Benelli’s small capacity motorcycles to take on Bajaj Pulsar, TVS Apache in India

by Shantonil Nag

Benelli has got a new lease of life in the Indian market. Recently, the Italian brand announced that they will resume the sales in India after finding a new partner – the Mahavir Group. The brand announced that they will launch as many as 12 new models in the Indian market by 2019. However, post that Benelli is planning to play aggressive and the target sub-200cc motorcycles in the Indian market.

Benelli has plans to take on the bikes like Bajaj Pulsar and TVS Apache in the Indian market in 2019. It is planning to launch products between the 135cc and 200cc segment that will take on the rivals. The segment is quite popular and is expanding too. All the major players in India including Hero, Suzuki, Honda, Bajaj and TVS have their products in the segment. It is not known yet which will be the first sub 200cc bike that will be launched by the manufacturer in India.

The manufacturer will also start assembling the motorcycles in India. Through the partnership with the Mahavir Group, Benelli will assemble the bikes at Hyderabad that will bring down the price of the bikes. Both the parties have also signed an agreement that says a manufacturing unit will be set-up in the Telangana state at a later time. However, it is not mentioned when exactly the plant will become operational. Manufacturing in India would further bring down the prices of the bikes. Benelli stopped selling the bikes in the Indian market after its former partner – DSK Motowheels – ran into financial trouble.

Benelli Chief Marketing Officer Dante Bustos told PTI,

We took a fast decision of not to be out of the market for a long time after the problem came up. The first thing to do was revise from among all the relationships we had built. Our focus in India in the next two years will be in the 300-600 cc segment. We will launch 12 models by the end of 2019. Also now we are working on a single cylinder strategy, for motorcycles with displacements of 135-200 cc, which is also a new technology. We plan to come to India with these, we cannot exactly say when but it won’t be before 2019.

Both TVS Apache and Bajaj Pulsar have a stronghold in the segment. Benelli has always been known for its VFM products and if it recreates the same in the sub 200cc segment, we can expect a price war in the future.