Not so long ago we talked about the union between KTM and Bajaj, a union that is paying off quite a lot for both brands. Now the news has started to spread that BMW Motorrad is in talks with TVS Motors to partner in India. TVS Motors is an Indian brand specializing in low-power, small-displacement motorcycles that sells a not inconsiderable 1.89 million units per year in the Indian market.
Also unlike KTM, BMW Motorrad does not need a partner to provide liquidity, but what you are looking for is a dealer network in the Asian country to expand its sales. That's where TVS Motors comes in and its impressive sales figure. Nobody says anything about moving the assembly lines to India or anything like that, but if the market responds as expected, it does not seem like it would be a good idea to continue manufacturing motorcycles in Europe to supply that huge market.
The funny thing about all this is that right next door is China and no one seems to want to do business with them. It may be that they have finally realized that setting up a factory in China means immediately transferring all the R&D invested without the possibility of ever recovering it. And that R&D ends up turning against the original brand that quickly sees its products cloned all over the world. It may be too late to avoid this, but for now this alliance (which is yet to come) looks very good.
And the Japanese brands? Well, at the moment it seems that they are not very much in need of alliances to have a presence in the Indian market. Even recently, Honda broke its alliance with Hero Moto Corp. leaving the Indian brand to lead the market alone. Although the Indians have quickly made a collaboration contract with Erick Buell.