Bajaj Auto and KTM have announced that they will take the Husqvarna brand global in 2018. This announcement marks 10 years of partnership between the Indian and Austrian bike makers.
KTM acquired a long-term licence for Husqvarna Motorcycles in 2013 and has been working on improving the brand’s global presence since. In 2016, Husqvarna sold 30,000 units worldwide, a number Bajaj and KTM plan on increasing with the new globalisation strategy.
This expansion will begin with three Husqvarna models – the Vitpilen 401, Svartpilen 401 and Vitpilen 701 – that will initially be manufactured in Mattighofen, Austria in early 2018, with production moving to Bajaj’s Chakan plant in late 2018.
However, the initial lot of Husqvarna 401s which will be produced in Europe, components that the bikes share with the KTM 390 platform will still be manufactured in Chakan, with the Austria factory doing more assembling than outright manufacturing.
Bajaj and KTM plan to sell Husqvarna models in India and Indonesia at the same level as the Dukes and RCs. The Chakan plant is expected to cross the 1,00,000-unit mark for KTM products in 2017, and will touch 2,00,000 units once production of Husqvarna motorcycles starts there.
The Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 and Svartpilen 401 are based on the KTM Duke 390, though they differ radically from the latter in terms of styling. The Vilpilen 401 is a café racer, whereas the Svartpilen 401 is a scrambler.