Triumph Announces Partnership With Bajaj

Union aims to produce middleweight bikes for the Asian market.

TR3
In its formal announcement of a partnership with Bajaj, Triumph looks to be making a bigger push into Asian markets.Triumph Motorcycles

The four largest motorcycle markets in the world all lie in Asia, with India chalking up the largest number of motorized two-wheelers sold in 2018/2019. That’s more than 20 million units (according to the Statista website) and with a population of more than 1.3 billion this burgeoning area is only projected to keep growing, so if you’re a successful motorcycle manufacturer looking to increase market share, ignore that data at your own risk. Motorcycle sales in India have generally skyrocketed over the past few years, with mostly local entities like market leaders Hero, TVS Motor, and Bajaj Auto battling it out for two-wheel supremacy.

Pulsar
Bajaj is India’s second largest motorcycle manufacturer, and its Pulsar series is a sales leader in several countries around the world.Bajaj Auto Group

Naturally, upper-echelon manufacturers increasingly want a slice of that pie which is why Triumph Motorcycles has just announced a formal partnership with Bajaj, in order to “build a brand-new range of high-quality mid-capacity motorcycles.” More specifically, the announcement goes on to say that it will be a long-term, non-equity partnership, and that the new engine and vehicle platforms to be developed will be in the 200–750cc range, “and offer multiple options to address different segments in this class,” which seems to imply there will a focus on quality as well as affordability to attract new customers to the brand.

We’re thinking sporty middleweights should do well in this market, and from a purely economic standpoint, the collaboration makes sense for both regardless—Bajaj is the world’s third largest motorcycle manufacturer and India’s second largest, with more than 2 million units having been exported in 2018/2019. Its Pulsar and Boxer motorcycle brands are top sellers in many countries, and Bajaj is no stranger to partnerships, having inked a deal to co-develop small-displacement bikes with KTM back in 2016 (the Austrians’ sub-400cc products are manufactured at the Bajaj production facility in Chakan, India).

Tiger 800
Triumph’s Tiger 800 is already a popular model in India, Malaysia, and Indonesia, but Triumph will be bolstering its middleweight lineup with smaller-displacement models for those markets.Triumph Motorcycles

With Triumph looking to expand and diversify its product line, achieve economies of scale by manufacturing in India, and gain entry into several high-volume emerging markets (including much of Asia), the Bajaj collaboration looks like a natural fit. Plus Triumph’s bikes are already well-liked in India, with models like the Tiger 800, Street Triple, and Bonneville T120 all enjoying sales successes of late (even the first batch of 40 Rocket 3 Rs sold out).

For Bajaj, it gains Triumph’s technical and design know-how, as well as a wider portfolio and broader reach into new markets. And since Triumph’s been on something of a global sales tear of late, with 2019 numbers projected to be the sixth consecutive year of growth, Bajaj benefits from the halo of that success by association.

Street Twin
Bajaj will also be taking over distribution for Triumph in key overseas markets.Triumph Motorcycles

As it has with KTM, Bajaj will become one of Triumph’s key distribution partners in new markets for the Brits around the globe, as well as taking over Triumph’s Indian distribution. In other key overseas markets, Bajaj will step in for Triumph and offer the new bikes as part of the full Triumph line. In all other markets where Triumph already has a presence, the co-developed bikes will join the current product portfolio and be distributed by the Triumph-led dealer network worldwide.

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 southeast Asia, but also driving growth in more mature territories like Europe.”

Rajiv Bajaj, managing director of Bajaj Auto India, said: “The Triumph brand is an iconic the world over. So, we are confident that there will be a huge appetite in India and other emerging markets for these new products.”