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Chinese company CFMoto plans to storm Indian market; to go head-to-head with Bajaj and Honda

This is the biggest and most aggressive roadmap prepared by a Chinese two-wheeler company for the Indian market.

November 21, 2019 / 01:34 PM IST
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In one of the most aggressive campaigns seen in the Indian two-wheeler segment, Chinese motorcycle manufacturer CFMoto will be carpet bombing the segment by launching one new model every three months.

The launches will begin after the introduction of BS- VI norms in April 2020.

The product line-up includes premium motorcycles, budget motorcycles, electric motorcycles, electric scooters and even electric bicycles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). The company will start electric launches from 2020 onwards, a top company official told Moneycontrol.

CFMoto is even prepared for investments for setting a manufacturing plant in India if sales volumes breaches its internal target. The company will aggressively price its products to challenge local heavyweights like Hero Motocorp and Bajaj Auto, starting with a planned reduction in its existing model range.

This is the biggest and most aggressive road-map prepared by a Chinese two-wheeler company for India, which for long has been dominated by four major players (Hero Motocorp, Honda, Bajaj Auto and TVS Motor) who control 90 percent of the domestic market.

Founded in 1989,CFMoto has developed 98 models of vehicles and 51 models of engines, which are distributed through its 1900 companions worldwide, says its website.

The other known Chinese player in the domestic two-wheeler market is Italian brand called Benelli, which is owned by Chinese company Qianjiang Group.

"CFMoto has bikes going up to 1000cc. They have a product after every 100cc. We are in a position to introduce 12-13 motorcycles in India. In fact every quarter we will be launching one new product in India for three years after BS-VI is introduced," said Vamsi Krishna Jagini, CEO, Anvita AutoTech Works.

CFMoto unveiled four bikes in India in July, after having partnered with AMW Motorcycles, which belonged to the same group that made AMW trucks. The Indian entity got renamed to Anvita AutoTech Works.

"We have got more than 700 bookings for the four bikes we launched, which has exceeded our expectations. There have been some cancellations as things got a bit delayed. We have started with the deliveries from our first showroom in Thane that we inaugurated," added Vamsi.

CFMoto launched 300 NK, 650 NK, 650 MT and 650 GT in the price band of Rs 2.29 lakh to Rs 5.49 lakh (ex-showroom). The 650 MT has attracted maximum buyers. Three more dealerships will be opening before December, and three more in January, taking the total to seven.

Local Manufacturing

Operating out of an assembly facility in Bengaluru, the company is keen on having multiple products at different price points for which it is prepared to set up a green field factory and a joint venture entity.

“We will not be interested in having anything less than 150cc. We will be planning for a 150cc only after proper localization is done because it’s important to have right cost structure. We are trying to get the 300cc under Rs 2 lakh and to do that we will more localisation with better control over quality. May be after 1-2 years, after we have a proper network, we can go for 150cc. I need to have at least 70-80 dealerships with a 150cc in the portfolio”, added Vamsi.

The Indo-Chinese entity has a volume target of 15,000 per year to facilitate a manufacturing presence, which could come up either in Bengaluru or Pune.

"Once our volume target is achieved we will be going for a joint venture with CFMoto. We are looking for volumes of 15000 units a year only then I can go for a manufacturing plant. Most component manufacturers are based in Pune and some are in Bengaluru. We have not taken a call yet on the location for the plant. May be Bengalauru could be a better place but if things become necessary we don’t mind moving to Pune also. Discussions are going on at the high level for this," said Vamsi.

Electric Ride 

CFMoto is very keen on getting its international range of electric two-wheelers to India. But it wants to start its electric journey through the launch of electric bicycles that are scheduled for 2020 before moving to other segments. The company has begun works on electric scooters and motorcycles at the moment back in China.

"We will start with electric bicycles. CFMoto will also have electric scooters which they are working on and eventually everything will come to India including electric motorcycles. We have to put out something that has a minimum range of 200kms. We should be launching the bicycles in 2020 and priced very competitively because our target is the middle-class buyers," said Vamsi.


All of CFMoto's dealerships will sell all-terrain vehicles from March onwards. These four-wheeled, single-seater vehicles are mostly seen on beaches and resorts. Though the market for such vehicles is not significant increasing demand for adventure tourism could lead to spike in demand for ATVs in India.

"All our dealerships will also have ATVs. By March, we should be introducing the ATVs to the market and we are working on competitive prices for that too. The ATVs run on 400-1000cc engines and whatever is suitable for India we will get them. They are not road legal products and used in farm houses, resorts and beaches," added Vamsi.

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Swaraj Baggonkar
Swaraj Baggonkar
first published: Nov 21, 2019 12:40 pm