Triumph was the Missing Piece: Bajaj
Triumph was the missing piece in Bajaj Auto’s global motorcycle portfolio, says managing director Rajiv Bajaj. Bajaj Auto expects “extremely significant” numbers from the partnership, he tells ET’s
and Ketan Thakkar. According to him, the Ducati valuation was “beyond our comprehension.” Edited excerpts:
What does Triumph bring to the table? It represents the last piece that was missing in our global motorcycle portfolio — a premium, easy-riding brand.
Will the action shift to the 250cc to 500cc market in India and other emerging markets? It has been steadily (shifting). By 2020, regulations will demand that every mid-class bike must sport fuel injection, ABS, and other such technologies. This is going to be an inflection point as it will recalibrate industry pricing in this segment and establish a near level playing field between the incumbents and the challengers. This is a magnificent opportunity for joint products from the Triumph-Bajaj partnership.
Can Bajaj replicate the success of KTM with Triumph? Sure.
What are the numbers that this partnership is looking at? Hard to say, but extremely significant both in India and globally.
Why is there no equity component to this partnership like with the KTM deal? Because our partnership with Triumph, as with our highly successful and enduring ones with Kawasaki and KTM, is based on significant mutuality of reward and recognition, reciprocity of skills and sacrifice and transparency of intent and information. We are open to investment but don’t consider it to be a prerequisite.
Are there any milestones in the agreement that you can tell us? More on products and markets in good time.
With Triumph, what is the future of Dominar, which is making its presence felt in the market? Dominar will keep growing as it serves its own segment globally, which is quite distinct from that of Triumph’s.
ON PARTNERSHIP It is based on significant mutuality of reward and recognition, reciprocity of skills, sacrifice and transparency of information RAJIVBAJAJ Managing Director
With Triumph, Bajaj is not just entering a market considered the stronghold of your good friend Siddhartha Lal (of Eicher Motors, which owns Royal Enfield), but a segment that will see action from Mahindra-BSA-JAWA and TVS BMWs. I'm not aware of their plans.
Did you get a call from Siddhartha after the announcement? Triumph is now right in his backyard. Of course. We are good friends and we celebrate each other’s successes. Other than Sid, my other good industry friend Vinod Dasari, as also others from different parts of the world, from Kawasaki to Polaris, have conveyed their compliments. I treasure all these friendships with these very magnanimous leaders.
Why did Bajaj Auto/KTM pull out of Ducati? For two good reasons: too much overlap with KTM and a valuation that is beyond our limited comprehension.