Bajaj buys up more KTM stock

Bajaj Pulsar
Although theyre best known for their small bikes like the Pulsar 220, Indian manufacturer Bajaj is quietly building its stake in Austrian motorcycle manufacturer KTM.

Indian motorcycle manufacturer Bajaj continues to beef up their KTM ownership stake, with another stock purchase last week.

Bajaj is a big deal in India, but not many riders in North America have heard of the brand, mainly because their company focuses on small-displacement bikes for their home market. But with last week’s purchase of another 1.21 per cent of KTM stock, Bajaj now owns 39.3 per cent of the company.

That’s a sizeable chunk of the Austrian manufacturer, but it isn’t a controlling interest yet. CROSS Industries, KTM’s promotion group, still has a 50.1 per cent stake in the company, and so far they’ve refused to sell out. The remaining percentage of the company is owned by a few minority stakeholders, but with Bajaj’s relentless purchasing, you’ve got to think that they’d probably get them to sell sooner or later, if they wanted — after their most recent stock buy, they said they were not ruling out further purchases.

KTM Duke 125
Smaller bikes like the 125cc Duke are more popular in India. KTM even partnered with Bajaj on a 200cc version of the machine specifically for that country.

News like this means that India will probably see more motorcycles like the 125cc and 200cc Duke, but what about the rest of the world?

While KTM will likely start selling more small-displacement machines globally if the demand is there, there’s also the possibility that in the future, we’ll hear an announcement similar to BMW’s recent statement. The German moto-giant recently decided to start building motorcycle gearboxes in India. With Bajaj now owning such a large chunk of KTM, how much longer will  the Austrian firm hold out from a similar move?

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