Bajaj Auto Sees Gradual Rebound In Exports

Mobility Outlook Bureau
20 Oct 2023
03:57 PM
2 Min Read

Global volatility continues to be a challenge but markets like Mexico and Turkey have been weathering the storm.

bajaj exports rebound mobility outlook

Bajaj Auto’s CFO, Dinesh Thapar, believes that the company's exports are gradually coming back on track even while the global market continues to be volatile.

He told reporters at a recent roundtable following the Q2 results that overseas shipments of two and three-wheelers have been challenging in recent times. Monthly numbers were down to 115,000 units in Q4 of last fiscal and have slowly been increasing to 130,000 units and 140,000 units in Q1 and Q2 of the current year.

Yet, it will clearly take a while before exports reach the heady levels of over 200,000 units each month around a year ago when global markets were a lot calmer in contrast to today when individual regions are grappling with their own set of challenges.

“Mexico has seen consistent growth while Turkey and Central America are doing well. Africa accounts for half our exports and within that region Nigeria takes up 50%,” said Thapar. Bajaj Auto is India’s largest exporter of two-wheelers and the recent partnership with Triumph Motorcycles of the UK will increase its footprint in the ASEAN region as well as Europe and Latin America.

Thapar said exports of Triumph bikes will begin over the next couple of months even while plans are underway to expand its presence in the Indian market. The number of cities being covered for the Triumph brand has increased from 15 to 26 with 60 planned by the end of Q3, going up to 100 before the current fiscal draws to a close.

The feedback for the Speed 400 has been encouraging with over 8,000 units delivered. The more recently launched Scrambler 400 is also expected to do its bit in growing the midsize motorcycle market for Triumph. The British motorcycle brand will, meanwhile, continue assembling top-end motorcycles at its facility in Haryana while the Bajaj Auto plant at Chakan near Pune will focus on growing numbers for the Speed 400 and Scrambler 400.

CVs Surge Ahead

According to Thapar, the other piece of good news was in the commercial vehicle (three-wheeler) space where Q2 volumes have zoomed by over 80% from the same period last year. This segment was hit badly in the aftermath of COVID when lockdowns in schools and malls led to a huge slump in passenger and cargo traffic. Today, life is back to normal and the commercial vehicle business is literally booming.

Likewise, the electric three-wheeler script has got off to a brisk start where Bajaj Auto had launched the passenger version in Agra and the cargo in Pune. The response thus far has been encouraging enough for the company to contemplate a larger geographical spread for its electric three-wheelers and increase production at its Aurangabad plant.

Whilst on the subject of electric, Thapar said the Chetak expansion plans were also underway. The scooter is now available in 120 cities and its market share has nearly doubled from 5% to 11%. Ola Electric and TVS are in the lead but Bajaj is now gradually closing the gap.

The positive side is that the supply chain situation is better with product interventions also helping the cause. Chetak will now spread its presence to 150 cities and even more as electric scooters continue to gain ground.

This product segment has seen a violent seesaw of market rankings since the time some players were penalised for allegedly flouting subsidy norms. Today, legacy players are back in the reckoning as more and more customers queue up for electric scooters.

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