Triumph Motorcycles & Bajaj Auto tie up

    Ramarko Sengupta

    Two-wheeler maker Bajaj Auto on Tuesday announced a global partnership with UK-based Triumph Motorcyles. The tie-up is a strategic non-equity partnership "to deliver a range of outstanding mid-capacity motorcycles benefiting from the collective strengths of both companies," Bajaj Auto said in a communication to the bourses.

    Analysts believe the alliance will help enhance the overall portfolio of Bajaj Auto which was missing a strong brand in the "easy riding" or cruiser bike space. Bajaj Auto managing director Rajiv Bajaj, himself at the company's annual general meeting (AGM) last month had admitted that the missing piece of the puzzle for the company lay in the "easy riding or lazy riding space". Bajaj Auto's motorcycle portfolio is fairly large and starts with the 100 cc segment with brands such as Platina, Discover and goes up to 373 cc with Bajaj Dominar and the Duke from it's KTM range. In the middle there is the ever popular Pulsar range.

    Post the partnership announcement, the Bajaj Auto stock spiked 3 per cent to Rs 2,962 on the NSE, outperforming the broader Nifty which was in red. The stock closed over a per cent up, while the Nifty ended in the negative.

    "This new global partnership will enable Triumph to significantly expand its global reach by entering new higher volume market segments, especially within the emerging markets across the world. Bajaj will gain access to the iconic Triumph brand, and its great motorcycles, enabling it to offer a wider range of motorcycles within its domestic market and other international markets," Bajaj Auto said.

    The objective of the partnership is to deliver a range of "outstanding mid-capacity motorcycles benefiting from the collective strength of both companies," Triumph Motorcycles said.

    Bajaj Auto already has a decade-long alliance with Austrian bikemaker KTM. The Pune-based Bajaj holds a 47 per cent in Austria's KTM. One-third of KTM's manufacturing happens at Bajaj Auto's Chakan plant near Pune. However, for the Triumph alliance Bajaj Auto is not picking up any stake in the iconic UK bike brand. Bajaj Auto plans to manufacture Triumph bikes in India going forward.

    Bajaj is the world's third largest motorcycle manufacturer, and India's second largest manufacturer of motorcycles. Triumph on the other hand is an iconic motorcycle brand, established over 100 years ago in 1902. It is the largest British bike manufacturer in the world.

    Triumph's portfolio includes bikes in the classic, roadster, cruiser and adventure segments. The smallest engine capacity at 675 cc on the supersport Triumph Daytona was recently reportedly discontinued. The 765 cc Street Triple S is right now the bike with the smallest displacement on offer. The Classic range starts with the Triumph Street Twin which has a 900 cc engine. It is expected that Bajaj Auto and Triumph will jointly focus on developing bikes in the the 250-700 cc segment. Triumph had earlier started designing and developing a small capacity motorcycle for developing markets like India. However, the project was later shelved.

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