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Bajaj Auto eyes south-east Asia

Singapore, March 15 (PTI): Bajaj Auto, the automobile major, plans to capture significant market share in the south-east Asian region, beginning with strategic tie-ups with partners in Indonesia and the Philippines for manufacture facilities.

“We plan to set up an assembly line and manufacturing facility in Indonesia shortly,” Sanjay Bajaj, vice-president (finance) of Bajaj Auto, who is here to attend a three-day meet of potential investors in the region, said.

The company has chosen Indonesia and the Philippines for the initial phase and will subsequently make inroads into other countries of the region, he said yesterday.

The entry into the region would mean setting up of a manufacturing facility and finding representatives. The company is looking for strategic tie-ups for exporting its three-wheeler kits to these markets.

“We want to make Indonesia our hub to cater to south-east Asia,” Bajaj said, adding the company was also looking at countries like the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore as potential market for its products.

“We have selected Indonesia since we already have a representative in that country and our global technology partner Japan-based Kawasaki also has a plant in Indonesia,” he said.

South-east Asia is an attractive market for Bajaj Auto which has a large share of the domestic market. The company is also waiting the implementation of free trade regime in the region to further advance its presence.

“We are also waiting for Afta (Asean Free Trade Agreement) to happen which will give us opportunity to market products with a lower tariff,” he said.

The company is collaborating with Kawasaki Heavy Industries on a new 125cc bike for the world and domestic markets.

Meanwhile, the company has also successfully embarked on a strategy to reduce costs through initiatives in indigenisation, value engineering, supply chain management and review of fixed costs with special focus on the motorcycle segment.

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