India’s largest two wheeler exporters, Bajaj Auto are said to be closing in on the Ducati brand. Owned by Volkswagen Group’s premium car brand Audi, this European sports bike brand is now up for grabs. KTM, in which Bajaj Auto have about 48% equity stake are now determined to conquer the premium sports bike brand Ducati. Major brands like Royal Enfield to Hero MotoCorp have been speculated to show keen interest in the Ducati brand and it was only till last month that Bajaj Auto with KTM and Harley Davidson have joined this race.
Ducati sold a total of 55,451 units last year recording a growth of just 1.2% and creating a turnover of Euro 731 million. The brand, which is known for its sporty bikes, have made a conscious attempt to enter the cruiser segment with the XDiavel .
Rajiv Bajaj, MD of Bajaj Auto recently commented, “We are very close to finalizing 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. That is why we keep our money (cash on books) with us, so, once in a while, when an opportunity comes along, we are ready.
KTM is recognized for its sporty and off-road bikes but had nothing to offer in the premium brand space, “There is also a world of easy riding or lazy riding, it is a world of Harley Davidson, Indian motorcycle owned by Polaris, the world of Triumph, this segment so far has been missing from our puzzle. The only missing puzzle is the premium brand in this space. That is the format of work which is more suitable to me than a scooter,” added Bajaj.
Only time can tell us what happens next, an official announcement is likely to be made in the next two weeks. Watch this space for more details.