'Hamara Bajaj' to ride again as electric scooter Chetak
18 October 2019
Bajaj Auto Ltd - country’s second largest motorcycle manufacturer - on Wednesday announced the rebirth of its scooter production with the launch of its electric scooter named, Chetak. The re-entry into the scooter segment comes almost a decade after the Pune based company stopped manufacturing scooter.
Bajaj stopped manufacturing traditional scooters around 2009, in order to focus more on motorcycles segment.
The new Electric Chetak will be available with two variants which will offer range of 85 kilometre and 95 kilometre, respectively.
According to Rajiv Bajaj, managing director of Bajaj Auto, scooters and three wheelers which are more used in the urban space, have greater potential in the electric space.
“When we do something it’s better to come first and there is virtually no point coming second or third. It’s very important to be first to market. Scooters and step-throughs are a very important segment and we have not made the electric Chetak to be in the volume space. We are trying to build meaningful niches with three wheelers, super bikes and electric scooters," Bajaj stated.
The company will start selling the electric scooter in January from Pune and later in Bangalore. Subsequent expansion will depend on the demand in these two cities. The vehicle will be sold from the Pro Biking dealerships of the company from which it also sells the KTM super bikes.
“Biggest hurdle (for adoption of electric mobility) is the conflicting idea in minds of manufacturers since they are making money from petrol and diesel vehicles. The fact that Bajaj doesn’t sell scooters is our bigger strength. We are starting from here because there is not conflict of interest. When you enter into a new market you don’t make money from day one. The price will not be viable from day one," added Bajaj.
Bajaj expects the reduction in corporate tax to give the company a relief of Rs450 crore to Rs500 crore, which can be used to absorb some of the cost of developing and manufacturing the electric scooter.