be manufacturing the Husqvarna Vitpilen and Svartpilen modern classic motorcycles at the Bajaj-KTM plant and will ship them to Europe as CKD kits.
With India’s love for KTM much larger than originally expected, the company CEO Stefan Pierer has been plotting big plans for this new found market as he recently spoke about the Husqvarna brand. In a recent interview, Pierer confirmed that KTM will be manufacturing the Vitpilen and Svartpilen classic motorcycles in India for Europe that were showcased as concepts at EICMA last year. KTM acquired the Husqvarna brand from BMW in January 2013.
Differentiating itself better from KTM’s offerings, the Husqvarna bikes have been designed around the modern classic theme but share their underpinnings with the Duke 390 using the same rolling chassis and powertrain underneath. The bikes will be going into production by the end of 2016 and will hit the showroom floors in 2017. To be manufactured at the KTM-Bajaj facility in Chakan that currently has an annual capacity of 60,000 units, the new Husqvarna bikes will be exported as CKD kits from the Indian facility and assembled in Mattighofen, Austria, then shipped to dealers across Europe. In the same way how KTM exports the Duke and RC models.
With Bajaj already busy with its Indian operations, the Husqvarna brand won’t be immediately brought to India; nonetheless, Pierer is trying to convince Rajiv Bajaj (MD, Bajaj Auto) to adopt the Husqvarna brand in India. The KTM CEO said that Husqvarna will make a good rival to the Royal Enfield brand in India, considering that the classic design language on the RE models is what makes them so popular among the young and style conscious youth in the country and one does not see a reason as to why a ‘new classic Husqvarna’ with modern underpinnings will not be successful.
Stefan Pierer also spoke about KTM’s first electric motorcycle that will be launched in a period of two years. The Austrian manufacturer has been working on electric bikes for a decade now and also showcased the E-Speed electric scooter last year. However, Pierer iterated that KTM’s first electric offering will be a motorcycle designed for the A1 category like the Duke (street-fighter) and we can expect a Duke based electric bike to be spawned in the coming years.
Source – CycleNews.com