Just a couple of weeks ago the rumour mill was wild with speculation that Bajaj was about to become the new owner of Ducati. That hasn’t happened but instead the company has announced a partnership with Triumph.
In July, Bajaj MD Rajiv Bajaj told shareholders: “We are very close to finalising a very promising alliance. It’s not certain that it will happen, but if it happens, it will open up enormous possibilities for the company.”
The result was the Ducati buyout speculation, but it’s now clear he was actually talking about the deal with Triumph.
So what exactly is the arrangement between Bajaj and Triumph?
At the moment details are sketchy but Triumph’s announcement of the deal reveals that it’s a non-equity partnership. Neither firm owns a stake in the other. The arrangement is simply mutually beneficial.
Triumph says the aim is to ‘deliver a range of outstanding mid-capacity motorcycles that benefit from the collective strengths of both companies’.
That leaves a lot of questions, starting with what a ‘mid-capacity’ bike is? In Europe ‘mid-capactiy’ might mean a Tiger 800 models but in India a mid-capacity bike is a 250cc single.
It’s likely that Bajaj will produce a range of relatively small Triumph-branded bikes. Triumph and Bajaj will mainly sell these in India. In return the Indian firm will get to use the Triumph brand name to bolster sales of these machines.
Here’s the announcement in full
Triumph motorcycles and Bajaj are pleased to announce their global partnership.
The objective of this non-equity partnership is to deliver a range of outstanding
mid–capacity motorcycles benefiting from the collective strengths of both companies.
We hope to bring to bear upon global markets the individual strengths of the partners including brand position & perception, design & development technology, quality & cost competitiveness & worldwide distribution.
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
Triumph and Bajaj are excited by the opportunities of this partnership and the prospect of entering new market segments, thereby reaching a whole new group of motorcyclists across the world.
We will provide further details in due course.
What about KTM?
The official announcement makes no reference to the fact that Bajaj is already a major stakeholder in KTM. It owns 49% of the Austrian firm and builds the smaller KTM single-cylinder road models in India. At the moment Bajaj also offers its own machines using the KTM-designed engines.