Bajaj Auto is set to reenter the three-wheeler cargo vehicle market, which it vacated almost three years ago to focus on the passenger three-wheeler product overhaul.
The company used to sell GC Max and RE600 three-wheeler transport vehicles earlier, but exited the segment in 2013.
In 2012-13, the last full year of sales, it sold just 2,836 cargo threewheelers. The three-wheeler cargo vehicle market has been impacted in recent years due to the onslaught of four-wheeler small trucks such as Tata Motors’ Ace and Ashok Leyland’s Dost.
However, the three-wheeler cargo market is still very much relevant and presents an opportunity to re-enter the space now, said RC Maheshwari, president (commercial vehicle business).
The company is looking to succeed in the segment on the back of its success in the diesel powered passenger three-wheeler market.
“The time is now ripe to reenter the cargo market, which is approximately one lakh units per annum, with a significantly differentiated and relevant product,” Maheshwari added.
Upon its re-entry, Bajaj Auto will be competing against market leader Piaggio (60% market share) and Mahindra and Mahindra. In the passenger-three wheelers, Bajaj Auto remains the market leader.
Maheshwari said Bajaj Auto would soon launch three variants of a new cargo vehicle.
The company is optimistic about garnering 20% market share in the first year itself.
But, analysts say it may not be a good decision. “The threewheeler cargo segment is not seeing much growth and there is a lot of competition in the market now, more so from fourwheelers,” said an analyst.