India overtakes China as largest motorcycle manufacturer
India has overtaken China as the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer after selling 17.5 million motorcycles during the 2016-2017 financial year, compared to the 128,644 machines sold in the UK during the same time period.
Royal Enfield, who have built their machines in India for over 60 years, sold more than 700,000 motorcycles in the country last year. The upward trend reflects India’s growing 1.32 billion population and is no doubt also helped by a national road construction programme.
Most of the motorcycles sold in India are below 125cc, with only one motorcycle above that displacement making it into the top ten – the Royal Enfield 350 Classic.
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Another reason for India’s motorcycle manufacturing boom is partnerships with international manufacturers. In 2007 Bajaj Auto, one of the largest motorcycle manufacturers, acquired a 14.5% stake in KTM, later rising to 48%. The deal means KTM’s road models from 125-390cc are built at Bajaj’ Chakan factory. Earlier this year Bajaj announced the partnership will expand to include Husqvarna.
Earlier this month Triumph also announced a partnership with Bajaj Auto to produce mid-capacity bikes for both Indian and international markets.
The BMW G310R, designed in Munich, is built at TVS’s production facility in India.