Triumph Motorcycles and Bajaj Auto India have formally commenced a long term, non-equity partnership to build a brand-new range of mid-capacity motorcycles that will bolster Triumph’s fortunes in emerging markets – but which also, crucially, will see a new range of lower capacity Triumph’s arriving in UK dealers.
This isn't the first time the two manufacturers have confirmed a working relationship – first doing so back in August 2017, when they confirmed a similar non-equity deal to see Bajaj offering Triumph a route into the expansive Indian market.
Triumph Motorcycles CEO, Nick Bloor, said: "This is an important partnership for Triumph and I am delighted that it has now formally commenced.
"As well as taking our brand into crucial new territories, the products that will come out of the partnership will also help attract a younger, but still discerning, customer audience and is another step in our ambitions to expand globally, particularly in the fast-growing markets of South East Asia, but also driving growth in more mature territories like Europe."
The partnership recognizes Triumph and Bajaj’s respective strengths in large and small capacity motorcycles and will see the two collaborate to design, engineer, and manufacture the new range of 200 to 750cc motorcycles – perhaps using the ‘postponed’ 250cc Street Triple and Daytona prototypes that MCN spied repeatedly in 2013 – and which were confirmed by Triumph at that year's Milan show – as the start point.
While these bikes are now seven years old, the design language of both ranges haven't changed significantly, and the models look as current now as they did then, with 2019’s unveil of the new Daytona 765 Moto2-aping sportsbike adding further weight to the Daytona model’s currency.
After months of spy shots, Triumph did originally confirm this new direction in 2013, before later deciding to quietly park the project in favour of completely rejuvenating their big-capacity model range.
With that process now complete – with a frankly impressive complete reinvention not just of the model range, but also taking Triumph’s quality, fit and finishes to a whole new level – the firm are now clearly focused on the huge emerging market opportunity. As one of the strongest global brands in motorcycling, the scope to grow rapidly is phenomenal – and Bajaj have the scale and expertise to partner them in the Indian and Asian markets.
The strategic partnership will benefit both parties with Bajaj becoming one of Triumph’s key distribution partners in crucial new markets for the Triumph brand around the globe. Going forward Bajaj will take over Triumph’s Indian distribution activities, leveraging their regional expertise.
In their other key overseas markets, where Triumph is not currently present, Bajaj will represent Triumph and offer the new mid capacity bikes as part of the full Triumph line-up. In all other markets where Triumph is already operating, the new model range will join the current line-up and be distributed by the Triumph led dealer network worldwide.
The partnership will build ‘a new engine and vehicle platform in the mid-capacity range (200-750cc) and offer multiple options to address different segments in this class’ – meaning we’re likely to see the 250 and 500cc class catered for with naked and faired modern offerings (think Street Triple and Daytona), and there’s a huge opportunity to cash-in on the firms heritage by producing a ‘baby Bonneville’, too.
The proposition will be aspirational and affordable with a targeted pricing starting under INR 2 lacs in India (that’s just £2140), while UK pricing for such models is likely to simply match existing offerings in the market.
Bajaj Auto own a 48% share in Austrian bike manufacturer KTM and build KTM and Husqvarna models up to 390cc at their Chakan factory.
Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director of Bajaj Auto India, said: "The Triumph brand is an iconic one the world over. So, we are confident that there will be a huge appetite in India and other emerging markets for these new products.
"We look forward to working alongside such a famous motorcycle company and to leveraging each other’s strengths and expertise to make the relationship a success for everyone."
While no timescale has been revealed, we'd expect to new products emerging rapidly, with the end-of-year shows likely to reveal prototypes in various capacities.
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