Bajaj Auto expects sales of premium motorcycles to outpace other segments

Bajaj Auto expects sales of high-end motorcycles to grow faster than other motorcycles and its investment 650 crore at a new facility near its existing manufacturing facility in Chakan aims to build capacity to take advantage of this potential growth, a company executive said.

The Pune-based two- and three-wheeler manufacturer earlier this week signed a pact with the Maharashtra government to create a new manufacturing facility for super premium motorcycles such as KTM, Husqvarna and Triumph along with electric vehicles ( EV), starting with Chetak, to a proposed investment of 650 crore.

“We believe that the premium segment of motorcycles will grow faster than others and Bajaj will be in a very good position to take advantage of this trend. And this is true for our domestic and overseas markets,” said Rakesh Sharma, executive director of Bajaj. Auto Ltd PTI in an interaction Thursday.

For Bajaj, super-premium motorcycles include Dominar, KTM and bike models that would be derived from the company’s alliance with Triumph, he said.

“And of course, coupled with the expansion of the electric vehicle portfolio, all together, we think sales of these should grow rapidly. So we’re building that capacity and preparing to take advantage of this opportunity,” Sharma said.

Bajaj Auto holds 48% of the shares of the Austrian premium sports motorcycle brand KTM. It introduced the Husqvarna brand, which is part of the KTM group, to the country in February of this year.

In January, the Pune-based automaker announced the formal start of its global non-share partnership with iconic British motorcycle manufacturer Triumph to produce a range of mid-range motorcycles in the country.

(Read also: Bajaj Chetak electric scooter exceeds 800 units sold in the last three months)

According to Sharma, while Bajaj Auto’s overall motorcycle sales, including overseas, fell by 21% in the April-November period of this fiscal year, high-end motorcycle sales, which include sales of KTM and Dominar, they grew by 24% during the same period. .

“We can expect this double-digit growth to continue and this is why we feel we need to invest in this new facility,” Sharma said.

The next plant, whose work is expected to start very soon, will be located just four kilometers from its existing production facility in Chakan.

It will be spread over 190 acres of land and the The 650 crore investment would mainly go into construction, plant and machinery, among others.

The new plant, when fully operational, will have a total capacity of 1 million units per year. The existing Chakan plant has a capacity of 1.20 million motorcycles per year, he said.

The new facility will offer around 2,500 jobs directly and many more indirectly, with 50 dedicated suppliers, he added.

In India, the overall motorcycle market is currently not in great shape and sales in fiscal 2020-21 could reach the level of fiscal year 2013-14, Sharma said.

On Bajaj’s alliance with Triumph, he said the two partners were trying to make up for lost time as research and development work for the project was affected by the pandemic.

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“We can see there is some delay, but we’ll see how much we can reduce,” he said.

The first Bajaj-Triumph bikes will be available from 2022 with prices starting at less than 2 lakhs for a 200cc motorcycle, said Paul Stroud, Chief Commercial Officer of Triumph Motorcycles, announcing the collaboration in January of this year.

This story was published by a branch agency with no text changes.