KTM and Bajaj Auto have announced their takeover of Husqvarna motorcycles globally at the occasion of their 10 year partnership. The second oldest motorcycle manufacturer in the world, Husqvarna, was founded in 1903 for which KTM secured a long-term licence agreement in 2013. Stefen Pierer, CEO, KTM AG and Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director, Bajaj Auto Ltd finalised on the takeover which has been officially announced today. The first few introductions, the Vitpilen 401, Svartpilen 401 and the Vitpilen 701 will first be produced in Mattigofen, Austria later on being shifted to Bajaj's Chakan factory later in 2018.
According to the statement issued by the two companies, these motorcycles will be introduced in India and as per claims, will have a competitive price tag. The Vitpilen range of motorcycles is meant for urban commuting with a minimalistic design language as well as equipment. The Svartpilen 401 will follow a similar design language and sold with the purpose of urban commuting. The differentiating factors between the two motorcycles will be that the Svartpilen 401 will have a more upright riding posture, a fuel tank rack and road-legal knobby tyres.
With the new alliance, Bajaj Auto Ltd is bound to increase its market share in the country as the Swedish motorcycle brand has some unusual designs for their models. The Vitpilen 401, Vitpilen 701 and Svartpilen 401 are meant to have a rather minimalistic design package which takes naked motorcycles with such a design at a new level for the Indian consumers. That said, with minimalistic design language, the equipment level on all models will be ample such as an all-digital instrument cluster as well as ABS (Anti-lock Braking System), which considering safety norms for two-wheeler to be implemented by October this year, would be a standard feature.
Impact of GST on Bajaj and KTM bikes
The implementation of GST or Goods and Services Tax has proven to be beneficial for the Indian automotive industry barring a few categories. Earlier, the tax structure on motorcycles included Excise Duty, NCCD (National Calamity Contingency Duty), VAT (Value Added Tax) and CST (Central Sales Tax). All the aforementioned taxes brought the entire levy of duties on two-wheelers to 30.2 percent. The new tax structure will impose GST of 28 percent on two-wheelers below 350 cc and 31 percent for motorcycles above 350 cc.
While motorcycles from Bajaj and KTM under 350 cc like the Pulsar NS160, Pulsar RS 200, Pulsar 180, 200 Duke, 250 Duke as well as the RC200 have seen a dip of around Rs 2,000 on an average, motorcycles with engine capacity over 350 cc from Bajaj and KTM have seen a minute increase. These include the Bajaj Dominar, KTM 390 Duke and the RC 390. That said, the popularity of the motorcycles from both brands shouldn't hinder the buying decision in the sub-500 cc category from the manufacturers.