Bajaj buys more of KTM

Austrian firm tipping towards Indian ownership

KTM'S Indian partner, Bajaj, has upped its share in the Austrian firm once more – now holding some 47 percent of the company.

The link between the two has been successful so far, allowing the development and production of the KTM Duke 125 and 200 at a reasonable cost and giving Bajaj access to KTM technology for its home-market models, including the new Pulsar 200, which uses the same engine as the KTM Duke 200 and stands head and shoulders above the perceived standard of Indian-made bikes in terms of technology and appearance.

Although KTM chief exec Stefan Pierer and chairman Rudolf Knuenz still hold a controlling, 51 percent share in the firm, Bajaj has gradually increased its holding over the last few years.

India's second largest bike firm (after Hero), Bajaj at the moment is still firmly concentrating on its home market, but its share in KTM has the potential to give the firm an instant foothold in Europe as and when it decides to expand further – either by offering more Indian-made machines under the KTM brand or simply thanks to access to an established dealer and distribution network. Its rival, Hero, which recently split from Honda, has already mentioned its own intent to become a global brand in the future.