Legacy is what we live for and legacy is what we crave for, and no doubt Royal Enfield enjoys and has earned a legacy that is going to be hard to touch in Indian motorcycle Industry. However, the Pune based Bajaj Auto has in close relation to it one company that has a history as iconic and a legacy as respect as our own RE and that too at a global scale. The company in concern is Husqvarna, currently owned by KTM, Husqy as it is lovingly called is a motorcycle company that has been around since more than a century, a 111 years will be a closer number. We had discussed in brief Husqvarna's history some time back!
Over the years and going through the hands of a few owners and dealing with the demons of bankruptcy in its 111 years history, Husqvarna had a change of fortune when KTM bossman Stephan Pierer bought the company from BMW Motorrad a couple or so years ago, ever since then, Husqy is on the move upwards in the balance sheets and 2014 was their best sales year, ever.
Now, buoyed by the growth of Husqy, KTM and to be precise Mr. Pierer wants to bring Husqy to India. In an interview with Cycle World he said that he pretty much wants to bring the iconic brand to India and compete head on with Royal Enfield in the Indian market with its more Modern Classic motorcycles. However, Bajaj does not seem to be enthused by the idea since, the biggest priority for the Pune based motorcycle manufacturing behemoth is to consolidate its constantly falling market share and to regain lost ground from its rivals.
And, Bajaj does have a point in this regard, as Bajaj Auto has had invested a lot of time and energy in the KTM brand, and establishing the baby Duke's, the 200 and the 390 and then the RC series of sportbikes in India. Thus, it is not wrong on Bajaj's part to go ahead and reap the technology benefits in the newer Pulsars which have been long due. However, this difference in priorities does not affect the plans of KTM regarding the Husqy manufacturing in India as it was clear from what Stefan said that the company is going to use Chakan plant for assembling the basics of the beautifully named new Husqvarna Svartpilen and Vitpilen.
They aim to start production by October 2016 so that they can hit the market by 2017. This would mean that the new Classic Husqvarna models up to 390cc, manufactured to have a KTM rolling chassis in India along with the installed engines and then the further assembly will be done Mattighofen and turn them into Husqvarna's in Austria!
Pierer also said that the new model will have a striking resemblance with the concepts they showed around the world in recent motorcycle shows. We are not expecting Husqy to come to India anytime soon, though a whole new range of modern classics from such an iconic brand like the Husqvarna launched to target the younger customer base of Royal Enfield sounds like an incredible plan to us and we would green light the project if we were given a choice. We Hope Mr. Bajaj give it a shot, can you please Sir?