Commercial vehicles come to Bajaj Auto’s rescue as bikes continue to slow

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Published: May 5, 2015 12:49:28 AM

Driven by a 58% jump in commercial vehicle (CV) volumes, Bajaj Auto was able to post a modest 1% increase in total sales.

Driven by a 58% jump in commercial vehicle (CV) volumes, Bajaj Auto was able to post a modest 1% increase in total sales. However, motorcycle sales continue to be in the negative zone, falling 5% to 2.85 lakh units in April 2015 compared to 2.99 lakh April 2014. The recent launches of new Pulsars, Platina and CT 100 have not yet aided a sales recovery.

The company, on the other hand, saw highest-ever sales for CVs during April with sales rising to 50,483 units from 31,893. Total sales during April were up 1% to 3.36 lakh units.

Total exports grew 7% in April to 1.61 lakh units. The Bajaj Auto stock was up 7.4% on the BSE at Rs 2,093.70.

The company has expanded its Pulsar portfolio with the launch of three new models: the Pulsar AS 150, AS 200 and RS 200, and is currently ramping up production. Another new Pulsar is on its way.

The company expects a 20% increase in Pulsar sales after these launches. In the 100 cc segment the company relaunched the CT 100 and the new Platina ES. It is currently shipping 20,000 new Platina ES in the domestic market, and this was the first month that the company has been able to supply to all markets, Eric Vas, president, motorcycle business, BAL, said at a recent interaction. The company is also shipping 60,000 units of CT 100s locally and exporting 40,000 units, Vas said.

Vas says there has been a significant decline in sales of 100 cc bikes in the country, and though the fall has happened across geographies, it’s sharper in rural markets. The company feels this is because of a decline in rural incomes — money pumped into government schemes has been diverted to other schemes.

Bajaj Auto has got 3,500 bookings for the Pulsar RS 200 since its launch on March 26 in 17 cities. Vas expects to sell 2,500 Pulsar RS bikes and 10,000 Pulsar AS 150 and AS 200 bikes every month. These bikes will be taken to 40 towns in the next few days. The company has a presence in 450 towns and 650 dealers, and wants to take all the bikes to the entire network as production ramps up. It takes around 60 days to ramp up production from the launch date, Vas said. A further expansion of capacity is on the cards.

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