New Delhi: Bajaj Auto and Kawasaki Consumer Products and Machinery Company are tying up to launch Kawasaki big bikes into India.
This is a continuation of the partnership singed between the two companies in the mid-80s when their first technical collaboration was signed. The two companies went a step further in collaborative efforts when Kawasaki began distributing Bajaj bikes in Philippines in 2004.
The bikes that Bajaj Kawasaki is considering launching in India include the Ninja 250, the Sports Roadster the ER-6n Super Sports bikes, the Ninja ZX-6R, the Z1000 and the Vulcan Cruiser.
To view the photo gallery of these bikes, click here.
The Kawasaki bikes would be retailed through the chain of Bajaj 'probiking' showrooms, of which ten are operating throughout the country, and another ten would start operations by the end of the current fiscal.
According to Shinichi Tamba, president of Kawasaki Consumer Products and Machinery Company, ''The Indian market is in the cusp of progressing to big bikes and Kawasaki is highly regarded in this segment.'' He added that, ''Soon the 'Flying K' and the 'Kawasaki Green' will scorch Indian roads.''
Rajiv Bajaj, managing director Bajaj Auto said, ''Both Kawasaki and Bajaj have synergised their strengths to widen the portfolio in respective markets and domestic consumers can now experience the power of big biking.''
Unwilling to comment the price of the big bikes, Bajaj said the big bikes would be on roads by the end of the current calendar year. He said the bikes would be assembled at the company's Chakan plant that has a capacity to manufacture a million bikes.
Replying to a question, he said that instead of cannibalizing sales of executive level bikes, the big bikes would complement them, adding there was enough room for both.
Saying that he saw no possibility to increase the local content in the big bikes coming from the Kawasaki stable in the near future, Bajaj opined that the company would take such decisions depending on the sales volumes of the bikes in India.
Commenting on the volumes expected from the big bikes, Bajaj said the company was looking at profits only in the long term and that, ''Volumes are not a barometer for performance in each product segment.''
He said the aim of Bajaj Auto was to be present among the top two luxury bike brands in India in the long term as and when the market for big bikes had expanded significantly.
According to Bajaj, growth in the two-wheeler market would continue and profitability for the company would depend on improvement in quality and exports growth. He said Bajaj Auto would continue to offer whatever the market demanded.
Kawasaki and Bajaj together sell bikes in Philippines, Latin America and Mexico and Bajaj Auto would continue to export bikes through the Kawasaki network abroad.