Mid-capacity bikes built under the Triumph Motorcycles – Bajaj Auto alliance will be marketed and sold only under the Triumph brand name, top executives at the British bike maker told Mint in an interview. “It will be a Triumph branded motorcycle all through and therefore, it will be part of the Triumph range in India. They would be sold through the Triumph dealerships in India,” Paul Stroud, chief commercial officer, Triumph Motorcycles Ltd, told Mint.
Bajaj will provide key inputs pertaining to design in addition to giving sales and marketing support in all the major markets the alliance plans to sell its product in.
The two companies had in August 2017 announced a partnership to develop and manufacture midsized (250cc to 800cc) motorcycles to cater to the aspirational needs of young riders in India and other emerging markets. The two companies are yet to sign a formal agreement.
Bajaj is understood to have given critical inputs to Triumph on engine specifications and motorcycle categories and once the prototypes are finalized for India, the models will then be streamlined into Bajaj’s production systems. Bajaj is also said to be setting up an assembly line in India where these bikes will be made.
Stroud said that the British bike maker has readied a few early prototypes.“We are very pleased with how the bikes are looking,” Sargent said, suggesting that the formal agreement may be signed by the end of next month, Steve Sargent, chief product officer at Triumph Motorcycles told Mint.
Sargent said Bajaj Auto managing director Rajiv Bajaj, who travelled to Triumph Motorcycles’ UK facility last month to check on the progress of the early test mules, liked and approved the bikes.
For the proposed JV, Triumph has developed an all-new engine platform that will spawn several variants with different displacements within the 250cc-750cc which would power multiple models that would be positioned across different motorcycle categories.
As on FY 19, the mid-capacity motorcycle market in India stood at 833,300 units with Royal Enfield commanding a market share of almost 97%. The growth of mid-sized motorcycles in India is indicative of the aspirations of the young riders who wish to upgrade from smaller 100cc-150cc bikes. The motorcycles will be made by Bajaj only. It would be sourced from Bajaj Auto even for the markets where Triumph would sell them,” Sargent said.
Betting on Bajaj Auto’s economies of large-scale manufacturing, Triumph officials aim to pitch the upcoming motorcycles against big names that include Royal Enfield, Harley-Davidson, KTM, BMW Motorrad, TVS Motor Company among others.
“Bajaj has the economies of scale to manufacture the products at a price that can compete in India and the Indian subcontinent. But that also means that the product can then be competitive in other emerging markets,” Sargent added. Bajaj, which is India’s largest exporter of motorcycles, has a similar JV in place with Austrian partner KTM AG. As part of the JV, KTM sells KTM-branded Duke and RC motorcycles (up to 400cc) which are made by the joint venture at the Indian company’s Chakan factory in Maharashtra.