KTM recorded its highest sales and highest revenue in the year 2015. Bajaj’s backing has helped the Austrian brand in a great way, making it Europe’s number 1 motorcycle brand, ahead of its close rival BMW Motorrad.
Some years ago, Bajaj Auto had decided to invest in a relatively lesser known bike brand, KTM. Ever since then, the Austrian brand has grown bigger and bigger. In the year 2012, Bajaj increased its stake in KTM to 47% to ensure it has more say in the company and this was the turning point. This was the year which saw the entry of KTM into India and that has redefined the way people look at performance motorcycles.
The collaboration with Bajaj has helped KTM lower its costs and increase profits substantially. This has been achieved majorly by shifting the production hub of small capacity bikes to India which has helped keep labour costs and production costs very low. The most sold KTM bikes are produced in India and are then exported to various countries. What can be called a rare scenario is that the bikes cost roughly half in India of what they cost in other countries where they are exported. And yet they are seen as a value for money buy elsewhere too.
In the year 2015, KTM registered sales of 1,80,801 bikes which also includes bikes sold under the premium Husqvarna brand. This is an increase of around 14% over the 2014 figure, making the Austrian bikemaker the fastest growing motorcycle brand the world over (beating even Royal Enfield). The high sales numbers have also helped raise the revenue to new heights and the total revenue stood at €1.02 billion (Rs. 74,186 crores), this being the first time that they managed to cross the €1 billion mark.
For us, the Indian bike enthusiasts, Bajaj’s ownership in KTM has bought many reasons to be happy. We now have bikes as awesome as the Duke 390 and RC 390 at our disposal at prices which are affordable. These bikes are loaded with features including ABS, upside down forks and grippy Metzeler tyres. Motorcycles which cost much more also don’t have many of the features which the duo boast off. It’s fair to say that beating KTM on grounds of value for money is very, very difficult and somewhat impossible now.