After a fiscal that saw bike sales in the domestic market drop and market share failing to stage the expected recovery, Bajaj Auto Ltd (BAL) is eyeing growth of over 35 per cent in the motorcycle segment, betting big on five new models it has so far launched in 2015.
“(In India) We hope to sell around 40,000 units of the newly launched CT 100 cc models, over 10,000 units to come from Pulsar Adventure Sports series and 2,500 from the Racing Sports bike every month,” Eric Vas, President, Motorcycle Business, BAL, said.
The company is currently shipping over 20,000 units a month of the 100-cc Platina electric start. “We don’t have capacity to meet the demand,” he said.
With an average of 1.4 lakh bikes sold in India a month last year, the projections will add over 50,000 units to the company’s monthly sales figures. “This does not take into account the rest of the portfolio which may also grow,” Vas, who is responsible for domestic bike sales, added. Early this year, Bajaj Auto launched the 100-cc Platina (Electric Start) and also resurrected the CT-100 bike that had been discontinued in 2006. In March, it launched three new Pulsar models – two in a newly created Adventure Sports segment and one Racing Sports bike. One more Pulsar model is due for launch before the end of the current quarter in addition to one more set of product launches under a different brand.
To cater to the expected higher production, BAL plans to expand capacity at its existing facility in Chakan where the Pulsar range is made. Currently, it has a capacity of one lakh units a month and runs at 90 per cent capacity utilisation. The 2014-15 fiscal has not been very good for the Pune-based motorcycle major. While overall motorcycle sales dropped 4 per cent, the fall in the Indian market was cushioned by improved exports.
Its domestic market share too dropped from 22-23 per cent in the previous years to a low of 15 per cent before recovering to 17 per cent by end of March 15. This was lower than the 20 per cent it had expected to close the year with.
This is one number that the company will certainly be happy to achieve this year, Vas said.