KTM Duke 390 to remain flagship in India – Husqvarna, Duke 790 launch plans cancelled
Production of the upcoming Duke 790 and new Husqvarnas is expected to be shifted to Austria.
Previous announcements from KTM strongly indicated that the company was planning to make India its production base for its upcoming twin-cylinder medium displacement motorcycles (up to 800 cc) in addition to the Duke platform-based Husqvarna models. Most of these models were expected to be sold in India. However, a recent report states that the Bajaj-owned Austrian brand has had a change of mind.
The new KTM Duke 390 is expected to remain as the company’s flagship offering in India. Duke 790 and Husqvarna 401 (Duke 390-based) which were initially slated to be made at Bajaj’s extended Chakan plant would be made in Austria. Bajaj’s vendors are expected to export the components.
The latest development comes as a surprise given that India’s medium displacement sportsbike market has been attracting several global players who either already have local assembly operations or planning to set up shop. KTM’s change of plans could be due to two possible reasons.
Firstly, the manufacturer could be looking to offer superior quality by producing the twin-cylinder models at its mother plant in Austria, considering that Europe will be the primary market. The move would also ease off pressure on Bajaj’s busy Chakan plant which manufactures several Bajaj and KTM models for both domestic and international markets.
KTM is currently developing the next gen RC390 and a new 390 Adventure which would be launched in India. These two new bikes will also be manufactured in India exclusively, along with the Duke 120, Duke 200, Duke 250, Duke 390 and the respective RC variants.