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Bajaj to rev up scooters, bike mart with rollouts

06-August-2005
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Bajaj to rev up scooters, bike mart with rollouts

Bajaj Auto will launch a brand new motorcycle in January 2006, following the success of its 125cc motorcycle Discover.

Also in the works are two new models of scooters, which should be rolled out by FY07. Sanjiv Bajaj, executive director, hinted that the new motorcycle could be positioned in a completely new market segment.

As for scooters, while the company has targeted women for its recently launched Wave model, it might just turn out a “macho”product for men, Bajaj said.

Bajaj Auto is also likely to launch a variant of its Discover, monthly sales of which are poised to touch 50,000 per month by November from the current 30,000. The company had recently launched a variant of its CT 100 in some parts of the country and the national launch should be completed by Diwali.

The run rate for the model was just over 1,00,000 a month, though the management was looking at a steady state number of 80,000-85,000.

The action in the executive segment promises to get more exciting with both Honda Motors & Scooters India and Suzuki Motors tipped to unveil their products in this category in the next few months. Hero Honda recently launched its Glamour 125cc in the deluxe segment in some parts of the country.

Bajaj, once the market leader in scooters, with its best-selling Chetak, is trying to making a comeback after several years. The scooters market was revived with the entry of Honda which launched, the Activa, Dio and Eterno.

Sales of scooters and scooterettes increased to to 9.86 lakh in FY 04-05 from 9.5 lakh numbers in FY 03-04. The Bajaj management believes that there could be a huge demand for scooters four to five years down the road,with the industry expected to grow at 15-20 per cent per annum, and is gearing up to to take advantage of it.

According to Bajaj, the new scooters would not necessitate too much investment .The Wave is selling around 5,000 numbers a month currently and the management says it should touch 10,000 by Diwali.

Meanwhile, India’s second largest two-wheeler maker, is mulling over the structure of its operations in the ASEAN region, which could take the form of either financial or distribution joint ventures with it technical partner Kawasaki.

According to Bajaj, “it would be useful to have a manufacturing and assembling base in the region .” The arrangement with Kawasaki, Bajaj said, would depend on whether the company decides to set up a manufacturing unit in any of these countries and would be decided in the near future.

The main benefit of having a manufacturing base is to take advantage of the reduced export duty of 5 per cent across the ASEAN region, once the unit achieved an indigenous content of 40 per cent. Without this, the export duty could be as high as 5-20 per cent.

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