‘The value that we have been able to get from a so-called emerging market (India) is outstanding.’

Stefan Pierer, CEO, KTM Sportmotorcycle AG, spoke to Kartikeya Singhee and Rishad Cooper at the recent launch of the KTM RC 390 launch in Pune.

By Kartikeya Singhee and Rishad Cooper calendar 24 Sep 2014 Views icon3775 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
‘The value that we have been able to get from a so-called emerging market (India) is outstanding.’

Stefan Pierer, CEO, KTM Sportmotorcycle AG, spoke to Kartikeya Singhee and Rishad Cooper at the recent launch of the KTM RC 390 launch in Pune.

Mr Pierer, your arrangement with Bajaj Auto has been a great success. What does it mean to you?
For me, it is beyond any expectation I had seven years ago. Basically, it starts from the huge trust between Rajiv Bajaj and myself. This would be the backbone for the cooperation. Definitely, the two teams are working well together – R&D, quality control, whatever. As you have seen, the RC is a new benchmark. The value that we have been able to get from a so-called emerging market is outstanding.

In India KTM is known as a streetbike manufacturer, while globally its reputation was built as a dirt bike maker. Is the off-road heritage important for India, if at all?
It’s interesting. Basically, KTM is a dirt bike manufacturer. Since the last couple of years, we are the world market leader in off-road worldwide. It was at the millennium that I decided, let’s go on-road. Why not?
We can do all the engines. We started with enduro, long-distance and adventure type of bikes. We started with the Rally Dakar with the two-cylinder engine and so on. Every year we got more market share and from last year we are a street bike manufacturer! Sixty percent of our sales are from street bikes although off-road sales are is also growing. But the street products are helped by the jointly-developed products (with Bajaj Auto).
We also have a very successful range of big bikes, so KTM has become a full model range of sport bikes, from off-road to on-road. So that helps for sure in India, because we are a street bike brand. But, don’t forget we are from dirt, so I will also bring (dirt bikes) to India. I know that normal road conditions can be like off-road.

What of an adventure bike on the Duke/RC platform?
It will be an adventure, dual-purpose bike – a so-called enduro bike.

But it is on the same platform?
We can’t use the same platform. We need different travel for suspension and seat height, so it is a separate bike. So, it’s not the platform, just the engine.

Will KTM’s first big bike for India be the 1050 Adventure?
This is a new bike that we will launch in two months’ time in Milan. It will be a global big bike for KTM. We will prepare that bike for CKD so that we can reduce the import tax and offer it in India as well. Secondly, there will be an off-road competition motocross bike.

Will your new family of twin-cylinder engines be produced in India?
It could be. It (the engine family) will be from 500-600cc, going up to 800cc.

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