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Bajaj to assemble bikes in Brazil
Parvathy Ullatil in Mumbai | November 18, 2003 08:09 IST
After dabbling in various South American markets through distributorships, Bajaj Auto has finally decided to take the plunge and make headway in the Brazilian market by assembling its two-wheelers there. The company is scouting for a joint venture partner in Brazil to assemble its motorcycles.
Bajaj Auto, which has been exporting completely built units of two- and three-wheelers to Latin American countries such as Colombia, Peru and Guatemala, is yet to break into these markets in a big way.
The company had earlier identified Brazil as one of its focus markets for exports. Bajaj had finalised its strategy to penetrate the one million unit Brazilian motorcycle market, senior Bajaj executives said.
"We have studied the Brazilian market extensively, and decided that if we want to maximise our cost advantages and offer lower prices in the market, we will have to start assembling the two-wheelers locally. We are in the process of identifying the right person to partner us in this venture, and we are scrutinising various options in the local market," a company executive added.
The bikes will be assembled from completely knocked down kits exported from India. Bajaj showcased its products at the Brazilian automobile exhibition earlier this year to gauge the local response. The favourable response to the Boxer, Pulsar, Caliber and the world bike Wind 125 encouraged Bajaj Auto to explore the completely knocked down route, a Bajaj executive said.
The company also has a team of executives in Brazil, which has started interacting with local manufacturers to identify a joint venture partner.Bajaj's technological partner, Kawasaki, has a presence in the Brazilian market, but not in the same segments as Bajaj. Currently, South America accounts for only 15-20 per cent of Bajaj's total exports. The company exported 35,500 vehicles in the first half of this financial year, a 62 per cent increase over the same period of 2002-03.