Motorcycle major Bajaj Auto is scaling up its production capacity at the Chakan plant near Pune as it looks to meet the strong demand for the new Pulsar RS200, and also gear up for future launches.
“We have undertaken major capacity enhancement at Chakan. Our production capacity at the plant is currently at 100,000 units per month and the plan is to increase it by at least another 50%,” Eric Vas, president (motorcycle business) at Bajaj Auto, told HT.
While the company did not reveal details of the expected investment for the Chakan expansion, the company has said in a recent analysts’ call that it would spend Rs. 350 crore for the full year, for tooling and capacity addition among other things.
Bajaj Auto, which has for years lagged Hero MotoCorp and in more recent years, an energetic Honda in the commuter bikes segment, is readying to shake up the market, Vas said.
“We believe there is clearly a lot of space in the market for a different kind of commuter bike. Our intention is to be different from the rest and are working hard for it in the current fiscal year,” Vas said, adding demand is likely to remain “muted for some time.”
Work is also on to upgrade the Avenger, Bajaj’s cruiser motorcycle, which is also expected to be launched later this year.
Bajaj’s push comes in the backdrop of sluggish sales growth, which has trailed that of India’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer Hero MotoCorp.
The overall motorcycle market has been subdued for some time now, with the rural demand taking a hit.
“Bajaj currently has a market share of 18% and helped by the new launches, the company hopes to end the year with a market share of around 23%,” Vas said.