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Bajaj, Kawasaki on a long drive

Mumbai, March 5: Two-wheeler major Bajaj Auto is exploring ways to strengthen its relationship with Kawasaki Heavy Industries of Japan. One option is to hive off its motorcycle division into a separate company with Kawasaki pitching in with equity.

The duo could also join hands to invest overseas, notably in Indonesia, where they could put equity into a unit.

Senior Bajaj officials will meet their counterparts from Kawasaki on March 11 to discuss these issues, said Rajiv Bajaj, president of Bajaj Auto. Bajaj was speaking to newspersons at the launch of the Bajaj Caliber-115 in Pune today.

Currently, Bajaj has a technical collaboration with Kawasaki for some of its motorcycle models. The possibility of Kawasaki picking up stake in Bajaj has been the subject of speculation for long.

“A Kawasaki team will be here on March 11 and we will discuss this issue again,” Bajaj said while referring to reports of the two entering into an equity partnership.

However, Bajaj added that the companies might not buy equity. “We have to see where we can partner together, if necessary, financially also, to build and grow the business,” he said. Such an alliance might be worked out in some other country, particularly Indonesia, he added. The duo has also decided to work together on smaller vehicles, Bajaj said.

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