Bajaj Auto Ltd, the country's second-biggest motorcycle maker, on Friday entered into a pact with its long-time Japanese technical partner Kawasaki to distribute the latter's bikes in India, and said the two firms will explore possibilities of developing products jointly.
Under the agreement, BAL will bring Kawasaki bikes and distribute through its exclusive 'Probiking Stalls'. The partners have identified at least four models -- Ninja 250, sports roadster ER-6n, super sports bike Ninja ZX6R and vulcan cruiser Z1000 -- for launching in India.
"The idea is to start with one model and expand further depending on the market response," BAL Managing Director Rajiv Bajaj told reporters here. "Of these, Ninja 250 has got the most favourable response," Bajaj said, adding the first Kawasaki bike would be launched this year. The bikes would be brought under the completely knocked down (CKD) unit route and BAL would assemble at its Chakan unit in Maharashtra.
The agreement came a day after Bajaj said it would launch Austrian sports bike maker KTM's two high performance models -- 1190 RC 8 and 690 Duke -- by the middle of this year.
"Kawasaki will also provide necessary service training and parts to BAL," Masanobu Kawaguchi, Kawasaki Heavy Industries Manager (Marketing and Sales, Asia Division), said.
Asked if there were any plans to jointly develop products together, Bajaj replied in the affirmative. "We have been partners for over 25 years. Earlier, Kawasaki contributed more in product developments, we will continue to develop together with more inputs from BAL now," he said.
Commenting on the new pact, Bajaj said it was in line their partnership in Philippines where BAL motorcycles are distributed through Kawasaki dealerships. BAL also sells its bikes in Latin America through Kawasaki dealers.