Bajaj Auto on Tuesday launched its premium bike from the KTM platform at a price of Rs 1.8 lakh and said it expects to clock higher sales from the premium segment.
The KTM 390 Duke is the second offering from the KTM portfolio as Bajaj Auto had launched the first KTM offering, KTM 200 Duke, in January 2012. The Duke is the first mid-size sports bike from the Bajaj stable.
The premium segment accounts for 1,000 units per month and Bajaj commands nearly 75 per cent share in it.
The company expects volumes to grow in double-digits with the launch, vice-president for Probiking, Amit Nandi, said at the launch.
Bajaj reported a 5.32 per cent fall in its motorcycle sales at 3,04,780 units in May against 3,21,922 units in the corresponding month the previous year.
Its exports too declined sharply by 14.35 per cent in the month at 1,11,835 units down from 1,30,573 units.
The company has so far sold 11,000 KTM 200s since its launch, out of which 7,500 units were sold last fiscal, Bajaj Auto managing director Rajeev Bajaj said after the launch.
"The KTM 390 Duke is conceived, designed and developed at the Chakan plant. With the new offering we have created a new segment not only in the domestic market but globally as well. So, there will be no direct competition to this product," Bajaj claimed.
However, it is expected that the Duke will face competition from Yamaha R15, Honda CBR 250 and Ninja 350.
Bajaj also said as per the plan chalked out with hisAustralian counterpart KTM, in which Bajaj holds nearly 48 per cent stake, it plans to produce 2 lakh units by 2017 of which one lakh units will be rolled out from the Chakan plant and rest from the Australian facility.
"KTM sold 1.07 lakh bikes last year globally and we plan to roll out 2 lakh bikes by 2017 with half of them coming from the Chakan plant alone," Bajaj said.
Already, the Duke bikes are being shipped to the US and European markets and will do so soon to Japan as well.
Bajaj currently produces Duke 125 and Duke 200 from the Pune facility. However, soon Duke 125 will be meant only for exports, Bajaj said.
"We export around 25,000-30,000 KTM bikes annually from here to the US and European markets," he said.
The company also plans to roll out one more product from the KTM platform next year but has not decided the timing.
On the overall exports from the company's stable, Bajaj said they have sold 1,07,000 units globally and plan to increase it to 2,00,000 by 2017. Exports so far touched 30,000 units this fiscal, including 125 Dukes.