Companies

Bajaj Auto to revamp 3-wheeler portfolio

V. Rishi Kumar Hyderabad | Updated on July 04, 2013 Published on July 04, 2013

R.C. Maheswari, President, Bajaj Auto Ltd (file photo)   -  Business Line

Awaits Govt nod to launch quadricycle

Three-wheeler major Bajaj Auto Ltd today outlined plans to revamp products across the fuel range.

The company is anxiously awaiting nod to begin production of its quadricycle that has become a matter of debate in the country.

“The Government’s stand is still not clear. Once the nod is given, the company expects to launch the four-wheeler during October-March this fiscal,” said R. C. Maheshwari, President, Commercial Vehicle Business, Bajaj Auto Ltd. “The current financial year will see the revamp of the entire three-wheeler portfolio. This is the biggest exercise the company has undertaken to sustain its market leadership. Bajaj holds 85-90 per cent share in petrol and alternative fuels other than diesel models,” he explained.

Launching its two-stroke and four-stroke petrol variants of RE Compact in Hyderabad, he said the company will soon roll out other fuel variants and also introduce a diesel version. Of the total three-wheeler sales, 55 per cent comes from export to more than 23 countries.

The rest is sold in the domestic market. In spite of the general downtrend in the market, the company has managed to grow its volumes in the first quarter.

The company sold 2,26,000 three-wheelers in the domestic market last year and expects to take this up to 3,00,000 by 2014-15.

The volumes are expected to grow as there is latent demand for last mile movement in busy cities and rural areas.

Restriction imposed

C. K. Rao, Vice-President, Market Development, Commercial Vehicle, Bajaj Auto, said the restriction imposed by some States on the sale of three-wheelers is not the right move as it creates artificial curbs on vehicle demand in the market. It also paves way for middle men in the licence system.

These new range of vehicles promise a saving of over Rs 20,000/annum making it a compelling proposition for the replacement market.

The replacement market is estimated to be about 1,20,000 vehicles/annum, Rao said.

rishikumar.vundi@thehindu.co.in

Published on July 04, 2013
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