Business Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Feb 14, 2007
Corporate - Outlook
Marketing - New Products & Services
In top gear
Looking at sales of 2.8 million vehicles
Planning motorcycle on new platform
To gradually phase out entry-level bikes
"This fiscal, our total turnover should cross Rs 10,000 crore, with sales of 2.8 million vehicles," Mr Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director of Bajaj Auto, told newspersons after launching the company's 200 cc Pulsar motorcycle.
He also said that the company expects a topline growth of 25 per cent over last fiscal and has scheduled a slew of new launches.
"By May, the Pulsar 220 cc with fuel injection will be launched and the next month, the 200 cc cruiser bike Avenger should hit the market."
He added that the company has made a conscious decision to move away from the lower margin, low capacity bikes and would place emphasis on higher engine capacity motorcycles.
"We are coming up with a motorcycle on a completely new platform, which should draw away customers from the entry level and 100 cc segment."
There would be two variants of the new bike.
He also said that the company expects the Pulsar family to have sales of about 50,000 units by June as against 43,000 units in January.
"We are also increasing the production of Pulsar and by June it should touch 60,000 units."
The company will gradually phase out its entry-level bikes, Platina and CT-100.
According to Mr Bajaj, the to-be-launched fuel injection technology DTS-i 220 cc bike could cost Rs 80,000-85,000, while the 200 cc Pulsar DTS-i launched today has been priced at Rs 65,497.
On plans for four-wheelers, he said: "It is still two years away. We are developing a goods carrier at the moment."
The company would need a completely new plant for it, he added.
"It can be either in Maharashtra or Uttarakhand. We are looking at a plant with production capacity of about 500,000 vehicles. It will house a common platform for three- and four-wheelers, which should give us the scale of operations."
Amid speculation that the company is being carved into automobile and finance entities due to differences between Chairman Mr Rahul Bajaj's sons, Mr Rajiv Bajaj said that he and his brother Mr Sanjiv Bajaj were specialists in different areas.
Refusing to take answer queries on reports of Bajaj Auto's demerger, he said: "He (Mr Sanjiv Bajaj) keeps the company's books and I make the bikes. I can't keep the books and he can't make bikes."
Earlier, Mr Rahul Bajaj had said that the company would put up a proposal before its board latest by May to consider hiving off its financial and investments businesses into a separate entity to utilise its cash surplus.
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