Bajaj to bring Kawasaki, KTM to India mid-2008

Bajaj Auto plans to launch large-bore motorcycles with both its partners, Austria’s KTM and Japan’s Kawasaki, by mid-2008, business news channel CNBC-TV18 reported Jan. 16. These bikes will largely be developed at Bajaj’s Chakan, India facility and will be marketed through Bajaj’s Probiking showrooms. The KTM partnership can be extended to develop scooters as well.

The bikes set for launch include Kawasaki’s Ninja 250 and KTM’s 690 Duke and the RC8 Superbike. To further cement its alliance with KTM, Bajaj has hiked its stake in the company from 14.5 percent in November to 21 percent.

KTM and Bajaj plan to manufacture bikes on two platforms , 125cc and 250cc. Eventually KTM plans to use India as an export hub and may eventually look at setting up a plant if the demand is sufficient.

Along with the Ninja 250, Bajaj and Kawasaki plan to send the Sports Roadster, Ninja ZX-6R, Z1000 and the Vulcan Cruiser into the Indian market. In return, Bajaj will get assistance in technology and design development from Kawasaki for future products. Kawasaki will tap into Bajaj’s extensive supplier base for sourcing components. Kawasaki will also provide the necessary service training and parts back up to ensure the upkeep of the high performance bikes.

Bajaj has 10 Probiking showrooms in the country and plans to add 10 more by the end of March.

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