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Sunday, Jan 18, 2004

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Chinese bikemaker Lifan to set up facility here

Neha Kaushik

New Delhi , Jan 17

THE Rs 22,000-crore Lifan Group, which is based in China, is planning to set up a facility in India to produce its range of motorcycles.

"The facility will be set up either via a joint venture with a local partner or through a fully-owned subsidiary. We have received approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board to invest Rs 200 crore for the facility, which will be coming up in either Gurgaon or Faridabad," Mr R. Chhibbar, Indian Representative, Chongqing Lifan Industry Group, said. The facility is expected to be up by April next year.

In the meantime, Lifan is planning to import and distribute its motorcycles in India by June this year and is in the process of appointing dealers for the same. "We have already received clearance from the Automotive Research Association of India to launch our vehicles", Mr Chhibbar said.

Vehicles lined up for launch include bikes with engine capacity ranging from 125 cc to 200 cc and also an all-terrain vehicle. Though the pricing has not been finalised yet, company officials said that the bikes would be priced at a very competitive level. Lifan is targeting sales of 60,000 bikes in the first year of operations.

When asked whether Lifan would be tying up with Monto Motors, which had earlier launched bikes in India after sourcing engines from the company, Mr Chibbar replied in the negative.

Lifan, at present, manufactures 28 lakh motorcycles and exports 18 lakh motorcycles every year to about 70 countries including the US, the UK, Japan and Iran.

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