India may be the largest market for KTM in 2017


MUMBAI: India is set to become the largest market for KTM, Europe’s largest two-wheeler maker in 2017, which is part owned by the homegrown Bajaj Auto.

Last year, India was the number two market for KTM at 36,000 units, just 1,000 units behind the United States.

But with the company launching its range of Duke bikes (Duke 200 at Rs 1.43 lakh, Duke 250 at Rs 1.73 lakh and Duke 390 at Rs 2.25 lakh, ex-showroom New Delhi) on Thursday, India is expected to close 2017 with sales of approximately 50,000 units.

Amit Nandi, president – pro biking, Bajaj Auto, while declining to forecast the position for KTM this year, said India was a very close number 2 market for KTM in 2016. The gap was very wide five years ago. The company’s aim is to be the number 1 in KTM’s global sales. Bajaj Auto owns about 47% in KTM.

“India’s role is set to grow for KTM. With the revamping of the entire line-up and the addition of Duke 250, we are eyeing a strong double digit growth this year too,” said Nandi. The Duke 250’s entry — part of KTM’s global portfolio — into India has been timed well to take on the new competition from TVS-BMW, which is set to hit the market in the second half of 2017.

KTM has been one of the fastest growing two-wheeler brands in India with a compounded annual growth rate of 48% in past five years, and is expected to do well this year too.