| (From left) Bengal IT minister Debesh Das, joint secretary of economic affairs Anup Pujari and Bengal industry secretary Sabyasachi Sen at a seminar organised by the American Chamber of Commerce in Calcutta on Saturday. Picture by Kishor Roy Chowdhury
Calcutta, Nov. 17: The Bengal government has advised Salim Group of Indonesia to follow the Xenitis model for their Mahabharat bike project.
In February last year, Salim Group joined hands with Universal Success Enterprise, a company promoted by NRI Prasoon Mukherjee, to float Mahabharat Motors Manufacturing.
The company is setting up a $250-million plant here to manufacture bikes.
“We are asking them to follow the Xenitis model. They can start with a bike assembly unit. The consumers will get to know the products easily. A mother plant with a 100 per cent local production will take a lot of time,” Sabyasachi Sen, Bengal industry secretary, said on the sidelines of a seminar organised by the American Chamber of Commerce.
The Xenitis group had formed a joint venture with Chinese company Guangzhou Motors to launch two-wheelers here. Global Automobiles, the joint venture, imports two-wheeler components from China and assembles them at its plant at Sugandha, 60km from the city.
Salim Group was allotted 67 acres for the project in May last year. It has now asked for an additional 35 acres.
Sen said the government would assess the progress of the project before allotting additional land.
Mahabharat Motors will make 100cc and 125cc bikes under the Arjun brand name. The bikes will be priced around Rs 36,000.
The plant will have an initial capacity of 60,000 units per month. Mahabharat plans to initially recruit 500 employees but will gradually increase its staff strength to 6,000.
Global Automobiles started assembling bikes from March this year. It has already launched Rock100, a 100cc model available at less than Rs 20,000.
The company’s first bike, the 125cc Xpression, was launched in April this year
The company launched a product extension of the bike, the Xpression Plus, in August this year.