Bajaj Auto, the Indian motorcycle and commercial vehicle manufacturer is truly becoming an international brand. Not only are its exports increasing but its products are getting an international touch too.
Soon after Bajaj purchased a minority stake in Austrian bike firm KTM, we have noticed a marked difference in Bajaj's motorcycle. KTM's expertise of building powerful sports bikes appears to have rubbed in to Bajaj too. The most obvious changes in Bajaj will become apparent as and when it will launch its new Pulsar 200 NS.
Recent reports from Europe indicate that Bajaj has been gradually increasing its stake in KTM. According to these reports Bajaj Auto currently owns a 47% stake in KTM after purchasing 6.3% stake recently. Bajaj Auto CEO Rajiv Bajaj has stated that the company has no intentions of becoming a majority stakeholder in KTM. He has also said he wants KTM to retain its brand identity.
Bajaj auto started buying KTM's shares way back in 2007 and has been consistently increasing it. The company wants to utilize the name and brand image of KTM which is quite popular in Europe and in America. Bajaj has been interacting with KTM on many aspects including design and product development.
The first India based KTM product has been the KTM Duke 125 which is built at Bajaj's plant exclusively for exports. The KTM Duke 200 has now been launched in India. Incidentally, the soon to be launched Pulsar 200 NS shares the Duke 200's engine. However the Pulsar's engine is tuned differently.