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Bajaj goes mid-stream in bike cruise

Calcutta, Dec. 8: Bajaj Auto plans to launch the K-60 bike, to be placed between the lower-end model Boxer and the premium segment Pulsar.

A senior company official said the model has been planned to target the middle segment since Bajaj Auto has already consolidated its position in the other two segments with the launches of Boxer and Pulsar.

“K-60 will pack the personality and power of the Pulsar with the economy of the Boxer. The model will come with an engine capacity between 110-180 cc,” the official said.

The Bajaj group flagship, which slid to the second position in the two-wheeler market recently, is optimistic of regaining lost ground with the introduction of the new model. Bajaj Auto aims at crossing one million motorbike sales after the K-60 is launched.

Sources said the model is being designed by the same team which worked with the Tokyo R&D on the Pulsar. The Tokyo R&D will also identify Japanese component manufacturers with high standards of technology, especially on the engine.

They added that the new bike would go into commercial production from October next year at its Chakan plant. Bajaj Auto is also in the process of launching a ‘World Bike,’ code-named 612, in April next year. The engine of the 612 model, currently being developed with Japan’s Kawasaki, will have a capacity of 125 cc.

Sources said the bike will be co-branded by Bajaj Auto and Kawasaki and will be sold both in the domestic market and a few international destinations.

The model is currently in a pre-production phase at the company’s Waluj plant near Aurangabad.

While motorcycles are the company’s topmost priority, it is also in the process bringing in new scooter models with completely new engines and transmission system. The plan is to introduce two geared and two non-geared models in the scooter segment.

Scooters, the company’s cash cow till a few years ago, are facing a severe downturn.

“But it certainly has good prospects if some innovations take place,” the official said.

Another decision taken by the company is to replace the existing three wheeler models with two new models.

Bajaj Auto, which now sells around 1.2 lakh scooters and 2 lakh three-wheelers every year, is expecting a dramatic change in sales of these two products once the new models are introduced.

Besides the domestic markets, the company is also targeting a turnover of Rs 250 crore from exports this year.

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