New 400cc bike tops agenda for Bajaj Auto’s global distributor meet

| Updated on: Nov 28, 2016
bl28_Bajaj Auto 400 cc bike launch

bl28_Bajaj Auto 400 cc bike launch

bl28_Bajaj Auto 400 cc bike

bl28_Bajaj Auto 400 cc bike

Motorcycle in ₹1-2 lakh segment is to be exported from Day 1

Bajaj Auto will have a three-day international distributor conference beginning in Mumbai on Tuesday and then heading out to Goa. It is expected to be a big affair where the centre of attraction will be the new 400cc motorcycle scheduled to debut in mid-December.

Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director, told Business Line that the bike would be shipped out overseas from Day 1 of its launch. The markets targeted include Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines in ASEAN as well as Mexico, Colombia and Argentina in South America. Turkey will be an important component of the roadmap for Europewith perhaps more countries joining the list in course of time.

“Of course, India is as important for the bike but we are also prioritising overseas markets where we see tremendous potential,” said Bajaj. This puts in context why the distributor meet is critical as the huge number of visitors will have time to take a good look at the product and gauge its prospects.

While this bike will be an all-new brand that will take on Royal Enfield in the Rs 1-2 lakh segment, there will be other launches from the Bajaj Auto stable this fiscal. A new bike from the ‘V’ platform will soon join its 150cc sibling that hit the roads in March this year. In addition, there will be a new family of Pulsars for 2017 which are intended to grow the company’s strong presence in the sports segment.

All these products are expected to be part of the parade in the distributor conference though the pride of place will be the 400cc motorcycle as it will mark an all-new brand category from the company’s point of view. Markets overseas are also inclined towards premium sports bikes and Bajaj Auto will be hoping that its debut offering in this space makes the right connect with buyers.

“The time has come to look at a new category of super sports, or premium sports, which can take on Royal Enfield. This will not only be a new product but an all-new brand,” Bajaj had said in an earlier interview. KTM is doing 3,000 units per month in this segment but this is minuscule compared to Enfield’s output of 50,000 units each month. “It is also my conviction that this product has the capability of posting five digit volumes each month,” he added.

International markets have always been top priority for the company though there have been strong headwinds in recent times thanks largely to the fragile African economy where Nigeria, in particular, has been badly hit. This is a big bike market for Bajaj Auto especially in the entry-level commuter segment. It is in this context that the 400cc motorcycle along with the new Pulsar and ‘V’ will be positioned to build a presence in a host of markets inclined towards premium motorcycles.

The Austria-based KTM, in which Bajaj Auto has a 48 per cent stake, is also keen on growing its presence in the ASEAN region. Its motorcycles are assembled in the Chakan plant near Pune and exported to Europe, the US, Japan and Australia. Likewise, Kawasakiis another key ally which has an assembly operation in Pune and also helps out Bajaj with its ASEAN business.

Published on January 15, 2018

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