THE Wall Street Journal reports that BMW is in talks with Indian firm TVS with an eye to joining forces to develop bikes for the massive Indian market.
With European and American bike sales effectively stalled, firms are increasingly looking to the Indian market – which dwarfs that in Europe or the States, but is made up of small bikes with even smaller profit margins.
Western firms like BMW, Triumph, Harley and Ducati have relatively recently entered the Indian market, but none of them yet has a product that can take advantage of the main section of the market over there.
TVS, India's fourth-largest bike firm, was tied-in with Suzuki for many years, but the two split in 2001. Like other Indian firms – Bajaj is tied to KTM, Hero recently inked a deal with Erik Buell Racing – they're looking to get a technological jump by linking with a high-tech western bike manufacturer.
Neither firm has commented on the rumours, but BMW bosses have recently said the firm is looking for partners in emerging bike markets like India.