Bajaj Auto, the country’s third largest two-wheeler, manufacturer will be launching around six models before November this year.
The Pune-based maker of the Pulsar and the Avenger said that the company was able to beat the downtrend in the market on the back of market share gains during last year in key volume segments.
Rakesh Sharma, chief commercial officer, Bajaj Auto said, “The segment which is driving the growth for us is the entry level segment. Here we have increased market share by 6 percent. The second segment which has grown for us is the sports segment where we have gained 5 percent share.”
After cutting prices on the CT 100, only to raise them to near previous levels, the company witnessed a growth in demand that outpaced the average growth of the two-wheeler market.
The company recorded a growth of 29 percent to 2.5 million units in domestic two-wheeler sales last financial year as compared to 5 percent growth recorded by the industry during the same year.
“The market will see a lot of action beginning June. We already had a couple of introductions in the last two months. There has been an upgrade to the Dominar and the Avenger. Across the spectrum over the next 3-4 months the market will see 3-4 launches. These will be on smart innovations but not revolutionary. These will become the primary drivers of growth”, added Sharma.
Sources say that Bajaj will spruce up its CT100 and Platina further and also have a model in the 125cc segment before the market hits festive period.
Apart from this there will also be the launch of the Husqvarna series of bikes. The Swedish dirt bike specialist's models in India will be powered by a common engine and will be based on a common vehicle platform developed by Bajaj Auto and KTM engineers.
Talking about the Husqvarna launches to Moneycontrol, Sharma added, “We are on track with it and it will be launched in the middle of the year. It could be September–November period because that’s also when the festival sales peak. We have to make sure it has an impact. We are on track with that”.
Earlier today the company announced financial results for the January-March quarter announcing 21 percent rise in net profit thanks to an exceptional item of a reversal of Rs 342 crore to the accounts.
Its EBIDTA margin however remained much lower at 17.6 percent than its historical average of around 20 percent.
“We try to optimize the pricing and rationalize cost. We operate in an industry where we have competion, and we have to price the product in a certain way”, said Soumen Ray, Chief Financial Oficer (CFO) for Bajaj Auto.
About the rearrangement of its share-holding in its Austrian partner KTM the company said it is yet to arrive at a final decision.
“As of now it is still in discussion stage and it will be evaluated between the two partners. Nothing concrete to mention as of now”, Ray added.
In March Bajaj Auto had said that its Netherlands-based subsidiary Bajaj Auto International Holding BV is in talks for transferring its 48 percent stake in KTM AG to the promoter company KTM Industries AG.
After a proposed 50 percent increase in share capital in KTM Industries AG, subject to legal and economic requirements, the promoter company's total stake in KTM AG would increase to 99.7 percent from 51.7 percent presently.
It was not clear how much will be Bajaj's stake in KTM Industries AG after the equity transfer.