It will be first Indian firm to export a mass market bike to Russia'has shipped a few containers already.
Bajaj Auto, India’s largest two-wheeler exporter, plans to enter the Russian market with its Pulsar range of motorcycles. Bajaj will be the first Indian company to export a mass market motorcycle to Russia. Eicher, which manufactures middleweight motorcycle, is the only domestic player exporting two-wheelers to Russia.
Bajaj recently shipped a few containers of the Pulsar to Russia. “We found the Russian market to have a good potential and found a good local partner to be the country-wide distributor. The distributor is developing the channel to market and service two-wheelers”, said S Ravikumar, president (business development and assurance) at Bajaj Auto.
Bajaj Auto exported 1.52 million two-wheelers in FY15, registering a 15 per cent growth over the previous year, according to data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. The company is India’s largest exporter with a market share of 62 per cent in exports of 2.45 million units. The country’s export of two-wheelers grew 6.6 per cent to 1.11 million units in the April-August period of the current financial year, of which Bajaj shipped 61 per cent. The other leading exporters are TVS Motor Company, Hero MotoCorp and Honda Motorcycle and Scooters. The big markets are countries in south-east Asia, West Asia, Africa, Latin and Central America.
Hero MotoCorp, India’s largest two-wheeler, recently inaugurated its first overseas manufacturing unit in Columbia that had been set up at an investment of $38 million. The unit will produce 80,000 units initially and could be expanded to 150,000 units.
Bajaj, which exports to 55 countries, has no such plans as of now. “In the export market, our product goes as a kit and assembled locally. To the extent it makes a cost effective sense, we will continue to follow this strategy”, added Ravikumar.
Bajaj exports Boxer for the developing markets, where affordable mobility is the need. In advanced markets such as Europe and Japan, products made jointly by Bajaj and KTM in India are exported to KTM and is sold in the developed markets.
According to Ravikumar, Bajaj Auto exports two-wheelers to 55 countries. “In most of the countries where we export, we are either number one or two. In all African markets, Boxer is the leading motorcycle brand.”
Indian players have succeeded in capturing a sizeable chunk of the two-wheeler market in regions such as Africa, which used to be dominated by Chinese products a decade ago. “In Africa, we started with a discount to Chinese product. Now, we are selling at 40 per cent premium to Chinese products,” said Ravikumar.