India now KTM's biggest global market

by Nilesh Wadhwa 23 Sep 2019


KTM India, which launched its new flagship the 790 Duke, priced at Rs 864,000, today in Mumbai, remains strongly bullish on the domestic market. Within barely six years of launching its first product – the 200 Duke – in India, the country has become the Austrian bikemaker’s biggest global market. Leading the charge in FY2019 was the 125 Duke and the recently launched KTM RC 125, which account for more than a third of the total volumes.

In fact, according to the company, at present the domestic supersport segment is growing at around 24 percent CAGR. KTM has registered growth of around 44 percent CAGR since the company begin operations in FY2013. In Q2 FY2020 (year-to-date) the KTM brand is said to have a market share of 34 percent in the supersport segment, and grew volumes by 40 percent YoY, and has over 200,000 customers in the country.

Speaking to Autocar Professional, Sumeet Narang, president, Probiking, Bajaj Auto, revealed that the company will now aggressively bring in new products. In fact, in the next 12 months, "KTM will launch four to five new offerings, which will include new products and product refreshes as well."  

KTM has proved to be a blue chip for Bajaj Auto, which currently has a 47.99 percent interest in KTM AG, Austria which produces motorcycles under the KTM and Husqvarna brands and sees strong sales in the USA, Germany, France, Australia, the UK, Italy, Spain, Canada, Austria, Argentina and other European countries. And, more recently, India which has in the past couple of years become a manufacturing and sales hub.

Over the years, through its Bajaj Auto International Holdings subsidiary, Bajaj Auto has invested a total of 198.1 million euros (Rs 1,219 crore). Calendar year 2018 was a record year for KTM, with highest sales in units and the highest turnover in the history of the company.

India has turned out to be a surprise market for the KTM brand and in FY2019, with sales of 50,705 units, overtook the USA in volumes. KTM’s FY2019 sales were a growth of 9.46 percent over FY2018 (46,321) and 33 percent over FY2017 (34,970).

However, despite sales crossing the 50,000 mark, FY2019 was also a challenging year for KTM. According to Bajaj Auto, there were aggressive competitor launches, which needed to be countered and saw the company introduce the KTM Duke 125 in Q3 FY2019. The Duke 125, being an entry level KTM, played a strategic role of drawing in new customers and helped the Austrian company recover its market position and volumes in the second half of FY2019 in India.

Meanwhile, KTM has expanded its dealer network throughout urban India and at present has 460 showrooms in 360 locations — the largest network for any premium sports motorcycle brand. The KTM 790 Duke, at present will be available across 9 cities and over 30 cities in Phase II by April 2020.